Miserable SOBs live in cities

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People living in London, New York and Los Angeles are more likely to be miserable bastards than people living in more rural areas, say scientists.

A study, published in Science, was carried out by Hamilton College in New York and the University of Warwick in the UK. Researchers discovered that in terms of happiness, California and New York came bottom of the list. Congestion, high house prices and pollution were quoted as contributing to the misery.

"We have been if we expected that states like New York and California would do so badly in the happiness ranking," said Professor Andrew Oswald, lead author.

"Many people think these states would be marvellous places to live in. [But] the problem is that if too many individuals think that way, they move to those states, and the resulting congestion and house prices make it a non-fulfilling prophecy.

"In a way, it is like the stock market. If everyone thinks it would be great to buy stock X, that stock is generally already overvalued. Bargains in life are usually found outside the spotlight. It may be that exactly the same is true of the best places to live."