Finding the Happiest City in America required us to do image processing on over 100 million Instagram photos to count and size the smiles on people’s faces from around the USA. From counting those pixels, we were able to come up with a single Smile Score for each city.

St Louis happiest city in America

(Photo credit: Kaylee Nelson / Lindsey Riley)



You’ve all traveled around the world and know how good it feels to be welcomed in a new city by friendly faces. Well, it turns out, of all the cities in America, St. Louis smiles the most and the biggest. That news is exciting enough to turn the famous Gateway Arch frown upside down. Kansas City is #2 with lots of people smiling broadly and often, so here’s to the happy people of Missouri. What is their secret?

This data is a breakthrough in happiness research. Before today, all the measures of happiness were indirect. People answered census questions, or twitter messages were checked for words that might indicate positive or negative sentiment. Smiles from millions of people in millions of photos are the truest measure we have of happiness. It certainly helps to work out where to go to see a friendly face.


Download the Jetpac City Guides app for iPhone to see the happiest places in your city!



Here is the full list of the Happiest Cities in America:

United State of Smiles - the search for the Happiest City in America




Download the Jetpac City Guides app for iPhone to see the happiest places in your city!

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