In a study by financial planning company SmartAssets, Howard County and Montgomery County came in 7th and 19th respectively in the “happiest county in America” rankings. The SmartAsset study looks at unemployment, poverty, marriage and bankruptcy rates, combined with life expectancy and physical activity to come up with its rankings.
In Maryland, Howard County has the fifth lowest poverty rate of the nearly 1,000 counties in the study, with just 4.6 percent of the population below the poverty line. While the quality of public education isn’t factored into the analysis, Howard’s graduation rate of almost 93 percent is well above both state and national averages.
Montgomery County tops the study in life expectancy, with residents living an average 83.3 years.
As reported by WTOP:
Here are the top 10 happiest counties in the U.S., according to the study: