This Tiny Town Was Just Named the Happiest Small Town in the U.S.

Happiness really isn't hard to find. It's right there on the map: White Rock, New Mexico.

<p>Courtesy of Los Alamos County</p>

Courtesy of Los Alamos County

Happiness isn't as hard to find as you think. In fact, it has an address: White Rock, New Mexico.

The Travel released its list of the 10 Happiest Small Towns in America for 2024. To figure out which towns are indeed the happiest, the website used a variety of metrics, including a community's population, household income, median property value, education, and crime statistics. And when all was said and done, it named the town of White Rock its No. 1 pick.

"With a rural feel and a close-knit community, White Rock is one of the happiest small towns in America, where the abundance of picturesque landscapes is great," The Travel shared in its findings. "Surrounded by rolling hills and amazing rock formations, its nearby Jemez Mountains and Jemez Mountain Trail Scenic Byway offer sweeping views of the fall foliage in New Mexico."

The website noted that the town boasts an astonishingly low unemployment rate at just 3.1 percent, almost a full point lower than the national average. The town also has a 3 percent lower cost of living than the national average, making it a statistically great place to call home. But it truly goes well beyond just great numbers.

<p>Courtesy of New Mexico True</p>

Courtesy of New Mexico True

“We’re honored to have White Rock receive such high acclaim from The Travel, and we know the town is certainly deserving of the title,” Ellyn Felton, a marketing specialist for Los Alamos County, shared in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. “With a friendly atmosphere, tons of trails through and around town, beautiful dark skies, and unique local businesses, White Rock is a gem among small towns across America.”

Felton called out the town's Bandelier National Monument as a must-see destination, where guests can explore ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and hit its expansive network of hiking trails, along with White Rock Overlook Park, which gives stunning views of the Rio Grande and the Jemez Mountains. Felton also says the town has a rather fantastic culinary scene, including Pig + Fig Café. (This establishment won its own accolade: it was named in TravelAwaits’ list of 15 Best Small-Town Restaurants in 2021.)

The town was joined by a few other quaint communities, including Sugarcreek, Ohio in second, followed by Tybee Island, Georgia; New Harmony, Indiana; and Eureka Springs, Arkansas, rounding out the top five.

See the full list of happiest towns at

Related: 20 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the U.S.

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