Fairfax County and Loudoun County may be considered one of the happiest counties in the country, but it has some of the worst traffic as well.
Fairfax County came in 4th place in “The Happiest Places in America – 2018 Edition” in a study comparing 960 counties throughout the United States. The factors considered included: life expectancy, physical activity, bankruptcy, marriage, poverty, cost of living and unemployment rates. Loudoun County came in 3rd place in this study conducted by SmartAsset.com. Loudoun barely beat much more populous Fairfax County due to having more intact marriages and fewer people in poverty.
What injury and disability lawyer Doug Landau of Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd. found particularly interesting is that no other county in the nation had a higher life expectancy than Fairfax. Area residents are expected to live some 83.73 years. In addition, Fairfax County households make 2.3 times the minimum amount recommended for “comfortable living conditions.” So in terms of wealth and living a long time, Fairfax and Loudoun County look pretty good on paper.
However, economic success does not always correlate with happiness. For example, a Business Insider article from 2017 ranked the Washington, D.C. area as having the 3rd worst traffic in the nation. Specifically, the point where Fairfax County Parkway meets I-95 S was cited as “the worst hot spot.”
A long life expectancy may be cancelled out if area residents are spending those extra years stuck in traffic! Attorney Landau has seen how the growth of Northern Virginia and the strain on local roads and interstates has led to more accidents as volume increases and more distracted driving combine to cause crashes. Landau wonders if there have been any studies as to whether happier people are better, safer drivers than those who are unhappy.