Two months after the United States placed number 13 on a report marking the happiest countries across the globe, SmartAsset is zoning in on the happiness of American counties. And two places in Northern Virginia are on top of the companys annual list.
Loudoun returns to its number one spot as the happiest county in America. For the second year in a row, Loudoun is favored for its low unemployment and poverty rates (both under 4 percent) and an income ratio of 2.5, meaning that residents incomes are more than twice the cost of living.
Closer to DC, Fairfax County ranked second on the list (it placed third last year). SmartAsset points out that the runner-up is just one of three counties in the ranking where residents are expected to live over 83 years. And with a population larger than eight states and the District, residents bring in median incomes of $100,584.
The list looked at counties with populations of at least 50,000. Each locale was then ranked based on the eight categories: income ratio, marriage rate, life expectancy rate, physical activity rate, poverty rate, unemployment rate, divorce rate, and personal bankruptcy rate.
The Virginian counties preceded Carver County, Minnesota, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and Morris County, New Jersey. Another District neighbor, Howard County, Maryland, came in at number seven. And Douglas County, Colorado, Somerset County, New Jersey, and Ozaukee County, Wisconsin rounded out the top 10.