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Cities Ranked?& Rated: More than 400 Metropolitan Areas Evaluated in the U.S. and Canada Paperback – March 30, 2004
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From the Back Cover
The Latest Facts & Figures on the Best Places to Live in North America!
For anyone thinking about relocatingor interested in the demographics of American lifeCities Ranked & Rated offers unbeatable insights into more than 400 metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada. Data is provided by Bert Sperling, creator of Money magazines original "Best Places to Live" list.
This unique guide combines honest opinions and objective facts to help readers compare cities quickly and comprehensively.
- Data on the 45 fastest growing U.S. cities
- Seperate rankings for Canadian citiesand comparisons to their U.S. equivalents
- Easy-to-read charts showing the best and worst U.S. cities in over 50 categories
- State-level comparisons of population densities, taxes, government expenditures, educational testing, and more
- Details on how to find more information at Bestplaces.net/CRAR
- The strongest job outlook
- The lowest cost of living
- The most days of sunshine
- The best educational opportunites
- The best air and water quality
- The lowest healthcare costs
- The lowest crime rate
- The shortest daily commute
- The lowest automobile costs
- The most leisure amenities
About the Author
Bert Sperling has been choosing our country’s Best Places for 20 years. He created Money magazine’s original “Best Places to Live” list, and his work continues to appear in the media on a monthly basis. His studies have become part of our national culture, appearing in The Simpsons, Jay Leno jokes, and questions on Jeopardy. His website, Sperling’s BestPlaces (www.bestplaces.net), has become a popular Internet resource, and provides content to other sites such as Yahoo!, MSN, eBay, and the Wall Street Journal.
Annually, his “Healthiest Cities for Women” study is featured in SELF magazine. Other recent projects include “Best Places to Retire” (MSN), “Best Cities for Women” (Ladies’ Home Journal), “Great College Towns” (Newsweek), “This Town Rocks! Best Cities for Teens” (Seventeen), “Best Places to Buy a Second Home” (Smart Money), “Best Places to Raise an Outdoor Family” (Outdoor Explorer), “Hot Dating in Small Towns (MTV), “America’s Best City to Live” and “Most Energetic City” (USA Weekend) and features in Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, and Kiplinger’s.
Bert currently makes his home in Portland and Depoe Bay, Oregon, after living in Kodiak (Alaska), Carmel Valley (California), Key West (Florida), San Diego (California), Brooklyn, Hempstead, and East Meadow (New York), Norfolk (Virginia), and Oslo, Norway.
Peter Sander is a professional author, researcher, and consultant in the fields of business and personal finance. He has written eight books including Value Investing For Dummies, The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Living on a Budget, Everything Personal Finance, and Niche and Grow Rich. His educational background includes an MBA in Logistics Management from Indiana University and a BA in Urban Affairs and Administration from Miami University of Ohio, and professional training and examination as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP™). His career includes 20 years as a marketing and logistics specialist for a major high-tech firm. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and now living in Granite Bay, California, he has traveled in all 50 U.S. states.
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As was mentioned earlier, the rankings for employment opportunities are baffling. They contradict every other study that you'll find online and in newspapers and magazines, and at times, they even contradict their own numbers.
Actually, of all of the rankings they offer, I found their most subjective rankings to be the most valuable. They offer a "quality of life" ranking that is based on their own experiences. I believe that these subjective rankings are more valuable than all of the facts and figures that they've assembled throughout the rest of the book.
I do hope that they will work on improving the book, because it certainly has a lot of potential. But when I see that Billings, MT, and Elkhart, IN supposedly have the strongest economies in the U.S., and that Las Vegas is at the bottom, well, I think this book loses a lot of credibility.
If using it to choose where to move, use it to help narrow your search, and not for final decisions.
Rochester, Minnesota feels like a small town, "although the population exceeds 1 million." Huh? Rochester's metro population is 130,000 according to the book. Could they have meant Rochester, New York? For Rochester, New York, we do see that its metro population is 1.1 million and that one of its big negatives is cost of living. Yet the book rates cost of living there at 90 percent of the US average of 100. How is that a negative? Could they have meant Rochester, Minnesota? They also say Rochester, New York is the "fourth rainiest place in the country," yet the book's data show annual precipitation there to be well under the US average.
You want rain? Let's travel to the Gulf South. Houston's annual rainfall is well above the national average, which the book notes. But it also notes that greater Houston "covers 900 miles, more than twice the size of Rhode Island." Could they have meant "more than half the size of Rhode Island?" Look it up: Rhode Island covers 1,545 square miles. Further east on the Gulf, New Orleans has annual rainfalls well above the national average, too, and the book notes the area's flood-prone conditions and hurricane risk. Yet the New Orleans's "inland water" is just 10 sq. miles, according to the book. New Orleans was just drowned by 600 sq. mile Lake Pontchartrain, an inland body of water that is completely surrounded by New Orleans's parishes. Still further east, Gainesville, Florida, "does not have serious problems with hurricanes." On the next page, however, the college town is rated much worse for "hurricane risk" than New Orleans. Whoa!
Nitpicking? Not at all. I'm just casually paging through this book, getting pretty uncomfortable with the multitude of mistakes.
One of Wilmington, Delaware's negatives is a lackluster forecast for "future job growth." But the book says the area, "led by the chemical industry, became a prosperous industrial center and remains so today with a healthy future job outlook." See what I mean? The book is totally unreliable.