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Happy Valley Named The Happiest Small Place In America

Movoto, an online real estate brokerage, recently ranked State College as the happiest small place in America in its list of the top 50.

Wondering what a small place is? According to the site, small places are defined as areas with between 40,000 to 61,000 people. Though State College’s population hovers around 87,000 when students are in town, the number of permanent residents is quite lower than that. The site evaluated cities based on information from sources such as the U.S. Census and the FBI Crime Report. Then, they were ranked on seven different “joy-inducing” categories based on statistics, including:

  • Stress factors (unemployment, commutes, and cost of living)

  • Personal safety (violent crimes per 100,000 people)

  • Percent of residents making more than $25,000/year

  • Percent of married residents

  • Home ownership

  • Percent of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher

  • Walkability score

State College scored in the top third in every area except the percent of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher.  This is pretty obvious since, you know, Penn State is here and the majority of town is college students.

Our cross-conference rival Michigan State also placed well on the list, with East Lansing coming in second. For those of you wondering, here is the complete list of the top 50 happiest small places in America.

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