Way to go, Colorado! According to National Geographic, three Colorado cities -- Boulder, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs -- have been named the happiest cities in the country.If you're looking for the key to happiness, look no further than the college city of Boulder. The Colorado city was named the happiest in the United States, according to a study conducted by National Geographic. Boulder wasn't the only Colorado city to make the happiest cities list; Fort Collins and Colorado Springs were both listed, ranking at No. 4 and 18. The study was conducted by National Geographic author Dan Buettner and Gallup's social scientist Dan Winters. The study looked at 15 metrics, including healthy eating, social/community engagement, financial security, and vacation time. It also factored in the 250,000 interviews conducted between 2014 and 2015 in nearly 190 metropolitan areas across the country. [caption id="attachment_25790" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] photo courtesy of National Geographic[/caption] National Geographic had this to say about Boulder:
Bolstered by a sense of community, access to nature, sustainable urban development and preservation policies, and perhaps event that clean mountain air, Boulderites overwhelmingly feel 'active and productive every day.'"[caption id="attachment_25789" align="aligncenter" width="598"] photo courtesy of Boulder Now (via @selinahogh)[/caption] Apparently, there's a correlation between a city's bike-ability and happiness. Who knew? And Boulder is definitely a bike city, with more people walking to work than any other city in the country. Plus, when you factor in the low rates of smoking and obesity, and the high rates of exercise, Boulderites have little to stress about. So its No. 1 ranking is well-deserved.
Fort Collins, another college city, wasn't far behind; the city ranked at No. 4 nationally. "The historic storefronts in Fort Collins, Colorado's Old Town inspired the design of Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A. Add in its views of Rocky Mountains, and it's no wonder Fort Collins ranks among the happiest cities in America." As a CSU alumna, I am extremely proud of that and will be boasting about it on a daily basis. Finally, the beautiful city of Colorado Springs came in at No. 18. Between "the stunning red rock formations" in the Garden of the Gods and the fact that it sits at the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs has a lot to be happy about! Were you surprised by the results of National Geographic's study? Are there other Colorado cities you believe deserve a spot in the rankings? Let us know in the comments below. Stay happy, Colorado!