Where do the Nicest People in the United States Live?

Beautiful blond lady shields her eyes from the setting sun in golden late light.

Article by Wendy McCance

Continuing my search for the ultimate in a happy life, I started thinking about where I live.  I have lived in several states and truly believe that there is a difference in the way people behave towards one another as well as what ethics are important to them.  Because I was a small kid when my family moved around, I think that my memories are probably a little out of date from what people are like in the places I had lived, now.

I am so burnt out from fakeness and superficial lives.  I desperately want to live somewhere where people are HONEST and KIND to each other.  Is there a state where people are more concerned with these attributes as well as leading a more peaceful life?  I am not inerested in living somewhere where material possesions and an attitude of it’s all about me are the ways in which people live.

As I get older, I am so turned off by gossiping, stepping on others instead of putting out a helping hand and lying that I am starting to lose faith about the goodness in others.  I know deep down that there are still many wonderful people out there, but I believe that since the economy went to hell, we are left with stressed out, people who are at their worst because of the additional stresses that they had faced or are still facing.

I would love to hear from you and get your opinion on where you think the nicest people live.  The ones who are more laid back and welcoming to each other.

Here are some links you might enjoy:

The Friendliest Towns in America

City Friendliest Towns in America

America’s Friendliest People

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

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51 thoughts on “Where do the Nicest People in the United States Live?

  1. I would not recommend Oregon for honest and kind, but it does vary from place to place. The little time I spent on the Oregon coast people seemed nice, but in a lot of the major cities I have experienced predominantly passive aggressive behavior. Most of the people I first met were very nice with a welcoming smile, but their comments were subtly insulting. They may be nice to other Oregonians, but the message that outsiders are not welcome comes across quite assertively.

    I would recommend Austin, TX. The people in Austin (and the surrounding area) were very welcoming, kind and genuine. Every one is neighborly and more than happy to show you around. As the live music capital of the world, there is always something to do. By far, one of my favorite places!

  2. i have lived in California (numerous cities), Chicago, Illinois and Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah has to be one of the worst places to live. You many see articles about low cost of living and booming economy, but that is just to lure you into the trap. For one, Utah fails to say that housing prices are increasing substantially and that the booming economy is attributed to low-wage jobs such as entry-level retail. Furthermore, if you are a woman who is trying to start a career, you will come across old-fashioned notions that women should stay home and have children. Nothing wrong with being a mom, but I also need to support my family. I have never encountered so much sexism and the most irritating part is that they will ruin your career with a smile on their face. Oh, and lots of passive-aggressive fake people.

  3. I currently live in Michigan and it is the absolute worst . . . probably the most UNFRIENDLY place I have ever lived. The people here are truly toxic, self-absorbed, and incredibly ignorant. Thankfully, I will soon be going back East to Western Massachusetts where I have friends and where there is a lovely community filled with like-minded folks who are kind, caring, and friendly (Ashfield in Franklin County). I have lived all over this country, as well as in Canada and Europe. Sadly, the U.S. has an abundance of truly unfriendly (and rude!) people. Another place I was considering is Idyllwild, California where everyone is super friendly and community-oriented. Sadly, I have found the mid-West to be very unfriendly. I’m not sure how or when the reputation of ‘friendly’ came about, however, it must have been decades ago. Personally, I find friendly people pretty much everywhere, but the majority of them are in little pockets in the South, the West Coast, and parts of the Northeast. 🙂

  4. If anyone is wanting a place to live where the people are (for the most part) friendly and polite than Beaverton, Oregon (just outside of Portland) is the place to go. The suburbs are clean and surrounding with Lush trees and flowers. The Beaverton school system is pretty well organized with a decent amount of money. There are many fresh-food stores and resteraunts around including Whole Foods and others… Sinse Portland is nearby there is a never-ending amount of events that can be attended on a lazy afternoon. The scenery is also very beautiful in that area and within 2 hours drive from the area you could find yourself on Mount Hood or the Oregon Coast. All in all, a great place to live

  5. Great post Wendy! I too am looking for a place where people are friendly and kind to one another. I lived in California most of my life (San Diego and the Bay Area). I must say I enjoyed CA, but being from there I’m partial. However, traffic and cost of living are both outrageous, that’s why I left. Four years ago I moved to Southeast Florida and the people are not my type of people. I’m thinking of moving to the Midwest to get the four Seasons and hopefully to be around kind people.

    • Yes, FL is not the place one should go if they’re looking for friendly people. While you can find friendly people there, for the most part, people are off standish jerks. Specifically the central FL area, (Orlando) where people haven’t seemed to mature past the pretentious middle school clique mentality.

  6. Colorado has the friendliest ppl I’ve ever met Wendy I was all set to move there but have decided to move to west Virginia to be close to my parents. Ppl are also very nice here but Colorado was just so friendly. Even on the highway. No road rage in Colorado! Beautiful too! I am now interested to see what you like about new Zealand. Sounds interesting..

  7. Its seems to me that there are an awful lot of people looking to live somewhere different than where they are now. I know, I’m looking for that too. We are looking for a genuineness, kindness, and sincerity in people, a place where life doesn’t move so fast, everyone isn’t in such a rush, and a place where we can just be accepted for who we are. Unfortunately, from this post, it also seems like no matter where we are looking, there are both good and not so good people everywhere. Maybe the answer isn’t where to move, but who to move with. If there are others who feel like you do, and you surround yourself with those type of people where you are, then maybe you can create what you are looking for right where you are. From the sounds of this post, there are a lot of “us” out there and perhaps reaching out to find them will be easier than finding that “magical” place. On the other hand, everyone from this post could move to a new neighborhood all together and start their own “kind” community there! Just a thought.

    • It would be wonderful to feel like you are in a place where everyone wanted a slower kinder life. I do believe that part of what propels us forward is being around people who challenge are views and help us to see a broader world. At the same time, I wish desperately that there wasn’t hate and animosity but generosity and acceptance. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject.

  8. I am so surprised to see that NO ONE has mentioned West Virginia! I lived there for three of the best years of my life. I have NEVER found nicer people. I lived in a place called Hurricane in Teays Valley. It’s right between Charleston and Huntington. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. The mountains are so serene and the stress is practically non existent! I moved there from St. Louis so you can imagine the culture shock!

  9. have you guys experience living in West ? Such as Oregon ? I heard people are so nice regardless of weather. As a foreign from Middle east I have to be very careful where I move. I have been in Maryland as long as I moved to US, had good day and bad day. Its very hard to find good friends. I think in America we are categorizing people so much and being very selective how build up friendship.

      • Oh please don’t move to Oregon. I’m from the Northwest. That’s pretty extreme. Oregon is not that friendly. Traffic is terrible, high cost of living, gloomy weather. Find somewhere lovely. I’m living in St. Augustine Florida and I love it. Lots of southern hospitality and great city with everything…cheap too!

        • Thanks for the insight. I’m a big rain person so dreary weather suits me fine. Not too keen on people who aren’t very friendly, but I think traffic would be the deal breaker. Glad you love where you live. Sounds perfect!!

        • I second One Girl Travel. Having lived in Portland and Seattle, I would say that people are nice, but not particularly friendly. They are friendly enough to smile, wave, say hi, and possibly chit chat with you, but it’s very hard to take it to that next level of really getting to know someone, getting together, etc. I think they call that the Seattle freeze. 🙂

          We moved from Seattle to central Washington a few years ago and the pace of life is much slower (no freeway, no traffic, no competition for seats at movie theaters/restaurants/parking, etc.) and people are much easier to get to know.

      • I live in Oregon and have my entire life and I can assure you that most people are very kind in the Portland Metro area. The scenery is beautiful and the food is fresh and tasty. Many opportunities are around such as working at many major companies including Nike, Intel, etc. also there are many arts oppurtunities around for both artists and viewers. Beautiful hills and mountains. State parks are very nice as well.

        • This is crazy that you happened to post this comment today. I was just looking at areas in Oregon on the web. Depoe Bay, Ashland and Corvallis are of interest. I used to live in Montana and want to get back to an area that is beautiful but without the horribly cold winters.

  10. I enjoyed your articles… Wich certainly will help me to improve my english, increasing new words …. Im from Panama and Im living in DC attending to American University .. Glad to meet you…. By the way, in my opinion , There’s no an specific place to find “nice people”. I consider that there’s nice and rude people in every place …. So it’s kind of a lottery… Washington DC is a nice place and you definitely will find all kind of people…. Most of the time nice 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comment Yaribeth. I agree that there are some wonderful people in DC. It’s fantastic that you are living in a place that you have found to be so welcoming. All the best to you!

    • Where ever anyone goes if nice, ethical honest and pleasant is what your looking for stay as far away from Florida as possible especially South Fl
      I moved there from North East and have been in hell. You need a passaport to live in Florida.
      People are rude, unethical dishonest and would turn on their mother to gain. It is a very discusting unhappy environment to be in. Vacationing there is one thing but I plead with anyone do not move there if you are a nice honest person you will be miserable and it is extremely expensive to live and the salaries drop not because of the economy but because there is so much untrained uneducated immigration there they feel they can pay you anything

  11. Please don’t think that Tennessee is a nice place to live. People here are fake and unless you completely become southern, you will be left out in the cold. I prefer to call this state Hellessee. Summers here are just a little better than the front porch of hell. It really is the people that have ruined this state. I’d give years off the end of my life to have the chance to move back to Indiana. Until the Good Lord heals my wife of her lung issue, I am stuck here in Hellessee

  12. Anyone who says ANYWHERE in the southern states has more nice people than mean people doesn’t understand your quest. Oakland is way nicer than Dallas, and Dallas is probably the nicest city in the South. I would not rcomend it unless you’re a racist republican. I don’t know ANY nice repulicans.
    I am an old guy, have lived all over the US. I have been fortunate to meet the hand full of nice people in most of those places, but the rest are, what the grandkids call Selfies, like the photo.

    People overall worship themselves.
    People overall don’t care about global climate change. Which in itself is selfish. Selfish equals mean.
    No one cares that less than 1% of the global population has over 40% of all the money in the world. If they did, there would be a real revolution.
    We buy clothes made by children for pennies a day. We put petrol in our cars, every time we do so we tell the Cartel, “its OK to bomb that country, wipe out that village, pollute our waters”
    As long as we have our stuff.
    Until we change our philosophy as planet, we are fucked. Mean people will out number nice people everywhere.

    • Oh boy Bob-I-don’t-know-any-nice-Republicans. I’ve heard a-plenty of truly kind people attest to the same about hypocritical liberals. Being neither, I have to say that as long as I’ve lived, if you’re truly in a bind and want true kindness and generosity, not just empty superficial friendliness, lean toward the “Republicans”. I’ve lived in MANY states, and all areas of the United States and abroad. The Midwestern U.S. definitely is a pool of friendly people. Not fake. Not nasty either. Good luck, because certainly, the meanness to which you see everywhere in groups of people, starts.. at home.

  13. I came across your post as I am searching for a better place to move to. Many think that South Carolina is a friendly state but I must say that I lived here 18 years and I can’t wait to leave. I am sure some places in SC still have the friendliness it once had, but Columbia (the capital) lost its charm over the past 8 years or so. I used to love Columbia and enjoyed the friendly “rednecks”. Not sure why this place changed so much but now it’s just full of whiners who are all about themselves. I am originally from Europe and wonder if this may just be due to how stressed out people are due to the current economy; when money flows, everybody is happy-but when it doesn’t, everybody is crappy! Best of luck to finding a better place.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I have yet to see a pattern from the comments pointing people in a particular direction. Maybe someday there will be that aha moment.

  14. DO NOT come to the South!!! I have lived in Florida (born and most my life), Pennsylvania, briefly in Minnesota and now Texas. Texas by far has the most UNFRIENDLY people I have ever met! They are so fake. They act nice to your face (not all the time) and talk about you behind your back (and to your face). I am so miserable hear but we bought a house. I’m about to short sale my house just to get out of here. I think the Carolina’s,especially South Carolina has very friendly people. I’ve never lived there but I have visited and LOVED it!!

    • Hi Stephanie, I’m so sorry you have had such a bad experience. There’s nothing worse than gossipy people. It sounds like such a toxic environment. I hope you get to South Carolina soon. It sounds like a great place to live!!

  15. Georgia is, hands down, a sucky place to live in. I’m not sure about the countryside of it, but the suburbs of Georgia suck to live in. Everyone is rude and disrespectful and has an “all about me” attitude. I can’t WAIT to leave.

  16. Did you end up finding a place? I myself am looking to relocate my family of five to a similar life. Where everybody loves and accepts eachother just the way they are. I hate life in Cali. And even more so in the OC.

    • Hi Kat, sorry you aren’t happy in California. It will be quite a while before I am in a position to move. Honestly, I’d like to move out of the country. New Zealand is very appealing to me.

  17. Hi there,

    Just came through this page with the same issue as you. I moved since 15 years to costa rica and think it comes close what you are looking for. The only proplem is when you move to the touristic places where the foreigners live you just find the same as at home. The most autentic and nicest people are the ones who are not much in touch with us. There are still communities here who work well. If you have better ideas, please let me know. Capitalism and communism are sucks. AAhh at last!! If you want to see the most unhappy people go to Germany!!!

  18. I am having the life sucked out of me! I need to go. Even my own family ridicules me if I don’t put on the fake happy face (in the privacy of our own home) and pretend everything is great. I can’t stand fake people. I need to be with nice people, caring people, the people who do things for each other just because. Does anyone know what that means anymore?

    • I’m so sorry you are going through such a rough time. I understand your feelings of wanting to be around nice, authentic people who care about others, not just themselves. I went through the same feelings when I started the blog. I hope you find some peace in your life. Sending you kind thoughts, Wendy 🙂

  19. I grew up in a small town in northern Illinois and have since lived in Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland, Delaware, Alaska, Nevada and Louisiana…hands down I have found the south to be the friendliest and most relaxed of all of those places

  20. boy, your post struck a cord with me. i live in MA. i have felt lately that people seem to be more rude and rushed than ever. it’s gotten to the point where i wonder if i should actually consider moving to a different part of the country where people are friendlier, where people are not rushing around like maniacs. i don’t know where that is. i think of the stereotypical south - slower paced, nicer people, but i don’t know if that is the reality. i realize there are rude, troubled people everywhere, but it seems like the ratio has gone up. it’s rare that i find friendly attitudes when i’m out running errands, shopping, etc. i also wonder “what is the rush??” people drive so fast. how expensive does gasoline need to get before people slow down to get better mileage?

    anyways, i don’t know the answer to your question, but i’ve got the same question too.

    • Hi Jen, It’s reassuring to know that other people are wishing for a more relaxed, friendly place to reside as well.  If I ever find that place I will definitely write a post about it.  In the mean time, I hope that overall your experiences with the people where you live are more pleasant and friendly than not.  Thanks for your comment.


    • Thanks for the comment. I agree that a place where there is hate isn’t a place where one could truly be happy. A community where people are more concerned with including others and supporting one another rather than working on being better than others or finding ways to feel more exclusive is what to me would be the ultimate in happy inner peace.

    • I have lived in a small town in the midwest all of my life (Springfield, Ohio, population about 70,000), and I can tell you that this is one town you definitely DO NOT want to live in. Almost everyone here lives in there own world where their attitude is “it’s all about ME all the time”. If you are a person like me who was raised with old-fashioned values (the one thing my grandmother always used to tell me the most was that I should always treat others the way I would want to be treated), people try to walk all over you, or they think that you always have an ulterior motive if you you do something just to be nice. I found this post while searching the internet to find out some places that would be worth moving to, because I feel like this town is just sucking the life out of me, and the atmosphere is so bad that it hardens you just out of self-preservation.

      • Hi Roxanne, I’m so sorry to hear that you are having that experience. I have never been to that town, but have been to other places in Ohio that have been really nice. All the best, and I hope you find a town that more closely fit what you are looking for. 🙂

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