Study: Seattle is cool, but not very happy

SEATTLE — Seattle is ranked the #4 coolest city in America, according to a study released this week. Rival Portland is #1.

Comparing every North American city across a range of factors, including the number of record stores, microbreweries, tattoo studios, vegan restaurants, and thrift stores, online betting site Betway has analyzed the best locations to enjoy the hipster lifestyle.

Betway based the findings on a city’s art scene, nightlife, diversity, and commitment to sustainability.

Portland had an almost-perfect index score of 3.958 out of 5, home to a whopping 110 record stores and 188 microbreweries, 35% more than Seattle.

Taking fourth, Seattle scored 2.470 out of 5, with 139 microbreweries and a reasonable number of record stores and veggie food outlets.

The other northwest city in the study, Tacoma, ranked 29 out of 40.

The study also found that the coolest cities in North America are becoming increasingly popular with tourists and young professionals. Despite the fact that Portland has seen somewhat of an exodus since the pandemic, the economy remains relatively strong.

Of course, what makes a city cool is a matter of personal opinion.

The only cities standing between Portland and Seattle were New York and Los Angeles.

Washington gets average marks for happiness

In a separate study, Washington state ranked as the 22nd happiest state in the union, and Oregon ranked 38th.

Even though people across the U.S. are facing difficult times, the study by WalletHub, a personal finance site, showed that the state in which you live may have an impact on how happy you are.

WalletHub drew upon the findings of “happiness” research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical, and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.

“It is important to live where you can afford housing without being financially stressed and where you can build some sort of community and develop strong friendship networks,” said Miriam Liss, professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington. “Research suggests that other variables such as weather are considerably less important than most people think.”

To determine where Americans exhibit the best combination of these factors, WalletHub examined the 50 states across 30 key metrics, ranging from the depression rate and the share of adults feeling productive to income growth and the unemployment rate.

The happiest states were Utah and, unsurprisingly, Hawaii.

This story was originally published by MyNorthwest.