Town Hit Hard by Economy, 2nd Happiest in Country

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A town that many might consider a dismal place to live has just been ranked as one of the happiest places in the country.

Holland, Michigan suffers from horrible blizzards and horrible unemployment at 16 percent.

However, its people are happy. The latest Gallup Poll on well-being ranks it the number 2 place to live in the U.S.

"If a small community located in the state with the worst economy can feel good about itself, seems to me we've got hope in the country," said Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra,

The people of Holland say their faith plays a big role. Holland has a population of just 35,000 people, but there's 170 churches. And during these tough times, the churches are known for providing practical help.

"If you need gas for the week I've heard of several churches that will give you gas cards," said Holland resident Charles Bullock.

"If people are out of work we try to help them in some way," said Juke Van Oss, a local radio host. "If they are our neighbors, we try to steer something their way."

The crime rate in Holland is down, way down at one half of the nation's rate. And family is big, very big.

People say families live near each other and enjoy dinner together at night.

*Originally broadcast on February 19, 2010. 

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Efrem Graham

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.