Indianapolis one of best U.S. cities for happy marriages

by Dana Hunsinger Benbow
The Indianapolis Star

Inattentive husbands? Nagging wives? Sleeping in separate beds?

You’ll have to jet off to some other city to find that marital nonsense. In Indianapolis, couples are living in pure wedded bliss.

That’s right. Indianapolis ranked No. 9 in the nation for having the happiest marriages, according to Sharecare, an interactive health and wellness website.

The Atlanta company based its findings on a sample of 250,000 people who have taken its RealAge Test. That test finds a person’s true age based on health, stress, marital status, anger management and family history, among dozens of other factors.

Based on those samples, the test also found out that married people who were the happiest lived in Cincinnati (No. 1), followed by Salt Lake City, Greenville, S.C., Milwaukee and Boston.

“Indianapolis residents marry slightly younger than the national average, but they also stay married a bit longer – perhaps because they fare so well when it comes to anger management,” the study said. “Part of this may be because Indy residents know how to relax and chill with their buddies.”

Indianapolis, it says, ranks high for having strong social networks, which can boost one’s immune system and fight off depression.

Of course, it’s who you are married to, not what city you live in, that really makes the difference. The happier the marriage, the longer you live.

In fact, the anti-aging benefits of a happy marriage are said to lengthen a man’s life by 4.2 years and a woman’s by 2.5 years.

“We’re social creatures and not as independent as people think,” said Dr. Keith Roach, chief medical officer of Sharecare, in a statement. “Marriage itself is usually our most important social interaction.”

Someone who is happily married has the lowest risk of heart disease, cancer and even car accidents, according to Sharecare.

“The difference is powerful and striking,” Roach said.

Happy marriages are especially important for men between the ages of 30 to 64. They are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack than a man who’s divorced, and their cancer risk drops dramatically.

“It likely has to do with less stress,” said Roach, “from the emotional support of a partner to sharing affection and intimacy.”

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