Communities rank among 'happiest' in Michigan
A pair of local communities are considered to be among the top-10 "happiest" places in Michigan.
East Grand Rapids ranks No. 1 and Forest Hills ranks No. 6 in a ranking of the “10 Happiest Cities in Michigan” posted last week by HomeSnacks.net, an infotainment website.
HomeSnacks took the 101 largest cities in the state and created a set of criteria that should relate to levels of happiness: percentage of residents with a college degree; average commute time; employment rate; annual household income; cost of living; crime rate; number of sunny days in a year; percentage of married couples; and percentage of home owners.
Communities were ranked by each factor and an overall ranking was determined by taking the average ranking across the eight categories.
The ranking is based on data from several sources: the FBI, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places.
HomeSnacks also used geo-location on Twitter to find tweets in each community using the hashtag #happy.
East Grand Rapids
East Grand Rapids’ place at the top of the ranking is based in part on its education level, with 78 percent of the population being college graduates, the highest percentage in the state.
Also cited is residents’ average commute time of 17 minutes and the city’s ranking as the fifth safest in the state.
East Grand Rapids also boasts the state’s second highest average household income, marriage rate and home-ownership rate.
Forest Hills is the only community in Michigan that is wealthier and has a higher marriage rate and home ownership rate than East Grand Rapids.
It’s ranked as the safest community in the state as well.
However, a couple facts kept Forest Hills from a higher spot on the ranking: its relatively high cost of living and residents' average commute time of 20 minutes.
“10 Happiest Cities in Michigan”
1. East Grand Rapids (population: 11,283)
2. Allen Park (28, 210)
3. Troy (80,990)
4. Beverly Hills (10,267)
5. Livonia (96, 642)
6. Forest Hills (25, 867)
7. Rochester Hills (70, 995)
8. Holt (23,973)
9. Berkley (14,970)
10. Midland (41,863)
Source: HomeSnacks, 2015