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Friday, July 31, 2015

Can money buy happiness?


   Apparently if you live in Howard County it can.  The magazine Smart Asset has listed Howard County as the 7th happiest county in the country.  I don't know about the other counties on the list but Loudoun and Fairfax Counties in Virginia also have a high per capita income too.  I am not sure that high incomes are the best factor to examine in determining happiness but it seems to be the main factor in selecting the happiest counties. Here is what the magazine said about Howard County:

    "This Maryland County is located west of Baltimore and has the fifth lowest poverty rate of the nearly 1,000 counties in our study. Just 4.6% of Howard County’s population lives below the poverty line.

    Howard County also has some of the best public schools in the country. The Howard County Public School system’s 2014 graduation rate of 92.85% is well above both state and national averages. While the quality of public education was not factored into our analysis, it is likely an important consideration for anyone thinking about moving to or buying a home in Howard County."

Here is the list of the top ten counties from the magazine:

Loudoun County, Va.
Delaware County, Ohio
Fairfax County, Va.
Carver County, Minn.
York County, Va.
Chester County, Pa.
Howard County, Md.
Ozaukee County, Wis.
Douglas County, Colo.
Geauga County, Ohio

     County Exec Kittleman touts the news here.

P.S. 1
   Today is the last day to register for the Howard County Housing Moderate Income Housing Unit Program.  Best way to snag a moderately priced home in Howard County. Obtaining one of these moderately priced homes would anyone happy.



Anonymous said...

Well, let's see. I know something about some of these counties. Chester County, PA, is home to the "Main Line"; the very wealthy, old-money suburbs of Philly. Douglas County, CO, is south of Denver; it's home to a lot of the new-money telecom/cable wealth from that area. Delaware County, OH, is the wealthy northern suburbs of Columbus. Geauga County is the wealthy eastern suburbs of Cleveland. Ozaukee County is the wealthy northern suburbs of Milwaukee, which by the way is the most segregated big city in the US. And Carver County is the wealthy western suburbs of Minneapolis. So, yes, it appears that money can by happiness, according to this survey.

If you look at the survey criteria, though, that's not a surprise. The four main factors of "happiness" are: economic security; personal financial health; physical health; and family stability, as evidenced by marriage and divorce rates. So, yeah, it strikes me that wealthy suburbs populated mostly be families would do well.

Anonymous said...

BTW, if I wanted to be politically incorrect, I could point out how HoCo is (almost) unique on that list. There's shockingly little diversity. Carver County is 95.95% white. Ozaukee, Geauga, Delaware and Douglas Counties are all about 95% white or more. Chester County is 82.1% white, and York County is 76.4%. Only Howard, Fairfax and Loudoun are in the 60-70% white range, and in all three of those cases Asian-Americans make up a pretty high percentage of the remainder.

Howard and York counties are the only ones on the "happiness" list that are more than 10% African-American.

Anonymous said...

And before anybody misinterprets my second comment and starts throwing out "racist", I'm not asserting anything about a connection between race and "happiness." I'm pointing out two things: one, this survey's criteria for "happiness" are almost bound to lead to those results; and two, along with Fairfax County, HoCo is pretty unique in being wealthy and "happy" while still being diverse.