STATE COLLEGE, Pa., (CBS) —  Apparently it’s called Happy Valley for a reason.

The tiny town of State College is topping a list of happiest small places in America.

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State College surrounds Penn State’s University Park campus.

The rankings were made by Movoto Real Estate and were based on several factors from stress factors to personal safety.

Using sources like the 1010 U.S. Census, the 2012 FBI /Uniform Crime Report, and, The Movoto Real Estate Blog collected data in seven different joy-inducing criteria:

  • Stress factors (including unemployment, commutes, and cost of living)
  • Personal safety (violent crimes per 100,000 people)
  • Percent of residents making greater than $25,000/year
  • Percent of married residents
  • Home ownership
  • Percent of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Walkability score


They omitted any places that didn’t have data, which left them with a total of 391 different places. Then, they ranked each place in each category from one to 391, with scores closer to one being better.

Finally, they averaged each place’s rankings into one total score, with lower numbered scores being happier.

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The towns on the list had a population between 40,000 and 61,000.

East Lansing, Michigan, home to Michigan State, came in second.

Here’s their list of the 10 happiest small places in the nation:

1. Municipality of State College, PA
2. City of East Lansing, MI
3. City of Corvallis, OR
4. Town of Blacksburg, VA
5. Town of Normal, IL
6. City of Manhattan, KS
7. City of Ames, IA
8. City of Royal Oak, MI
9. City of Burlington, VT
10. City of Stillwater, OK

For more, click here.

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