Forget Disneyland -- Colorado is now one of the happiest places on Earth. (Thibault Camus, AP)

Happiest cities in U.S.: Weed-friendly Colorado, California each have 3 in Top 20

While most polls declaring This City the fittest, This Doctor the best and That State the booziest seem lazily researched, the recent Gallup poll on American well-being seems legitimate in its conception and execution.

To boot: Weed-friendly Colorado and California each have three communities in the index’s Top 20, beating out all of their neighbors. Coincidence?

More than 178,000 interviews were conducted on physical and emotional health, work environment, social and community factors and financial security. According to Gallup: “The analysis is based on data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index┬«, a definitive measure and empiric database of real-time changes in well-being throughout the world.”


Poll vault: Is sugar more harmful than marijuana? Is weed harming Colorado’s reputation? See these poll results and more.


The study also looked at things like bike lanes, mobile farmers markets, public transport and local events and festivals while coming up with its community rankings, which includes three Colorado regions in the Top 20 of the study’s top quintile — a statistic only rivaled by California, which also has three regions in the Top 20.

The study’s 2nd, 3rd and 18th happiest communities in the U.S. are Boulder, Fort Collins/Loveland and Denver, respectively. California takes 5th, 8th and 9th with San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles and San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, respectively.

Washington state’s legal recreational sales will open up in the coming months, but it only has one community in the Top 20: Bellingham at No. 12.