Via Julie Zeveloff at Business Insider, I see that the Des Moines/West Des Moines metro area ranked eighth on Gallup’s latest survey measuring how satisfied Americans are with their city of residence. The latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is based on 531,630 interviews the polling firm conducted in 189 metropolitan areas throughout 2012-2013. Data collected are based on at least 300 respondents from each metro area. Click through for the full chart. About 92.2 percent of respondents in the Des Moines metro area said they were satisfied with where they live, not far off the highest satisfaction reported, 94.9 percent in the Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado area.
The Omaha/Council Bluffs metro fell just outside the top ten, with a 91.6 resident satisfaction rate, according to Gallup. The Quad Cities area ranked 75th out of the 189 metros; 86.6 percent of adults surveyed were satisfied to live in the area. Cedar Rapids was a lot lower in the rankings (112th) but not much different in terms of satisfaction: 84.4 percent.
Judging from Gallup’s data, Americans are surprisingly content with their cities of residence. Even at the bottom of the table in Rockford, Illinois, more than 72 percent of respondents said they were satisfied. I would guess this data point reflects the relatively low barriers to moving in the United States, compared to some other countries. Many of those who hate where they live are able to pull up roots and try somewhere else, depending on their priorities (job prospects, cost of living, family nearby, mild weather, proximity to mountains or ocean, good schools or other amenities).