Happiness is not equally distributed across the United States.
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper by Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser, University of British Columbia economics professor Joshua Gottlieb, and Harvard graduate student Oren Ziv tracks how people's self-perceived happiness varies among American cities.
The researchers used data from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an extensive survey coordinated by the CDC that tracks health behaviors and risk factors. One of the questions on the survey asks respondents how satisfied they are with their lives, with the four options of "very dissatisfied", "unsatisfied", "satisfied", and "very satisfied". This survey data is frequently viewed as an approximate measure of self-reported well being, or how happy people feel about their lives.
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