We’re Number 1 (Again)

March 5, 2013 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln made yet another “best of” list. This time Lincoln is #1 in Gallup’s “Well-Being Index” (PDF). Or as the Journal Star puts it, Lincoln is the happiest place in the U.S.

Is it really true? I doubt it. These sorts of surveys and indexes are based on one organization’s definition of whatever it is they’re purporting to rank. It’s a fuzzy process prone to all kinds of problems.

We could casually dismiss these results and move on. After all, Washington, D.C. made the top 10. Anybody who thinks D.C. is a happy place is delusional. (The index actually uses the entire D.C. metro area in its rankings; neighboring communities are orders of magnitude better off than D.C. itself.) Certainly the reaction on Twitter and in the LJS’s comment section leans sarcastic. But that’s mostly the squeaky wheels talking.

We oughtn’t toss these measures aside. Instead, look at them in bulk. Have you noticed how many “best of” lists Lincoln is on these days? We have low unemployment, low cost of living, low crime, great schools, great parks and trails, a steady economy, a strong music scene, and more. Those factors come together to move Lincoln up all kinds of lists. Although any individual “top 10” list might be little more than a garbage press release, collectively they represent something pretty fantastic. We should be proud of that. I know I am.

So although Lincoln might not actually be the happiest place

on Earth

in the United States, we’ve got a pretty good thing going. I’m happy about that.

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The Comments

Fletch March 5, 2013 at 6:25pm

You neglected to mention that Lincoln is the home to top-notch blogs and bloggers. That makes me happy.

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