February 8

Portland ranked among happiest cities in U.S.

It ranks right up there with Boulder, San Diego, Honolulu and a few others, according to Green Living magazine.

From Staff Reports

Portland is the happiest city in the eastern United States, and one of only seven “happy cities” nationwide, according to Green Living magazine.

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Dolores Wilhoite of Portland watches the MS Regatta from the Eastern Promenade last August. “The smogless skies make Portland the healthiest urban center in the states,” according to Green Living magazine.

2013 Press Herald File Photo/Gabe Souza

Green Living, which is published in Scottsdale, Ariz., said it based the list of seven cheerful communities on national polls and surveys that rank amenities such as good health care, good housing and good shopping.

The magazine’s website has this to say about Portland:

“Between the impressive air and water quality, and twice as many doctors per capita versus the national average, the smogless skies make Portland the healthiest urban center in the states. Portland has various landscapes such as the White Mountains that can be hiked and explored, and coastal waterways to be toured by boat. Portland’s obesity rate of 15 percent falls below the national average of 21 percent, which could be due, in part, to the widespread availability of organic food shops. If you like to indulge, it also has some of the best lobster available.”

Wait, “some” of the best lobster?

Sure, the White Mountains aren’t in Portland and neither is Portland Head Light, which, despite being in Cape Elizabeth, is shown on the website as a symbol of Maine’s largest city. But, hey, close enough.

The other “happy cities” on the list are San Diego, Calif.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Boulder, Colo.; Bend, Ore.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Minneapolis, Minn.

In a news release Friday touting the happy news, Mayor Michael Brennan took the opportunity to invoke the city’s branding slogan. “This designation by Green Living magazine confirms what Portland residents already know – that life is good here,” Brennan said.

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