At first glance I kinda got this impression. The saddest cities were what I would suspect are big cities that do NOT have a country/rural feel to them. The happiest were ones that I’d guess do have a country/rural influence (Boston being the big exception). Anybody else get that sorta vibe?
They factor in suicides, which are heavily scewed towards the elderly. They also include unemployment, and two of the states hit worst by the housing boom (NV and FL) account for five of the top ten cities.
So I suspect its basically high unemployment from the housing bust and having a bunch of old people who are prone to suicide and depression. That and having Voldemort for Governor.
Tampa and St. Pete are kind of considered twin cities but we’re only separated by 3 points. I think St. Petersburgers are sadder because we lose our identity to Tampa, because the area is called the Tampa Bay area so everyone just thinks we’re all in Tampa. They even named OUR baseball team the Tampa Bay Rays (it was St. Pete’s team!), Everyone thinks they’re Tampa’s team anyway so why should we care if they leave? Let Tampa have them! I don’t care. Bunch of losers anyway. Oh, and are long running newspaper, The St. Petersburg Times is now changing their name to The Tampa Bay Times! Sheesh! No wonder we’re so depressed, no one cares about us.
My county has one of the highest anti-depressant usage levels in the state (we are near Sacramento). I suspect that the very high unemployment and poverty levels are the reason–this is a great place to live, if you can scratch out a living, but good luck with that.
Country/rural people are nicer, IMHO. New York is famous for having assholes, and big cities are full of people bitching about the rat race. Also, a lot of the cities in the top 10 are Midwest cities not going through such a bad time with unemployment and housing prices.