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St. Louis Is The Happiest City In America - Or At Least Our Instagram Photos Say So

(via Flickr/Jessica.Tam)

The world now knows what every St. Louisian has known for a long time.  

We are the happiest city in the United States.  

Don't believe it?  It's true ... at least according to the makers of a new app called Jetpac, who came to their conclusion by analyzing thousands of public Instagram photographs. Jetpac explains in a blog post that their system includes ranking smiles in those photos from 1-100 to create a "smile score."  They also looked at lipstick, blue skies and hipster mustaches.  We're not sure how those details are indicators of happiness, but we're too happy to care.

Credit Shula Neuman
The happiest newsroom in the happiest city in the United States: St. Louis Public Radio.

But really, when you think about it, St. Louis has a lot to be happy about. Just look at how other organizations rank St. Louis:

  • Kiplingers places St. Louis ninth for "Best City for Cheapskates" (pretty sure this is a compliment referring to our low cost of living).
  • Lumosity, the brain-strengthening web site, ranks Washington University in St. Louis as the sixth smartest collegein the country. No surprise there.
  • Livability.com pegs St. Louis as the second best place to retire.  (Apparently, Cincinnati ranks first which we find hard to believe because they don't have short wait times at the supermarket ... see below).
  • And, it turns out, single retirees especially like St. Louis. The AARP names St. Louis among the top ten cities in the country for older single people. And you thought Grandma played bridge all day.
  • Perhaps our biggest bragging point is that in 2009, we had the shortest wait time in a supermarket line. With an average wait-time of 59 seconds, it was the shortest wait in the entire country! That's according to savvysugar.com.

So, there you have it.  Enjoy this weekend's snowy weather, with the blissful knowledge that St. Louis is happiest. We're happier than Kansas City; happier than New York; even happier than Anaheim, CA ... home to the so-called happiest place on earth, Disneyland.

Shula is the executive editor at St. Louis Public Radio.