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The Friendliest Cities in North America

08 Mar | news | BY Betway Insider | MIN READ TIME |
The Friendliest Cities in North America

Everyone knows Canada's cheery reputation, but are there other cities in North America just as neighborly?

Unless you’ve been living under a particularly dense rock for the past few centuries, you’re probably more than familiar with Canada’s reputation for being America’s cheery next-door neighbor. And with friendly ‘hellos’ and ‘good mornings’ being handed out like candy around local towns and villages, it’s not hard to see why.

However, despite this reputation being more than well-earned across the country, it’s also more than true that people, especially those city-dwelling folk, have become a little blunter in recent years.

While a decade ago a stranger might willingly have held a door open for you or shared a small word while queuing for their morning coffee, this doesn’t seem to happen that often in the modern day – at least it seems that way.

But just how blunt are North America’s cities? Are they actually far friendlier than we give them credit for?

To find out, online casino Betway analyzed 50 of North America’s most popular cities based on the following criteria to find out which were the friendliest, and which were most likely to grumble about busy tubes in the morning. These factors included:

·        The average happiness score of residents

·        The percentage of positive sentiment expressed

·        The percentage of people who volunteered regularly

·        The percentage of people who made regular charitable donations

With these results now in hand, we can reveal which cities in North America are the most welcoming and excited to greet new residents and strangers alike with an enthusiastic wave!

The 5 most neighborly US cities

Although the US is filled with countless cities brimming with wholesome atmospheres and friendly cultures, we’d be pulling your leg if we didn’t also mention that many cities in the States are also home to numerous less-than-polite people – but that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of urban areas where new strangers are more than welcome.

 1. Milwaukee

Coming in at the number one spot for our friendliest city in America, we have Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Based on our factors, residents here were the second most charitable city on our list, with 65.8% regularly giving to charity, while also having the most volunteers of all the US cities we looked at (44.6%).

And the good news doesn’t stop there for Milwaukee residents. They’re also some of the happiest in the country, placing 10th overall with a happiness score of 53.61 and a positive sentiment rating of 19%, which places them 9th in that area.

 2. Baltimore

Next up, in second place, we have Baltimore in Maryland. Just a quick trip from the capital, you might be surprised to find such a bustling and busy East-Coast city so high on our list, but as it turns out, the residents of Baltimore are some pretty happy people. In fact, they scored the highest happiness score on our list at 62.6!

But happiness isn’t the only factor where Baltimore came in first. They were also the most charitable US city, with 69.8% of residents backing local and worldwide charities. And while Baltimore didn’t score as high as Milwaukee for volunteering (37.6%) such a score still puts them in the top 10 for this factor.

 3. Indianapolis

In third place for the US is Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana and an all-around good egg when it comes to charity and volunteer work, with 43.3% and 63.1% of residents participating regularly in these areas.

However, Indianapolis also holds a respectable happiness score of 47.41, and an even better positive sentiment score of 21%, putting it in the top 10 for both and showing that even state capitals can be a bastion of goodwill and charm.

 4. Charlotte

In fourth, we have Charlotte, North Carolina, which is the place to be if you want to experience consistent positive sentiment. In fact, Charlotte topped the list for this factor with an overall score of 31%, not to mention a very respectable happiness score of 53.65 on top of this.

And, like all of our top 5 cities, Charlotte’s residents are no strangers to doing their fair share of volunteering and charity work, which both held scores of 32.6% and 51.6% respectively – certainly not the highest scores in these factors, but by no means low.

 5. Portland

Finally, in fifth place, we have Portland, Oregon, home to the second-highest percentage of volunteering residents out of all our cities (44.3%) and being the sixth most charitable city overall with a score of 62.1%.

Much like Baltimore, Portland scored well in its total happiness score as well (52.11), and while residents only held a positive sentiment value of 13%, this in no way means they’re not cheery.

Friendliest Canadian cities

1. Toronto

In first place, and the city in Canada most mistaken by strangers for its capital, we have Toronto, which topped our list for volunteering searches with over 93,510 people displaying interest in this area in the last year alone.

But perhaps even more interestingly though, out of the 20 Canadian cities we looked at, Toronto only came in 16th for happiness (45.97) and 8th for positive sentiment (22%). These scores are by no means low, and they certainly place Toronto higher than plenty of American cities we looked at, but it certainly surprised us.

2. Vaughan

Toronto’s next-door neighbor came in second for our Canadian rankings, and for good reason. Not only did Vaughan score highest for happiness (59.67), but it also came in second for positive sentiment (28%).

However, despite this strong initial showing, Vaughan only placed 14th for volunteer-related searches in the last year (4,180). But given how close it is to Toronto, it may just be the case that many residents volunteer in that city rather than locally.

3. Vancouver

Finally, in our third spot for happy Canadian cities, we have Vancouver, which ranked 4th for positive sentiment overall (32), and 2nd for the number of searches around volunteering in the last year (55,160).

Yet again though, we see one stat that stands out from the others, in this case, Vancouver’s happiness score – which was 14th overall at 46.47. Much like Toronto, this is by no means low, but it’s certainly surprising for a city that sits so high in our rankings.

And there we have it, the friendliest cities across North America. So, whether you’re planning your next exciting city break, or you’re simply looking to move to fresh sights and new work, you’ve plenty of fantastic new destinations to consider.

Of course, if you’re interested in other local factors, such as cheap stadium prices and stats around top-performing teams in these states, then the Betway blog for more pieces like this one.


This dataset ranks North American cities, based on how good they are for their friendliness. To do this, 4 different factors were used for American cities & 3 different factors were used for Canadian cities.

Once the data for the factors was collected, the factors were then normalised to provide each factor with a score between 0 and 1. If data was not available, a score of 0 was given. The normalised values were then summed, to give US cities a total score of 4, and Canadian cities a total score of 3.

The locations were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores. The factors used are as follows:

·        Happiness Score – A score ranking happiness levels in each location with a max score of 100 indicating maximum happiness.

·        Positive Sentiment – The percentage of social media posts including the city’s name which have a joyful emotion.

·        Volunteer – The percentage of residents within each city that volunteer. [US Cities]

·        Charitable Donation – The percentage of residents within each city that donate $25 or more to charity. [US Cities]

·        Volunteer Search Volume – The total number of searches for the prompt ‘Volunteer in X’ between 27 Feb 23 – 27 Feb 24. [Canadian Cities]

The factors were indexed as follows:

·        All Factors – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.

All data is correct as of 29/02/24. The ranking data shown is a compilation of multiple data sources and may not be representative of real life. All data is accurate with regard to the sources provided.

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.