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These Are the Happiest Cities in America

There's a whole lot to consider when you're deciding whether or not to move to a new city. How are the job prospects? What's the public transit situation? Can you find a great house for cheap? Those are all more or less easily quantifiable qualities. But how do you tell just how happy a particular place is?

Fortunately, the savvy folks at WalletHub just made it a lot easier to get a sense of the contentment of a given locale by ranking the happiest cities in America.

Source: WalletHub

To determine which hubs made the cut, WalletHub's number crunchers looked at 182 of the largest cities in the United States and weighed them using 28 different metrics across three key dimensions: emotional and physical well being, income and employment, and community and environment. Specifically, they looked at stats for things like depression rates and life expectancy, income growth rates, job satisfaction, and weekly work hours, as well as the separation and divorce rate and the frequency of "ideal weather."

Topping the list this year is Fremont, California, followed by Bismarck, North Dakota. San Jose, California, Pearl City, Hawaii, and Plano, Texas rounded out the top five. Meanwhile, Detroit nabbed the last spot, with Birmingham, Alabama, Huntington, West Virginia, Gulfport, Mississippi, and Little Rock, Arkansas all among the five least happy cities. If you're curious how your hometown may have fared, here are the 25 happiest.

25. Irving, Texas
24. Des Moines, Iowa
23. Lincoln, Nebraska
22. Santa Rosa, California
21. Austin, Texas
20. Gilbert, Arizona
19. St. Paul, Minnesota
18. Oakland, California
17. Glendale, California
16. Santa Clarita, California
15. Overland Park, Kansas
14. Scottsdale, Arizona
13. San Francisco, California
12. Columbia, Maryland
11. Madison, Wisconsin
10. Grand Prairie, Texas
9. Huntington Beach, California
8. Irvine, California
7. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
6. Fargo, North Dakota
5. Plano, Texas
4. Pearl City, Hawaii
3. San Jose, California
2. Bismarck, North Dakota
1. Fremont, California

You can peek at the full lineup here, but there are also a few more interesting takeaways from the study worth noting. For instance, the city with the lowest depression rate is El Paso, Texas, while Spokane, Washington has the highest. Burlington, Vermont is the city with the fewest work hours, while people in Plano, Texas have the most. And if you're looking for a place where you'll sleep like a baby, Overland Park, Kansas has the highest "adequate-sleep" rate (Cleveland, on the other hand, has the lowest). 

Then again, if you don't want to move to a larger city, you could always just consult the list of happiest overall states

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.