Sunday, December 21, 2014

Call it 'Grumpyvania?' 5 Pa. cities make 'unhappiest' list

Pennsylvania has a lot of unhappy residents.

A recent study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University named five Pennsylvania cities as among the most unhappy in the United States.

The working paper relies on a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that asks people about their life satisfaction and other data.

Three Pennsylvania cities were among the top 10 least-happy American regions, researchers say: Scranton, which ranked first; Erie, which ranked third; and Johnstown, which ranked sixth. Jersey City was the lone New Jersey area on the list, ranking fifth.

And among metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people, Pittsburgh ranked as the second-unhappiest, while Philadelphia was 10th.

But the researchers found a bright spot for cities with dissatisfied residents: Some people still want to move to those areas in exchange for good jobs, higher incomes, or lower housing prices.

"Our research indicates that people care about more than happiness alone, so other factors may encourage them to stay in a city despite their unhappiness," Joshua Gottlieb, a professor at the University of British Columbia's Vancouver School of Economics, said in a statement.

The researchers identified Charlottesville, Va., Rochester, Minn., and Lafayette, La., as the happiest metropolitan areas and Richmond-Petersburg, Va., Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, Va., and Washington, D.C., as the happiest large metro areas.

Other least-happy regions included St. Joseph, Mo., South Bend, Ind., and non-metropolitan West Virginia.

For large metro areas, others ranked among the unhappiest were New York City, Louisville, Ky., Milwaukee and Detroit.


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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