News in Brief: Charlottesville Named One of America’s ‘Happiest Places’

September 25, 2023
Fall aerial of grounds

With UVA as its centerpiece, Charlottesville, in many ways, remains a beautiful place to reside. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

Touting the University of Virginia as one of its biggest strengths, Outside Magazine has named Charlottesville as the fifth-happiest place to live in the United States.

The publication, which has previously ranked UVA’s hometown as one of America’s best, used a detailed methodology for its “happy place rankings” that took into account a city’s overall well-being, public land and affordability, climate change and inclusivity.

It’s the work-life balance that sets Charlottesville apart, said Outside.

“There are ample jobs here, thanks to the University of Virginia and a vibrant startup culture, and the city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, just 2.7%,” the magazine noted. “The university helps attract highly educated professionals – roughly 30% of Charlottesville’s populace has a graduate degree.”

While a steady job can lead to happiness, there’s also plenty of joy to be found outside the office for Charlottesville residents.

Outside noted the hikers’ paradise that is Rivanna Trail as well the beauty that resides within nearby Shenandoah National Park. The magazine also trumpeted Charlottesville’s expansive restaurant scene, highlighting options on the Downtown Mall and in the Belmont neighborhood.

Seth Herman, a Charlottesville resident who moved here from Portland, Oregon, and, along with his wife Erin James, runs the High Tor Gear Exchange in McIntire Plaza, told Outside: “It’s easy to live here. There’s a lot of innovation here. The community wants to see you succeed.”

Media Contact

Andrew Ramspacher

University News Associate University Communications