The midtown New York City skyline, including the Empire State Building, is seen from the air over New York (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)The midtown New York City skyline, including the Empire State Building, is seen from the air over New York (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new study by Harvard University and the University of British Columbia has declared the Big Apple the nation’s unhappiest city.
The study asked residents, “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?”
New Yorkers were the least satisfied, followed by people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Louisville, Kentucky.
Two Virginia cities — Richmond and Norfolk — were ranked the happiest cities, followed by Washington, D.C.
The working paper “Unhappy Cities,” was co-authored by Joshua Gottlieb of the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Economics and Harvard University’s Edward Glaeser and Oren Ziv.
The data suggests people may be trading happiness for a good job opportunity or lower housing prices.
“Our research indicates that people care about more than happiness alone, so other factors may encourage them to stay in a city despite their unhappiness,” Gottlieb said.
The research also found that new residents seem to be as unhappy as those who have lived there longer, “suggesting that the city’s unhappiness persists over time,” according to a press release from the University of British Columbia.
Despite the findings, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria found many people in Little Neck, Queens who said they are very happy living in New York.
“I smile and say hello to people that I don’t even know, and I’ve lived here all my life,” Jason Ryan said, adding that he understands why many New Yorkers might be miserable. “Traffic, it’s cold in the winter and disgusting in the summer.”
“I am happy, but I feel like there is a struggle in New York — we are very expensive, we have high taxes and it kind of sucks — but there’s no greater place to be, so you suck it up if you want to be here,” said Sarah Michelle. “I just love the people, I love that the city’s so close, you have Long Island so close, you can go to the beach, you see all the sights.”
“It’s exciting, I love it, I grew up here my whole life,” one man said.
Even though many claimed to be in a good mood most of the time, they said they’ll probably leave New York when they retire, D’Auria reported.