National Geographic Measured Population’s Happiness in 15 Categories

Naples, Fla., October 18, 2017 – National Geographic, Gallup and New York Times best-selling author and National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner have announced “The 25 Happiest Cities in the United States” and Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island ranked No. 11, one of only two Florida regions to make the list.

Rankings were based on The National Geographic/Blue Zones® Index, which was specifically developed to measure a population’s happiness based on 15 metrics including civic engagement, walkability and healthful food options. Pulling from years of experience studying the world’s most-thriving populations, Buettner, National Geographic and Gallup developed a methodology for measuring where Americans are living their happiest lives.

“This recognition by National Geographic validates our efforts and the vision we have for Naples and Marco Island as a premier wellness tourism destination,” said Jack Wert, executive director of Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “In addition to the Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida’s continued expansion, visitors and residents of Naples and Marco Island have year-round access to the great outdoors and delicious healthful foods. From the Gulf of Mexico beaches to the waterways and coastal estuaries of the Everglades to our pedestrian-friendly downtown and incredible variety of locally-sourced seafood, meats and produce, it’s no wonder that so many who live and visit here are so happy.”

The Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades region in Southwest Florida, which also includes the rural area of Immokalee, makes up Florida’s Paradise Coast. This most recent accolade adds to a list of recent recognitions related to the area’s well-being, happiness and quality of outdoor offerings. In 2017, the Naples/Marco Island area was also:

  • Named the “Healthiest-Happiest” city in the U.S. in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
  • Named the “Best Beach Town to Live In” by WalletHub
  • Ranked in the top 10 “Best Adventure Travel Destinations in the United States” by U.S. Tourism Quality Index.

The full listing of the 25 Happiest Cities, in order by National Geographic/Blue Zones® Index score, is below, and the full story is available here.

1.         Boulder, CO

2.         Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

3.         Charlottesville, VA

4.         Fort Collins, CO

5.         San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA

6.         San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

7.         Provo-Orem, UT

8.         Bridgeport-Stamford, CT

9.         Barnstable Town, MA

10.      Anchorage, AK

11.     Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL

12.      Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA

13.      Salinas, CA

14.      North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

15.      Urban Honolulu, HI

16.      Ann Arbor, MI

17.      San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

18.      Colorado Springs, CO

19.      Manchester-Nashua, NH

20.      Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

21.      Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

22.      Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

23.      San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

24.      Portland-South Portland, ME

25.      Austin-Round Rock, TX

Despite a visit from Hurricane Irma on September 10, the area’s white sand beaches look beautiful and hotels and natural attractions recovered quickly. Full details on the area’s recovery after the storm are available on the destination website

About Florida’s Paradise Coast
Whether travelers are looking for a romantic escape or family getaway, Florida’s Paradise Coast — Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades — has an array of vacation options year-round. With more than 30 miles of soft, white sand beaches, a thriving arts and culture scene, distinctive dining, family attractions and the best of outdoor adventure, the Paradise Coast is truly a destination with it all. Located just two hours from Miami, four hours from Orlando and three hours from Tampa, the area is easily accessible from some of Florida’s largest cities. Travelers outside of the Sunshine State can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which provides nonstop service to 43 destinations on 14 different air carriers. For more information about the Paradise Coast, call 800-688-3600 or visit Follow the destination on Instagram and Twitter @ParadiseCoast or #ParadiseCoast and on Facebook at

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