Here's an unscientific observation. My wife lived in Madison, Wisconsin for a period of time, but was not necessarily that happy. That lone fact has not stopped the city from just being named one of the happiest cities in the entire world.

The Institute for Quality of Life just shared the 2024 version of their famous Happy City Index. How do they measure happiness? There's more science at work here than I can likely understand as they said it involves (exact words) "number of inhabitants, the availability of resources, social characteristics and expectations, the nature of the problems they have to face due to natural conditions or geopolitical location". I'll pretend I understand those metrics.

The simple answer is there are 6 different categories they use to measure a city's happiness and then they award gold, silver and bronze happiness awards along with a ranking. With those numbers crunched, Madison, Wisconsin received a bronze award and was ranked as the 167th happiest city in the world. Hey, that's pretty great since there are a ton of cities in the world.

I didn't do the exact math, but there were only a handful of American cities that received any awards with Minneapolis being the highest. Quick question. Have they ever actually been to Minneapolis? No offense intended, Minnesotans.

Let's just take this as the good news it is. Madison, Wisconsin, one of the happiest cities in the world. Someone should put that on a sign near the city. Have fun with that, Madison Chamber of Commerce.

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Gallery Credit: State of Wisconsin

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