Curious About Happiness & Somerville’s Smiley Survey

BOSTON (CBS) – We all want to live happy lives. But what brings happiness?

Ann from Pembroke Declared her Curiosity asking, “When are people going to be happy with enough… instead of wanting it all?”

Linda from Weymouth says, “There are good things out there and we need to be reminded of them.”

Well, one city is trying to find out just what it is that makes people who live there happy.

Since 1887, Lyndell’s Bakery has been making life a little sweeter in the city of Somerville.
The famous half moon will have you over the moon.

“It’s the happiness survey, says Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. We are all about happiness here.”

He’s asking people returning their city census to answer five questions rating their overall happiness on a scale from one to ten.

WBZ-TV’s David Wade reports.

“It’s uncharted waters. No one has done this in this country,” pointed out Tara Acker, the mayor’s chief number cruncher and director of Somerstat.

Acker is hoping to turn the data into new policy. “You’re hoping in the end you’ll be able to say, ‘ok people are happy when they have bike trails or no potholes,’ that sort of thing,” she said. “That’s exactly what we hope to do.”

The city spent about $1,500 on the happiness survey and found most people are happy that someone cared enough to ask.

City Hall is still crunching the numbers on an official happiness index.
In a city once dubbed “Slum-er-ville”, the mayor is hopeful. “I think we are going to be close to ten,” he says.

More from David Wade
  • timma

    Slummaville is still the $h!+hole its always been. the mayor is just breaking out the lipstick. Just be sure you don’t walk thru east slummaville at night

  • Ellen

    Despite what timma said Somerville sounds like a great place to live. I wish we had someone like Mayor Curtatone here in Tewksbury.

  • Essie

    What makes me happy in Methuen?? That mayor Manzi can Not run again!!!!! Then we have some hope for happiness in our town.

  • graywolf

    I remember the Somerville of old and as a teenager had friends who lived there so spent a great deal of time visiting. There is no question it has improved ten-fold. I would be happy if the city asked me as well.

  • Carol

    Oh, I agree with Timma. I live right on the Slummaville line.
    Nasty place!

  • Biff

    When Timma and Carol aren’t in town, that’s when Somerville is at it’s happiest.

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