Amaerica's Unhappiest Cities

Well, it does not surprise me that Portland tops the list.

images.businessweek.com/ss/09/02/0226_miserable_cities/2.htm

Portland Oregon:
Overall rank: 1*
Depression rank: 1
Suicide rank: 12
Crime (property and violent) rank: 24
Divorce rate rank: 4
Cloudy days: 222
Unemployment rate (December 2008): 7.8%

By the way, the current unemployment rate is 9.9%.

I suspect the suicide rate does not include those who take their own lives via euthanasia, which is legal in Oregon.

Detroit, Mich.
Overall rank: 4
Depression rank: 46
Suicide rank: 50
Crime (property and violent) rank: 3
Divorce rate rank: 15
Cloudy days: 185
Unemployment rate (December 2008): 18.6%

Wow, Portland has an unemployment rate of just 9.9% and they are still more depressed than Detroiters?

If we had that low of a rate, we would be positively ecstatic. :cool:

get me outta this hell hole.
:rotfl:

one more reason not to buy.
:shrug:

Vegas keeps looking better and better.
images.businessweek.com/ss/09/02/0226_miserable_cities/8.htm

Las Vegas, Nev.

Overall rank: 7
Depression rank: 42
Suicide rank: 1
Crime (property and violent) rank: 9
Divorce rate rank: 6
Cloudy days: 73
Unemployment rate (December 2008): 9%

I moved from the sunny southwest to Portland the first week of the “rainy season” in 1988. I went into a depression that lasted until late Spring, when the sun came out and the flowers as big as dinner plates started blooming. I saw colors I didn’t realize actually existed in nature. It’s the most gloriously beautiful place I’ve ever seen and I was very happy there once I got past that first fall / winter. My brother lived with me there for over a year, though, and just couldn’t take it long enough to acclimate. He moved back to Texas post haste.

Cleveland, Ohio

Overall rank: 5
Depression rank: 17
Suicide rank: 27
Crime (property and violent) rank: 11
Divorce rate rank: 2
Cloudy days: 202
Unemployment rate (December 2008): 8.8%

This say it all:(

I am beginning to wonder about whether this tells us very much. I don’t know much about those other cities, but I do know something about St. Louis. The City of St. Louis, whose population has been shrinking drastically for decades, is now mainly the “inner city” for a metro area that contains 100+ and rapidly multiplying suburban cities which hold far and away most of the population.

I don’t know if that’s true of any of the other cities, but if you don’t talk about the remainder of the metro area of St. Louis, nothing else you say about “St. Louis” is valid.

Well, I know a little something about Kansas City as well. It’s not as drastic a situation as St. Louis, but the City of Kansas City itself is a prosperous strip mostly nestled against the Kansas border, with a huge blighted area to the east. Most of the prosperous part of the metro area is on the Kansas side in a number of new cities. There are also separate “cities” on the other side of the blighted area; to the south and to the north. I don’t know if it’s still true, but I remember that at one time, one of the suburban “cities” on the Kansas side was the wealthiest city in the U.S.

I have a feeling that this situation is probably true of most or all of the “unhappiest” cities. They’re talking about the worst parts of much larger metro areas. I hate to stir up something that might go off topic, but my suspicion is that in many cases we’re looking largely at the consequences of flight into suburban cities that have surrounded and hemmed in what used to be the city itself, but is now much more just a decaying core with a still commercially successful downtown largely staffed by commuters who don’t live in the city itself.

I agree with Ridgerunner. I went to school in St. Louis and still have many friends living in the area. BUT, none of them actually live in the city of St. Louis. The City is completely separate from St. Louis county, which is the outlying area. Any stats that deal with St. Louis City actually only reflect a small part of what is considered St. Louis. Because of that, I take any stats like that with a grain of salt.

Personally, I love St. Louis county. I’m not looking to move to a major metro area, but if I had to pick a place to go, I’d go there in a second and risk getting depressed.:wink:

Even though I live the Detroit Metro area, I live just outside the City of Detroit and the County it is in by about 2.75 miles.

The only time I go into the city is to go to Mass at the Grotto, the Auto Show, and a Used Book store. Other than that, I stay above 8 mile.

Louisville, Ky.

Overall rank: 17
Depression rank: 8
Suicide rank: 24
Crime (property and violent) rank: 29
Divorce rate rank: 1
Cloudy days: 73
Unemployment rate (December 2008): 7.5%

#1 in Divorce. So glad I live in a happier part of the state. We still want to give Louisville to Indiana. On the other hand, Louisville (pronounced loo-a-vull) has the closest perpetual adoration chapel to me.

It’s interesting to me to see what factors they included as determining happiness.

Depression
Suicide
Crime
Divorce
Cloudy days
Unemployment

I think there are other factors that I might consider in ranking the happiness of a city. I’m trying to think of factors where you might be able to find statistics to compare.

Affordability of homes. (It’s easier to be happy and serene if you can keep a roof over your head.)

Number of families vs. number of singles. (A city without children can’t be a really happy city.)

Membership in churches. (A happy city is one that worships God.)

Charitable contributions. (In a happy city people support others.)

Number of parks. (In a happy city people can enjoy the outdoors in places that are clean and safe.)

Number of homeless. (A city with a huge homeless population can’t possibly be happy.)

Violent crime. (A happy city is a peaceful city.)

What else?

I think you make a good point. The limited criteria, and the weight assigned to each own, make the article questionable. While the rankings were an interesting read, I don’t put much trust in them.

That is an interesting statistic…I love Portland…I’ve been here for 15 years this time…I live here 3 years thirty odd some years ago…it’s beautiful, diverse, rainy(I love the rain) and has some excellent restaurants and winerys. What’s not to be happy about!!!:shrug:

I think everybody has his or her own criteria for what makes a city a happy place. For me it’s World Cup Soccer, an international airport, a reliable public transit system that is open virtually 24/7 and that people can ride without fear for their lives, and lots of festivals. However, if your criteria include winning sports teams, you do not want to live here in Loserville! :smiley:

I agree with you, Publisher. I loved Portland; it was my adopted real home. The only reason I moved was for a career change. Add natural beauty to factors that make for happiness / quality of life. No place is prettier than Portland or has more opportunities for enjoyment of God’s creation right in the city or at least close by. I also found that, while Oregonians were a little more reserved than people in other areas of the country, once you made a friend, it was a deep friendship. I cherish my memories of Mt. Hood, the Grotto of Our Sorrowful Mother, the coast, Our Lady of Guadelupe Monastery in LaFayette, christmas tree farms, Forest Grove, shadows and mists in between the hills and the way the sea air glistened…sigh…

We’re number 1! We’re number 1! :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay…actually, all the happy people live just on the other side of the Columbia. :wink:

it’s ironic that the city which seems to have the most going for it: natural beauty, quality of life, outdoors, breweries, …etc. is the most depressed. goes to show that liberalism is a road to misery.

Yep, I knew it, there it is close to the top. St. Louis seems to always make the polls of being the most insert negative here. Funny thing is that I’ve lived close to the City of St. Louis (50 mile radius) my entire life and love it here. Go figure.

St. Louis, Mo.
Overall rank: 2
Depression rank: 13
Suicide rank: 22
Crime (property and violent) rank: 1
Divorce rate rank: 18
Cloudy days: 164
Unemployment rate (December 2008): 8.2%

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