We <3 Houston?

Houstonians, Are You Happy?

According to a recent WalletHub study, you aren't. We set out to investigate the real truth of those results.

By Marianella Orlando May 25, 2017 Published in the June 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Our beloved Space City was ranked at a sad No. 104 out of 150 of the nation’s happiest cities, according to a recent WalletHub study that considered three key factors: emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, and community/environment.

Meanwhile, Plano came in at No. 19, Austin at 22, Grand Prairie at 34, El Paso at 42, Arlington at 69, and Dallas at 86. Appalled by the results, we took to Facebook and Instagram and asked our readers if they were happy living here. Here’s a sampling of their responses:

@ nerdy_awkward_blackgirl: “I am a transplant here from NYC. … Houston is a dope city—as a professional, I like the job market, and the housing is affordable—but the heat, TRAFFIC, ridiculous drivers, and no real commuter options besides park-and-rides quickly devalue those other things.”

@staciared2: “We thought living in Houston would be temporary, but we love it so much here we have turned down offers which would take us to other cities. It would be hard to give up the colorful cultural fabric of Houston—and, you know, the food.”

“@13thfloorvintage: “I was only supposed to stay 6 months, then head to CA. That was 14 years ago now. Even moved to ATX and moved back as soon as my lease was up. … Houston is the best city in Texas, or at least I think so…”

@saravanalvarez: “Affordable housing, trees, new, thoughtfully planned playgrounds (looking at you, Levy Park), and great, non-mall shopping and dining options (CityCentre, Highland Village, Rice Village, Upper Kirby).”

@zoesahs: “While I’m a northern girl still new to the area, I’d say this area is sorely lacking [in] environmental awareness, and seems behind the times. Park systems, nature centers, and outdoor education are surprisingly sparse. … It leaves me walking around with a question mark above my head most of the time.”

@trexx1009: “After 25 years, I left the traffic, the crime, and the endless summers behind. Now living in NW Arkansas with no traffic, sparse crime, and 4 distinct seasons. For me it is better to be from there than to live there.”

Juana Mata: “Houston is a small world. … So many people from different nationalities form this beautiful city. Why would we want to go anywhere [else]? Everything is right here! [We have] culture, food, entertainment—so much so that when someone arrives from another country at work, they are always overwhelmed. We rock, we don’t need the validation, that’s what makes our city great!”

Laura Gonzalez Gray: “I love my insane city of Houston. No zoning, strip clubs right down the street from churches, amazing shopping, low cost of living, global cuisine—what more can you ask for!? #InnerLoopForLife”

Rey Crz: “I would be happier if people knew how to drive and 290 [were] completed; that’ll easily shoot us up another 20–30 spots.”

Patrick Martin: “I love Houston, but happiness is a choice, no matter where you live.”

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