SONOMA AND SOLANO COUNTIES -- Sonoma County is the happiest place in California and the fifth-happiest region in the country, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released Monday.
The only other North Bay locale indexed was Solano County, or the Vallejo-Fairfield metropolitan area. It ranked 105th in the nation and 11th in California.
The massive study examined six key aspects in its assessment of happiness throughout the nation:
basic access to necessities.
Out of 353,000 people surveyed, 753 were in the Santa Rosa-Petulama region. They said the county provides good access to things like health care, safe and clean neighborhoods and produce, while offering no shortage of healthful exercise outlets.
No survey responses were available for Solano County.
People in Sonoma County are also more likely to be satisfied with their jobs -- the county ranked 16th in the state in work experience and job satisfaction. In physical health, it was ranked 32nd and 33rd in emotional health.
Other happy people in California live in Santa Barbara, San Jose and Ventura-Oxnard-Thousand Oaks, ranked sixth, seventh and 10th, respectively. One California city finished near the very end -- Modesto, at 183rd.
The year-long survey ranked Boulder, Co. number 1 in the nation and Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz. was ranked last at 185th.
To see the entire index, go to http://www.wellbeingindex.com/files/20100215_PressKit_v6.pdf.