Larry Martino

Larry Martino

Larry Martino

A new study is out which determines the USA’s “Smiliest” cities. Where does Las Vegas rank? Let’s dig into the numbers…

Shiny Smile Veneers recently conducted a nationwide study. They compiled over 15,000 Instagram photos from America’s fifty largest cities to determine the nation’s most smiley city, just in time for World Smile Day on October 7th.

What they found in those photos is that overall, 43% of the people were smiling. Las Vegas placed slightly above the national average, with 45.8% of the folks smiling in the photos. We ranked at #17.

The researchers used “geotagging” to determine where the Instagram photo was posted. So, this means that photos posted in Sin City were not necessarily those from people who actually live here in Southern Nevada. I would bet our ranking was determined more by tourists posting on that social media platform.

Another thing the study found was that there was no particular regional winner. In fact, of the fifty cities, only 8 showed 50% or more of the pictures with people smiling in them. So, at least we made the top 20. You can take a look at all the findings on

Let’s take a look at the five cities with the fewest number of smiling people in Instagram photos, and the top 5 cities as well.


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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.

  • #50 - Baltimore, Maryland

    Baltimore skyline

    Just because Baltimore is known for their delicious crab cakes and Maryland blue crabs doesn’t mean you have to be crabby when you’re having your picture taken. Also known for their pit beef sandwiches, and the Baltimore Orioles, Maryland’s most populous city came in last out of the nation’s top 50 cities in this study, with only 28.6% of the people smiling in photos.

  • #49 - Providence, Rhode Island

    Providence, RI skyline

    The capitol and most populous city in the the USA’s smallest state (as far as land mass is concerned). Providence is situated at the head of Narragansett Bay near the mouth of the Providence River. It is one of many cities formed by neighborhoods on seven hills, much like Rome, Italy. Founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, it is one of New England’s oldest cities. Ranks next-to-last in the study with only 31.4% of the folks smiling in photos.

  • #48 - Detroit, Michigan

    Detroit skyline

    Detroit is the largest city in Michigan, and of course, it is known as the “Motor City,” since it is home to America’s big three automakers. We music lovers have come to know it as “Motown,” thanks to Berry Gordy Jr. and Motown Records, which called the city it’s home until they moved corporate offices to Los Angeles in the late 70s. Home of the Pistons, Red Wings, Lions and Tigers, Detroit ranks 47th with 32.1% of the people posting photographs smiling.

  • #47 - Hartford, Connecticut

    Hartford, CT dome at state house building

    The capitol city of the state of Connecticut was once the richest city in the United States following the American Civil War. Today, it is one of the nation’s poorest cities, with three out of every ten families living below the poverty level. Nicknamed “The Insurance Capital of the World,” Hartford places at #46 in the study, with 32.9% of the people smiling in posted photos.


  • #46 - Atlanta, Georgia

    Atlanta skyline

    The capitol and most populous city in the southern state of Georgia, Atlanta concludes the list of the top 5 cities with the fewest number of Instragram photos showing people smiling, at 33.5%. The city has become the home of a number of major U.S. film and television production companies, including Tyler Perry Studios. Sports plays a big part in the city’s identity too, with the Braves, Hawks and Falcons calling “Hotlanta” home.

  • #17 - Las Vegas, Nevada

    Las Vegas skyline

    Our home city scored above the national average of the 50 biggest cities in the USA, with 45.8% of the folks smiling in pictures. Of course, that also includes all the photos posted while people were vacationing here in Las Vegas. I wonder if we would have done better or worse if the study only consisted of people who actually call Southern Nevada home.

  • #5 - Virginia Beach, Virginia

    Virginia Beach shoreline with hotels facing south

    Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and one of the top tourist attractions along our nation’s eastern seaboard. It contains miles of sandy beaches with numerous hotels, motels and restaurants along the oceanfront for visitors from all over the world to enjoy. Ranked at #5 in the study with 51.5% percent of the people smiling in photos.

  • #4 - Chicago, Illinois

    Chicago River and skyline

    This one was a shocker for me. We can all understand how a beachfront tourist city like Virginia Beach would show lots of people smiling is posted photos, but Chicago? I know this city also sees a lot of visitors every year. But, with the problems the city has been beset with in recent years, I did not expect them to make the top 5. The “Windy City” ranks fourth with 51.9% of the people smiling in photos.

  • #3 - Austin, Texas

    Austin, Texas golden sunset skyline

    The capitol city of the great state of Texas, Austin bills itself as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” and for good reason due to the many number of professional musicians who reside there and the large number of live music venues contained within “Austin City Limits” (the title of a popular live music television series on PBS). The city’s unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird,” and maybe that’s why they rank third in the study with 53.2% of the folks showing smiling faces in posted photos.

  • #2 Birmingham, Alabama

    Birmingham, Alabama skyline

    Named after the industrial city of Birmingham, England, Alabama’s third-most populous city is also known for industry, especially the iron and steel industries, along with railroading. It is the seat of Jackson, the state’s most populous county. The folks in “Sweet Home Alabama” did very well in this study, nabbing the runner-up spot with 53.6% of the people smiling in pictures posted on Instagram.

  • #1 - Cincinnati, Ohio

    Cincinnati, Ohio skyline

    I bet if I were taking wagers, no one would have guessed Cincinnati, Ohio as the “Smiliest City” in America. I know I would have never picked the “Queen City” of Ohio. Believe it or not, Cincinnati is also referred to as “The Paris of America,” due to some very ambitious architecture, including the Music Hall, the Cincinnatian Hotel, and Shillito Department Store. That town makes some really good chili too! The surprising king of this particular study took the top spot with 57.3% of the photos showing smiling people. Congrats!

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