Delaware County ranked 2nd happiest place to live


By Dustin Ensinger

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Delaware County is one of the happiest places to live in America, according to a study released recently.

The study, conducted by SmartAsset, found that Delaware is the second happiest county in the nation, just behind Loudon County in Virginia.

“Located north of Columbus, Delaware County has long been recognized as a great place to call home. The county’s median income is $89,757, while a three-person household in the county would need at least $34,057 to afford the necessities,” SmartAsset said in its study. “That adds up to an income-to-expenses ratio of 2.64, second highest of the nearly 1,000 counties in our analysis.”

The rankings were determined by several factors, including family stability, which was measured by marriage and divorce rates.

“Perhaps even more important to quality of life than finances, however, is family stability, and on that measure Delaware County likewise ranks near the top,” SmartAsset wrote. “Delaware County’s marriage rate of 64.2 percent is fourth highest of U.S. counties with a population over 50,000.”

Physical health, which includes average life expectancy and exercise rates; personal financial health, in the form of the personal bankruptcy rate in each county and the ratio between median income and the minimum income needed to afford basic necessities; and economic security, as measured by the unemployment rate and poverty rate from 2009 to 2013, were also taken into account.

“That kind of recognition is consistent with the results we just got back from our city survey,” said Lee Yoakum, spokesman for the city of Delaware. “It’s not surprising that our city and our greater county would be one of the happiest places to live.”

Through spokeswoman Teri Morgan, county Commissioners Barb Lewis and Gary Merrell declined to comment.

The study explored each of the nation’s 978 counties with a population of 5,000 or greater.

Geagua County was the only other Ohio county to make the rankings, coming in at 10th place.

See the study results here:

Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.

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