Do rural, happy towns create happy people? Residents of Round Top, Texas, could give you a pretty definitive yes, and there’s quite a bit of research to support that answer. In 2020, global researchers analyzed data from the World Gallup Poll and put together the World Happiness Report. One of the most interesting discoveries? Something they call the Urban Paradox: People are happier in small towns.
The Paradox of Small-Town Happiness
Urban areas are valued for their higher income levels and access to major sports, medical and cultural institutions, but several studies have shown those factors don’t play into personal happiness as much as you might think. Short commute times, relatively inexpensive housing and a feeling of belonging in the community ranked much higher on the happiness scale. In Round Top, we do big time small. We’ve got a small-town community, but you’ll also find some of the state’s best shopping, lodging and dining here, along with cultural institutions like museums and theaters. Small-town living doesn’t have to be boring.
Happy Towns, Happy Communities
One of the biggest happiness factors is feeling connected to a community. Round Top brings people together — both residents and the many visitors who pass through each year. Whether it’s our spring and fall Round Top Antiques Shows, our Fourth of July Parade (the longest-running parade west of the Mississippi!), or just running into neighbors enjoying a hot coffee at one of our many local restaurants, there are always opportunities to meet and have a chat. Life is a little slower in small-town Texas, and that makes it perfect for getting to know your neighbors.
When it comes to the happiness factor, studies continually show small-town communities have a leg up on metroplexes. For city dwellers, a country move might not be in the cards, but a visit to Round Top delivers a quiet reprieve from city life. Stay for a weekend or longer and recharge — you might just find you’re happier when you get back home.