Safe, Happy, & Green: Welcome To Irvine

Chris Kwon


Known for being home to some of the world’s greatest outdoor recreational activities, its family-oriented community, prestigious educational institutions, and meticulously designed master-planned neighborhoods, what many people don’t know is that Irvine is also consistently ranked as one of the happiest, most eco-friendly, and safest cities in the entire United States.


In WalletHub’s 2019 rankings of happiest places to live in the United States, Irvine came in 2nd place out of 182 cities in America.

WalletHub’s criteria for the rankings covered three key metrics that included:

​​​​​​​1. Emotional & Physical Well-Being
2. Income & Employment
3. Community & Environment

​​​​​​​Each metrics was broken down into subcategories such as weighing life-satisfaction index, depression rate, and life expectancy for Emotional & Physical Well-Being.

Measuring income-growth rate, job-security, job-satisfaction, and unemployment-rate were metrics used for Income and Employment.

And, lastly, measuring the strength of social ties, acres of parkland, average leisure time spent per day, and ideal weather conditions as subcategories for Community & Environment.

Our beautiful city of Irvine scored highest in category #1: Emotional & Physical Well-Being, which comes as no surprise considering our 16,000+ acres of parks, recreational fields, and open space that compliment our endless amount of preserved natural habitats.


On top of being the second happiest city in the country and the happiest in the Western United States, Irvine also recently ranked as the safest city in America for the 14th consecutive year.

Not to brag or boast, but that doesn’t even do it justice.

According to the FBI’s statistics and rankings, Irvine is actually twice as safe as the runner-up city, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The low prevalence of crime may have been a big draw for the large influx of residents who moved to Irvine over the past decade.

It’s no wonder that between 2009 to 2018, the population of Irvine grew by 33.6%, more than five times the 6.6% national growth rate.

Of the statistics measured, some notable key metrics that stood out include in 2018, where Irvine had zero homicides and an extremely low unemployment rate of 2.8%.

But, let me tell you, Irvine’s high ranking as a city doesn’t stop there.


In a recent 2019 study, Irvine once again placed in the top 5 for most eco-friendly cities in the United States. Coming in at fourth place, Irvine was designed to be a green city from the getgo when 60-years ago, the Irvine Master Plan envisioned a livable place with open space nature, parks, and trails throughout the entire city.

It’s safe to say that Irvine was ahead of the curve and been Green before it became cool!

The study ranked America’s top 100 cities based on 26 “sustainability” indicators, including open space, bikeways, and the city’s use of renewable energy.

All in all, these three separate rankings truly paint a picture of our city and act as a reminder to our residents just how incredible our beautiful community is.

​​​​​​​Not every city can brag about being top 5 in safety, happiness, or sustainability, let alone all three!

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