NPR

Where You Live Affects Your Happiness And Health, But How Exactly?

Bike commuting, access to health care and racial diversity contribute to higher levels of well-being in communities.
Cyclist by Lake Michigan shore, Gold Coast district, Chicago. Biking to work is associated with higher levels of well-being. Source: Amanda Hall / robertharding

Every year, Gallup ranks U.S. cities for well-being, based on how residents feel about living in their communities, and their health, finances, social ties and sense of purpose. Perhaps unsurprisingly, places like Naples, Fla., and Boulder, Col., tend to top the list, while Southern and Midwestern towns including Canton, Ohio, and Fort Smith, Ark., often come in last. But what hard data underpin the differences between these communities?

A study published Wednesday takes a step toward teasing out which attributes might contribute to well-being in communities around the country.

A Yale-led team

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