Where the Happy People Are

February 16 2010, 9:25 AM

Of 185 major metro areas across the United States, Boulder has the highest level of "well-being," according to the "Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index," which polled tens of thousands of people to assess issues such as residents' emotional and physical health, work environment, and access to health care (via the Denver Business Journal). So let the boasting begin. "The fact that Boulder is up there makes a lot of sense when you're looking at what we know of happiness," Tim Wadsworth, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, tells the Daily Camera. "For example, health is huge, and Boulder is known for its high level of health." John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa, an Ayurvedic retreat in Boulder, tells The Denver Post, "Even if you're not health conscious, you're seeing cyclists by the side of the road with their work stuff on their back, or health-food stores on every corner, or everyone driving a Prius." Westword, meanwhile, wonders, "How much does weed help?" Boulder is up from ninth place in last year's index, while Colorado Springs ranks 37th, Denver 52nd, and Fort Collins 71st. Colorado ranks seventh among the states, down three notches from the previous year. Overall, four of the top 10 cities are in California, two are in Utah, and Honolulu, Hawaii, seems like a no-brainer. Of the top cities, only Holland, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., are located in the Eastern or Central time zones, notes USA Today.