3 Florida Cities Mentioned as Among the Happiest in the United States

L. Cane

The appearance of happiness can certainly be subjective. But generally speaking, a person appears happy when they give off a genuine smile and have a relaxed body posture.

Apparently, people in some states give off this aura of happiness more than others because the website HouseFresh recently set out to use artificial intelligence to determine which states and cities were among the happiest in the United States.

The Criteria For Determining Happiness: HouseFresh used Microsoft's facial recognition API to analyze a database of Instagram selfies from every state and the 100 biggest U.S. cities. They also used eight key emotions - anger, contempt, fear, happiness, neutral, sadness, and surprise - to help them map happiness scores across states.

How Did Florida Fare?: In the state rankings, Florida fell in the middle, having a happiness index of 55.06 on a scale of 38-75. In comparison, Utah was the happiest state in the United States, with an index of 74.49.

Florida ranked much better for the happiest cities, having three listings in the top 20.

The Florida Cities that Made the Top 20: Florida had the best showing of any state in the top 20, with 3 cities ranking. They were:

Cape Coral at number 6 out of 20

Sarasota at number 9 out of 20 (Sarasota is pictured at the top of this article.)

and Orlando at number 17 out of 20.

Concord, California was listed as the happiest city in the United States, followed by Provo, Utah, and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Additional Data: Although HouseFresh has an interesting study, does analyzing Instagram smiles line up with other studies done on happiness within the United States?

We can look at additional data to attempt to find out. WalletHub did a similar study on the happiest states but looked at entirely different metrics. Their study considered metrics like depression rates, income growth, sleep rates, safety, sports participation, and the unemployment rate.

In WalletHub's study, Florida came in 18th out of 50th, which meant that Florida did a little better in the WalletHub study that analyzed concrete metrics rather than physical expressions.

In terms of the happiest cities in Florida, CreditDonkey and WalletHub have both looked at this. And although what they ranked as the happiest cities differed, both looked at metrics like employment, income, divorce, and crime.

The CreditDonkey survey ranked Coral Springs in first place, Jacksonville in 2nd, and Tallahassee 3rd.

The WalletHub study agreed with HouseFresh, ranking Cape Coral as number 1, Port St. Lucie as number 2, and Pembroke Pines as number 3.

How Much Money Do You Need to Be Happy in Florida?: Finally, an interesting survey done in part by Purdue University found that in order to be truly happy in the sunshine state, one needs to earn around $105,000 per year.

It is interesting that two studies agreed that Florida's happiest city was Cape Coral, where the average household income is around $76,000.

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