Stay Happy Nigerians; Moving to These US Cities May Give you the Blues

Nigerians are everywhere. Millions of Nigerians have emigrated from Nigeria to other parts of the world, with a significant number leaving after 1990. These migrants and their descendants make up the Nigerian Diaspora. Estimates of the size of the Nigerian Diaspora vary greatly and range from about 5 million to 15 million people.

Happy Black Woman

A great number of Nigerians are moving to the U.S. for greater opportunity or are born into suburban and urban communities as diaspora children.

Gallup and Healthways partner to create the Community Well-Being Index measuring American cities based upon how well they provide for social and financial success, community integration, and life purpose for the residents. If you live in one of these cities, you might think about moving to a happier city in the nation.

Not all residents here are crying in their homes; however, their emotional well-being overall is lower than average.


Worst Scoring Area: Physical Health
Cincinnati’s poor ranking stems mostly from its location in the Rust Belt. There is a silver lining to Cincinnati’s numbers, though. After 40 years, the city’s population has begun to rise again, and the unemployment rate now sits below the national average after being higher as recently as January 2014. Now if only the city could work on its personal health and wellness.

SKYLINE-LOCAL: Sunday May 5, 2013: Golden light from a brief but glorious sunrise lights downtown and a rainbow forms to the northwest during the start of the 15th Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon Sunday morning. The Enquirer/Glenn Hartong.
Photo/The Enquirer/Glenn Hartong

9. DETROIT, Michigan

Worst Scoring Area: Community Pride
Detroiters have seen their fair share of hard times recently. The city has lost 60% of its population since peaking at almost 2 million people, and in 2013 the city government filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in the country. Estimates place the number of abandoned houses at around 10,000 throughout Detroit, but here’s to hoping there are some creative solutions ahead for this troubled town.


Worst Scoring Area: Supportive Relationships
Columbusites aren’t feeling the support they need. Recent Gallop-Healthways surveys have 67% of respondents saying that at some point in the past year they didn’t have enough money to buy the food they need. The area also ranks as one of the worst for providing its citizens with adequate access to health services.

7. SCRANTON, Pennsylvania

Worst Scoring Area: Community Pride
Even the upbeat nature of The Office couldn’t save Scranton from the saddest cities list. The fictional home of the Dunder Mifflin paper company is falling behind other cities in the nation when measuring community pride. For the last 70 years, residents have been slowly leaving, and Scranton’s government was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy in 2012.

scranton_Lindsay Lazarski_WHYY
Photo/Lindsay Lazarski


Worst Scoring Area: Physical Health
You might be surprised that sunny Florida is home to one of the saddest cities in the country. Deltona serves as a commuter town for Orlando, meaning most of the city’s residents work outside the town. All the commuting while sitting in a car is a drag on Deltona-Daytona Beach’s residents health, and the area has an above average usage of antidepressants.

Deltona-Daytona Beach


Worst Scoring Area: Physical Health
Indianapolis may be doing better than some other cities along the Rust Belt since much of its economy doesn’t rely strictly on manufacturing, but the city’s workers are some of the unhappiest in the nation. With the four largest employers operating in the medical field, it seems workers have a high degree of stress. Indianapolis also led the state in foreclosures.


4. DAYTON, Ohio

Worst Scoring Area: Physical Health
Like many other places in Ohio, Dayton has consistently been losing residents though this has finally seemed to taper off in the last couple of years. The city scores well in happy workers, the happiest in the state thanks to a diverse economy, however, problematic lifestyle choices lead to poor health. Let’s hope Dayton turns that particular frown upside down.


3. KNOXVILLE, Tennessee

Worst Scoring Area: Physical Health
Health-related issues are the main reason Knoxville ranks so poorly nationwide. Nearly a third of residents say that they are physically inactive, and Tennessee’s obesity rate is the fourth highest in the nation. A poverty rate greater than the national average as well as lower-than-average income also helps to propel Knoxville down the list.


2. TOLEDO, Ohio

Worst Scoring Area: Community Pride
As the home of Chrysler and GM, the auto bust spelled bad news for the city of Toledo and it’s residents. The unemployment rate has since rebounded to near national averages, but the city as a whole still has a particularly high poverty rate. It’s clear that this city has a loss in community pride with a loss of population that has continued unabated since the 1980s.



Worst Scoring Area: Personal Purpose and Supportive Relationships
The saddest city on the list comes from Ohio, no surprise there if you’ve been following along. The area scored poorly in nearly ever metric measured. Youngstown’s rate of vacant houses is nearly twenty times that of the national average, and the city has lower than average wages and percentages of residents with college-level degrees. All in all, these residents could use some cheering up.

Photo/New York Times