Is Fairfax County One of the Happiest Places in America?

Run with Santa 5K 2014/Courtesy PR RacesA new study says Fairfax County and its western neighbor Loudoun are some of the happiest places in America.

In its second annual survey, the financial website looked at nearly 1,000 counties with populations of 50,000 or more. Smartasset then looked at eight factors, some positive and some negative.

The positive factors were each county’s marriage rate, income ratio (the ratio of median income to cost of living), life expectancy and physical activity rate (the percentage of the population getting adequate physical activity each week). The negative factors were each county’s poverty rate, unemployment rate, divorce rate and personal bankruptcy rate.

Not included were factors that residents who live here experience: high home costs, long commutes and an overcrowded public school system.

Here is what Smartasset found:

No. 1 — Loudoun County takes the top spot for the second year in a row. The unemployment rate and poverty rate are both under 4 percent. Smartasset says Loudoun’s poverty rate was the lowest of any county in the study. Also, Loudoun’s income ratio is over 2.5, which means the median income is more than twice the cost of living.

Loudoun came in with a happiness rating of 1oo, partly due to a 3.2 percent unemployment rate, a 3.8 percent poverty rate and a life expectancy of 82.6 percent, the study showed.

No. 2 — Fairfax County, which is “one of just three counties in our study to have a life expectancy over 83 years,” says Smartasset.

The median income in Fairfax County is high, at $100,584. That’s almost twice the national median income. That’s impressive since the county’s population of 1.1 million is greater than that of eight states and the District of Columbia. Still, the poverty rate is 6 percent.

Fairfax’s unemployment rate is also 3.2 percent, according to Smartasset’s numbers. The county’s physical activity rate scores above 52. Overall, Fairfax received a mark of 99.96.

See the full ratings scale and the top 25 counties on

Rounding out the top 10:

3. Carver County, Minn.

4. Chester County, Pa.

5. Hunterdon County, NJ

6. Morris County, NJ

7. Howard County, Md.

8. Douglas County, Colo.

9. Somerset County, NJ

10. Ozaukee County, Wis.

Photo: Fairfax County has one of the highest physical activity rates, which contributes to the happiness scale, says Smartasset.

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

Vienna bookstore Bards Alley is participating in the town’s holiday decorating contest (photo by Amy Woolsey) I-66 HOV Change Starts Today — “The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reminds travelers…

The Barton Hill Recreation Area in Reston is slated for upgrades (via Google Maps) Upgraded lighting is no longer a component of upgrades to the Barton Hill tennis courts in…

Fairfax County Public Schools Fairfax County Public Schools could require parental notifications for class materials deemed sexually explicit, but in a deviation from the state, the proposed policy directly addresses…

A public art piece inspired by the connectivity and energy of atoms has been erected in Reston Town Center’s Hyatt Park. Called “Vidustria,” the installation is drawn from the word…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.


Subscribe to our mailing list