Choosing to live in a big city — and being truly happy there — might have more to do with your personality than anything else, according to a new study.

The study, led by a group of international researchers and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a person’s life satisfaction was linked to how well their personality fitted into the place they live. The researchers used data from the BBC's Big Personality Test — collected from over 590,000 people between 2009 and 2011 — and analyzed 56,000 people from London to see how personality and life satisfaction were linked, and how levels of happiness changed across various postal codes. In other words, they wanted to study how different personalities thrived, or didn’t thrive, in various places.

“It’s very common for people to talk about where is the best place to live, but most research has tended to look at factors such as income and low crime rates, and only on a very broad geographical scale, failing to consider individual differences in personality,” Dr. Markus Jokela of the University of Helsinki, Finland, said in the press release. “As a result, studies imply that all people would be equally happy in the same places. It’s a one-size-fits-all conclusion that, as we show, is misleading because one’s level of happiness is dependent on whether their environment is suited to their personality.”

The researchers found that people living mainly in central and urban areas were the most open and extroverted, and people outside of those areas, in the outer regions of London, were less likely to be extroverted. They also found that personalities leaning toward being less “agreeable” were found in western central London — an area also known for the highest crime rate, busiest pedestrian traffic, and very high housing prices. But the question of whether people living in the center of a busy city inherently have more pushy and disagreeable personalities — or if living in the city makes them so — is still up in the air.

Personalities in London
The graph above depicts the areas where certain personalities were more clustered together. Dr. Markus Jokela, University of Helsinki, Finland

Personality plays a big role in life decisions, from deciding what sort of career you want to go into, to of course, where you'll be most happy living. Perhaps some day if researchers are able to better understand the link between personality, life satisfaction, and cityscape, you could choose the best place for you based entirely on science.

“Together, these findings not only add to our understanding of the ways in which features of our personalities relate to our physical environments, but they also provide potentially useful information for choosing a place to live,” Dr. Jason Rentfrow of the University of Cambridge said in the press release. “Granted, most people don’t have the luxury of complete control over where they live, but given their budgets, people can decide whether it’s more important to live in the center of town, where daily life is vibrant and accommodation is small, or further out where daily life is slower but space is more plentiful. Making the decision that fits with your personality could have an effect on your overall life satisfaction.”

Source: Jokela M, Bleidorn W, Lamb M, Gosling S, Rentfrow P. Geographically varying associations between personality and life satisfaction in the London metropolitan area. PNAS. 2014.