Poll: Atlanta the 3rd happiest city

A happy Atlanta resident enjoys the sights downtown. (JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL)

A happy Atlanta resident enjoys the sights downtown. (JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL)

There’s no explanation for some things: The speed of the expanding universe, dark energy, dark matter and why people in Texas are so happy.

I’ve been to Dallas and the only good thing I can say about it is that it’s not Houston.

Unfortunately for the believability of a recent survey, those two Texas monstrosities are considered the “Happiest” two cities in the U.S.

As a nation, we are clearly doomed.

Atlanta is tied for 3rd with the cesspool known as Philadelphia. Even though we tied Philly, and ‘A’ comes before ‘P’ in this little thing called the “alphabet,” the press release writer chose to list us 4th, which makes about as much sense as a rubber crutch.

The problem with surveys is almost everyone lies, especially about how happy they are about stuff. Just a few minutes ago, for example, I said I would be happy to write a “Happiest Cities” blog entry.

The Harris Poll “Happiness Index” only ranks the 10 biggest metropolitan areas, so by being listed 4th, Atlanta is an also-ran.

The online poll, like all others, is flawed, but it alleges 33% of Americans are “very happy.”

The survey says “many factors may play into Americans’ happiness, including age, gender and race/ethnicity.”

Great. Most Americans can’t change anything about those “factors.”

I think happiness has more to do with relationships, hobbies, work and the ability to not get caught doing certain things. Those are things people CAN control.

Anyway, here’s the list of happiest cities and why I think people living there should be more miserable:

Dallas (38 percent are very happy): Tony Romo

Houston (36 percent): Mexico

Philadelphia (34 percent): Baseball

Atlanta (34 percent): Post-season baseball

Los Angeles (33 percent): Earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, smog, traffic, taxes, bankruptcy

New York (33 percent): Weiner, Spitzer — which sounds more like a German dish than shamed politicians

Washington D.C. (33 percent): More politicians

Chicago (32 percent): Gunfire

Boston (31 percent): Beans and their effect on human physiology

San Francisco (28 percent): Hills

Those with brains may have noticed that despite being tied for third, Atlanta is only 1 percent happier than the alleged average American.

San Fran residents are really miserable. Maybe the online survey was spammed by Jeff Francoeur’s last batting coach?

Are you happy? Tell us why, but don’t feel like you have to make stuff up.

More unbelievable news:

72 comments Add your comment

David

September 4th, 2013
11:45 am

I call BS on this study. I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never seen anyone happy.

ATL Pride

September 4th, 2013
11:48 am

Could it be all the shameless, often aggressive, panhandling by our resident drug-fueled Michael Vick Fanz that makes Atlanta such a “happy” place?

ATL Pride

September 4th, 2013
11:51 am

George,

Are you sure you aren’t confusing the term “happy” in this survey with a synonym for happy that rhymes with “day?”

If you are, then I do agree that parts of Atlanta such as Midtown and Decatur are some of the [HAPPY]est places on Earth (with apologies to Walt Disney).

Bill Clinton's Love Child

September 4th, 2013
12:44 pm

I’m not sure if this is true or not but I once heard that New Yorkers are only happy when they have something to complain about. How does this factor into the survey?

Bumper

September 4th, 2013
12:59 pm

I would’ve guessed San Fran at #1, the people radiate joy and gaiety there like no place else.

Obama=Feces

September 4th, 2013
1:00 pm

Wasn’t all the ‘Hope & Change’ baloney spouted by that sissy JiveTalker-in-Chief supposed to make everybody in every city in America equally happy? We’ll see how ‘Happy’ everybody is when they realize how much the unwanted ObamaCare is going to cost them thanks to that limp wristed, light in the loafers buffoon.

Tim T.

September 4th, 2013
1:03 pm

Atlanta can’t finish first in anything, well except our fine transportation arrangement to Turner Field. I know “Frenchy” has been in a little slump but that was below the belt. Frenchy is cool.

Bernie31

September 4th, 2013
1:25 pm

The Happiest people in Atlanta are the CRIMINALS and POLITICIANS for they both know no matter what they DO, they are NOT ACCOUNTABLE to anyone.

I wuz a Grady Baby

September 4th, 2013
1:54 pm

I gotz my Obama fone an my munthlee welfar check & soon I be gittin my Obamacare.

I sho iz happy in the ATL

C

September 4th, 2013
2:39 pm

Only on the free AJC.com does racism bloom unaplogetically. If it’s too “dark” here, then keep moving south towards Honey Boo Boo an’ em!

DownTownATL

September 4th, 2013
2:48 pm

i find this article quite offensive. i agree, an online survey is a horrible method. but offending entire populations of a city is quite rude. george mathis sounds like he’s publishing his personal problems.

linda

September 4th, 2013
2:49 pm

I agree with David. Everyone I know here is either unemployed or broke. Not to mention the traffic, general hassle of living here, and the noise and pollution. I’m out of here for the country, thank you.

Fresh Road Kill is good

September 4th, 2013
2:56 pm

Well Linda, maybe you should not hang around broke, unemployed people…remember the saying: you are a reflection of the company you keep!.

GA Peach Princess

September 4th, 2013
3:04 pm

There must be a lot of people with one foot in the grave here, because those are truly the happiest people.

Don't Tread

September 4th, 2013
3:06 pm

Wasn’t there an article a couple weeks ago that listed Atlanta as one of the most unhappy places? (Maybe they listed that as “contentment” or something.)

New York: Home of “stop and frisk”, I’ll bet the statists up there are loving that (individual rights are a bad thing, you know). Are the gays switching to bulky clothing so they’ll have a better chance of being stopped and frisked? I also wonder if 16 ounce drink shipments have resumed, or is there underground enforcement of the law now invalidated by the courts? Hang on to your Happy Meals, they’re probably Premier Bloomberg’s next target.

MoreOftheSame

September 4th, 2013
3:32 pm

How cuold anyone possibly happy living in Philthydelphia

gj2001

September 4th, 2013
3:40 pm

What pit did George Mathis crawl in?

Roekest

September 4th, 2013
3:44 pm

The real story is that a vast majority of Americans are unhappy. Crappy economy, war-happy Nobel Peace Prize winning President, Miley Cyrus, etc. It’s all just a comedy of errors.

Tia

September 4th, 2013
4:23 pm

What makes me happy is this article and I am not making this up. It’s funny! Lighten up people!

bubba dodd

September 4th, 2013
4:54 pm

I’ve lived in Dallas, Houston and Atlanta….Atlanta was once a great, great City until the Ivan Allen and Sam Masell leadership left office. Leadership since has been absymal…Atlanta’s pulse is still there but the long time burden of corrupt…self intrest…minority leadership has been a major drag on the pride of the city. Houston and Dallas citizens have a “feel good” attitude regarding their political leaders decisions…..Atlanta’s citizens have regressed to accept the logic…”Our politicians are corrupt ,self serving, minority benefit driven but we are still strong enough to over come.”

bev

September 4th, 2013
5:33 pm

HAHA David!! I agree!!

cooper

September 4th, 2013
6:08 pm

lol..why does every discussion turn into racism,hatred for blacks and talking about Obama…THIS IS NOT WHAT THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT!!!Atlanta will never truly become a world class city until it gets over its bitter racial divide…other then that Atlanta has lost its appeal due to its quality of life issues…bad traffic,horrible crime,poor customer service and the humidity is awful!!!world class cities??Seattle.San Francisco,Los angeles,boston,miami,Houston,vancouver,canada,

Hope & Change

September 4th, 2013
6:51 pm

With Obama in the White House and everyone enjoying peace and prosperity you’d think there would be more happy people out there.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
6:59 pm

When Turner Hill mall was being built, and faltered. That mud pit and my truck were a match made in heaven. It was glorious.

Terrified the nieces, but, that was half the fun!

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:08 pm

OH, and that time at the river. ~20 fully inflated floats on the shore, relatively secluded spot on the rapids with not a soul in sight.

Absolutely made the weekend, thanks stranger!

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:18 pm

WAIT, not started yet. Young girl of about 5 with the sun shining through the trees, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in hand blissfully balancing on a fallen log, not a care in the world.

My mind took a picture that it will never forget. Maybe 20 years ago, priceless.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:24 pm

WAIT, I’m warming up! Being very, very angry on a motorbike, took it between two cars going opposite directions, at speed. The visual all four mirrors passing within an inch of each other.

Exhilarating.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:26 pm

No, no, the dream I had as a child jumping over the rooftops in the neighborhood. There were dinosaurs!

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:30 pm

Or the guy I raced who was in a Porsche! Through I-285 traffic, I never thought any car could fit through the holes I was ripping. Never forgot the briefcase in his passenger when he blew past me. I was not going slow.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:41 pm

Kids climbing the trees in Decatur Square. ‘Nuff said. Six Flags, the mine train. Fall colors in North GA.

It’s like nobody is even trying. Enough about Obama.

The brother that crawled out the door to call down the guy pointing a gun at me? Thanks.
The Mexican who picked up my broke car in the middle of a hurricane of traffic? Thanks.

PS: Never travel alone on long trips. The urge to say, “Did you see that.” is almost painful.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:45 pm

dlink

September 4th, 2013
7:47 pm

I made a new page at the AJC hahhahahhahahaha.

Sometimes it the little things in life.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:00 pm

I shouldn’t forget the black cop with a horseshoe brand on his shoulder. Calmly shut down a drunk who was beating his wife and wanted another go at her at the hospital. Just like the guy ran into a brick wall.

That guy was a pro. Props DeKalb County.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:08 pm

Wait, wait… Shooting paper targets from the front porch, with a shotgun. N. GA. There was something else…

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:14 pm

The snow. When it happens, everybody just takes the day off in GA. YES! SNOWDAY!

I’ve driven down I-285 covered in pristine snow. It’s like driving through an empty never before seen field. No lines, no guidance, beautiful.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:18 pm

I could do this all day. The Chattahoochee, ice cold in April. It’s cold, finding a warm rock in the middle is next to heaven. Pro-Tip, don’t let the guy with the cooler float away.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:20 pm

If anybody finds this and are curious. Yes, I’m deliberately hammering this comment thread.

The people posting earned it.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:31 pm

I think people need to be reminded of the good times now and again.

The flooded creek and lost canoe as a child, I got that. I did, I got the canoe. Creeks turning into rivers in a matter of minutes. It’s kind of awesome.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:35 pm

I’ll say it. We get thunder and lightning in GA.

California is just broken. I love it!

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:39 pm

I think I’ll make another page.

Got hit by a car as a child/they stopped.

Bonked out off a bike into a creek, bleeding from the head, the neighbors pulled me out and patched me up. They were not MY neighbors.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:44 pm

Childhood crush. Didn’t work out, I was like 5 at the time. There’s only one, her name was Theresa.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
8:46 pm

BOOM. Should have guessed that would do it.

The dog coming through the back window of the truck. How did he do that, insane comedy immediately followed.

GaDawg

September 4th, 2013
9:02 pm

There’s lots to be happy about in Atlanta if you have not been mugged, car jacked, given a parking ticket, seen your taxes go up, however most law abiding people are not happy while the free loaders and thugs are pretty happy

Boywonder

September 4th, 2013
9:08 pm

Hey George
Here’s a hint.
Don’t go back to Texas.
We don’t want you either – little twerp.

Boywonder

September 4th, 2013
9:11 pm

And did anyone notice the picture either George or the original OP posted?

I highly doubt that is “a resident of Atlanta enjoying the sights”.

It looks more like a carny from a visiting fair, or Cirque Du Soleil was in town for the day.
But that Rubics Cube photo-bombed him!

Boywonder

September 4th, 2013
9:13 pm

I’ll be really happy when we build a wall around Atlanta like in “Escape From New York”.

I do believe that is what the perimeter was designed for – if we wall off the baboons we can still circumnavigate the zoo.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
9:28 pm

You are all very interesting people and very off-topic. I had a dragonfly land on my fishing pole at the local pond. The snakes came out, the dragonfly survived.

We had a lot of fun making sure the dragonfly survived.

Chuck Allison

September 4th, 2013
9:30 pm

Is George Mathis just trying to irritate people. He must have goofed off 7 hours and 55 minutes today, then wrote this in his last five minutes before heading back home. Atlanta is known in Alabama and South Carolina as the Poultice of the South.

dlink

September 4th, 2013
9:36 pm

Speaking of snakes and good times, there was a bridge at a YMCA camp. We had BB guns and there were snakes in the water. We killed because they gave us guns, and it was fun target practice.

It was a fun growing up experience.

bob

September 4th, 2013
9:55 pm

If ignorance is bliss, you’d think Atlanta would be number one.