By Carrie Lynch
Holt Journal Staff Reporter
After calculating various criteria such as unemployment rates, costs of living, crime and even amount of sunny days, Nick Johnson of homesnacks.net calculated Holt to be one of the top 10 happiest cities across Michigan.
Johnson looked at different demographics of every city in Michigan and found Holt to be the eighth-happiest city in Michigan.
At a population of 23,973 people, Holt has the ninth-highest marriage rate in Michigan, according to the Homesnacks website. Fifty-nine percent of residents in Holt are married and 71 percent own a home. According to United States Census Bureau, 51 percent of people in Michigan are married, showing that Holt is 9 percent higher than the state average.
“There are a lot of elements to consider at when assessing the overall happiness of a city. I would say that marriage rates would be at the top of the list, but things like education, job opportunities, and costs of living would be close contenders,” said urban planning expert Daniel Hess.
Holt has an average of 177 sunny days per year. Therefore, Holt residents can spend a lot of time outside walking through the city, anticipating the new trails being built throughout.
“Building trails, working on infrastructure, starting community support groups, working together, and our proximity to everything; thats what I like about Holt,” said Delhi Township Supervisor C.J. Davis.
Micheal Mekhayel, a local resident, moved to Holt nine years ago and does not regret his decision.
“Holt is a great diverse community, neighbors are always out walking and communicating with each other and unlike other communities, in Holt, you actually know who your neighbors are,” said Mekhayel. “You are close enough to shopping districts yet far enough that it is perfectly quiet at night that you can hear coyotes howling in the distance.”
Education in Holt is a large factor in the overall happiness of the city. From 2009 to 2013, the average number of people with bachelor’s degrees ages 25 and up was 25.9 percent in Michigan. In Holt, the average number of people with a college degree is higher than the state by almost 5 percent, at 30.2 percent.
“Coming from a family with many relatives that have graduated or still attending Holt Public Schools, I consider them at the top of their academia. Holt Public Schools is something that all residents should be proud of, especially considering that public participation in board meetings is exceptional with a very active community,” said Mekhayel.
Keeping the community safe is a large aspect when determining a cities overall happiness. The Delhi Township Community Outreach Coordinator Will Kangas said “we are happy because we know we are a safe, comfortable community.”
Kangas grew up in Holt in the 1980s and he has “seen it grow in population and for a good reason.”
Kangas especially likes Holt for its “hometown charm”.
Jean Lazar, a resident of Holt for 29 years, couldn’t agree more.
“I have lived in Holt for 29 years and love the small town community and it’s a friendly place to live,” said Lazar.
The neighborhood is pretty quiet, said Lazar, but fairly close to shopping and things for her children to do.
“Overall I would say Holt is the ideal place to have a family and raise kids or not raise kids and not have a family. It is inclusive of all life-styles which makes it appealing to myself,” said Mekhayel.