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Anchorage

National Geographic ranks Anchorage as one of the ‘happiest cities’ in America

The buildings of downtown Anchorage reflect the color in the sky just after sunset back-dropped by the Chugach Mountains and reflected in the calm waters of Knik Arm on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)

National Geographic magazine says Anchorage is one of the "happiest cities in America."

Anchorage came in at No. 10 in a ranking of the top 25 "happiest cities" released on Oct. 18 as part of the magazine's November cover story on what sets apart cities and countries where people report being especially happy.

Boulder, Colorado, made it to No. 1 for American cities in the happiness ranking.

The ranking is based on an index developed by social scientists at the polling and research company Gallup. The index draws on 250,000 interviews conducted between 2014 and 2015 in 190 cities across the United States by Gallup social scientists. The index uses 15 metrics — including factors like vacation time, healthy eating and learning new things that "signal happiness" — to determine where people are living the most fulfilling lives, according to the magazine.

Anchorage's 10th spot finish was after the Cape Cod village of Barnstable Bay, Massachusetts, but ahead of the wealthy enclave of Naples, Florida, at No. 11.

The magazine said Anchorage is the "starting point for countless Alaskan adventures" and cited five nearby national parks and "plenty of daylight during the summer" as draws.

Alaska's biggest city was one of only a few cities with long, cold winters included in the mostly warm-weather happiest cities.

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