Bloomberg/Businessweek's Top 50 US Cities to Live - 2012 Edition

This topic is locked from further discussion.

Avatar image for perfect_blue
#1 Posted by Perfect_Blue (28503 posts) -

For the ranking, Businessweek.com once again teamed up with Bloomberg Rankings to evaluate data on 100 of the countrys largest cities. We looked at leisure attributes (the number of restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, professional sports teams, and park acres by population), educational attributes (public school performance, the number of colleges, and rate of graduate-degree holders), economic factors (income and unemployment), crime, and air quality. Major professional league and minor league teams, as well as U.S.-based teams belonging to international leagues in each city were included. This year we placed greater emphasis on leisure amenities than we did last year.The figures come from data company Onboard Informatics and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land. As the methodology was altered, changes in a citys ranking from 2011 do not suggest that it has gotten better or worse.

Theres no agreeing on which is the best city for you to live in. For that, family connections, occupation, lifestyle, and perhaps a lifelong devotion to a doomed sports team all come into play. The list is our best stab at recognizing some of the most important common variables.


San Francisco, for instance, had the highest score for education (based on the previously mentioned factors), ranked sixth for leisure, and placed in the top 20 for economic factors and air quality. In addition to the usual plethora of food trucks, restaurants, bars, and parks, the diverse city also hosts an endless stream of events, including an annual jazz festival, a literary festival, and a number of fairs in the month of October alone. That, along with sheer breathtaking views, attracts about 129,000 tourists every day, according to the San Francisco Travel Association. The citys cosmopolitan nature enhances the amenities available to residents year-round.

Add a lively arts scene. While cultural institutions such as the de Young Museum may house famous works, the city also tries to bring art to all its residents. Urban Solutions 2 Blocks of Art, a free art walk in the Central Market neighborhood, for instance, is one of a few projects bringing art to the citys challenged areas. Ive worked here for three administrations and the local government leadership has always been supportive of the arts in the city. Thats really created a lot of the pride we have here, says Robynn Takayama, community arts and education program manager at the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Not everything is golden in San Francisco, of course. An influx of young techies has driven up living costs. (Average rent for a studio apartment is $2,075, according to research firm RealFacts.) As the city has grown wealthier, it has lost some of its legendary grit. Yet it has one of the largest U.S. populations of homeless people.

Northwest cities claimed two further places in the top five on our list: Seattle (second) and Portland (fifth) edged out such southern California cities as San Diego (ninth) and Los Angeles (50th).

New York, the countrys largest city, placed seventh.


Safety boosted two Virginia cities: Virginia Beach and Chesapeake ranked second and fourth, respectively, in this category. The region, home to naval facilities and both active and retired military and defense-contracting professionals, was also among the most prosperous.

Washington, which placed first for leisure when factoring in amenities per capita, also received a boost from its second-place finish for education, ranking third overall.

1. San Francisco, CA
2. Seattle, WA
3. Washington D.C
4. Boston, MA
5. Portland, OR
6. Denver, CO
7. New York, NY
8. Austin, TX
9. San Diego, CA
10. St. Paul, MN
11. Pittsburgh, PA
12. Minneapolis, MN
13. Nashville, TN
14. New Orleans, LA
15. Kansas City, MO
16. Atlanta, GA
17. Madison, WI
18. Raleigh, NC
19. Honolulu, HI
20. Columbus, OH
21. Cincinnati, OH
22. Houston, TX
23. Oklahoma City, OK
24. Philadelphia, PA
25. Lexington, KY
26. Milwaukee, WI
27. Arlington, VA
28. Chicago, IL
29. Baltimore, MD
30. San Antonio, TX
31. Oakland, CA
32. Rochester, NY
33. San Jose, CA
34t. Lincoln, NE; Tampa, FL
36. Colorado Springs, CO
37. Indianapolis, IN
38. Tulsa, OK
39. Charlotte. NC
40. Virginia Beach, VA
41. Dallas, TX
42. Reno, NV
43. Scottsdale, AZ
44. Phoenix, AZ
45. Chesapeake, VA
46. Cleveland, OH
47. St. Louis, MO
48. Omaha, NE
49. Anchorage, AK
50. Los Angeles, CA

Link:http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/2012-09-26/americas-50-best-cities

Further proof that San Fran is the superior city muahahaha

Avatar image for JML897
#2 Posted by JML897 (33134 posts) -
I wouldn't want to live anywhere near about half of that list
Avatar image for PinkiePirate
#3 Posted by PinkiePirate (1973 posts) -
Yes! Portland, Oregon! Such a beautiful city. Like 90% of LA is crap. Shouldn't be anywhere near that list...
Avatar image for perfect_blue
#4 Posted by Perfect_Blue (28503 posts) -

Yes! Portland, Oregon! Such a beautiful city.PinkiePirate
I've heard Portland is one of the best cities to live in the US and the weather is incredible.

Avatar image for Allicrombie
#5 Posted by Allicrombie (26185 posts) -
I guess Cali wins. =P
Avatar image for TacticalDesire
#6 Posted by TacticalDesire (10713 posts) -

Alittle surprised to see my city on the list.

Avatar image for TacticalDesire
#7 Posted by TacticalDesire (10713 posts) -

I guess Cali wins. =PAllicrombie

Oh you west coaster.

Avatar image for wis3boi
#8 Posted by wis3boi (32507 posts) -

Good list. My home state isn't even on there :lol: ct is a piece o' crap

lol @ san fran #1 though

Avatar image for Wren28
#9 Posted by Wren28 (27811 posts) -

[QUOTE="PinkiePirate"]Yes! Portland, Oregon! Such a beautiful city.Aljosa23

I've heard Portland is one of the best cities to live in the US and the weather is incredible.

I love Portland, can't wait to move back there...it is an amazing city so was glad to see it in the top five.

Avatar image for PinkiePirate
#10 Posted by PinkiePirate (1973 posts) -

[QUOTE="Aljosa23"]

[QUOTE="PinkiePirate"]Yes! Portland, Oregon! Such a beautiful city.Wren28

I've heard Portland is one of the best cities to live in the US and the weather is incredible.

I love Portland, can't wait to move back there...it is an amazing city so was glad to see it in the top five.

I visit Portland all the time. Kinda want to move there.
Avatar image for achilles614
#11 Posted by achilles614 (5167 posts) -
Wait how come Miami, FL isn't number 1 :( at least where I was born is somewhere on there (Dallas, TX).
Avatar image for Pirate700
#12 Posted by Pirate700 (46465 posts) -

#6 baby!

Avatar image for Mozelleple112
#13 Posted by Mozelleple112 (6952 posts) -

That's a weird ass list.

I would have thought it would be:

1. New York

2. Chicago

3. Los Angeles

4. Boston

5. Philidelphia

6. Houston

7. Seattle

8. Atlanta

9. Miami

10. Washington D.C.

Avatar image for Oleg_Huzwog
#14 Posted by Oleg_Huzwog (21885 posts) -

Second?!? That's a fancy word for losing!

Avatar image for tagyhag
#15 Posted by tagyhag (15869 posts) -
Would be amazing to live in Seattle. Gaben is just a drive away.
Avatar image for rilpas
#16 Posted by rilpas (8161 posts) -
so for those who live/lived there. Is Baltimore any good?
Avatar image for Nintendo_Ownes7
#17 Posted by Nintendo_Ownes7 (30917 posts) -

#11 in 2012 though in 2010 Pittsburgh was #1.

Avatar image for Allicrombie
#18 Posted by Allicrombie (26185 posts) -

so for those who live/lived there. Is Baltimore any good?rilpas
should ask mitu. =P

Avatar image for mitu123
#19 Posted by mitu123 (154997 posts) -

[QUOTE="rilpas"]so for those who live/lived there. Is Baltimore any good?Allicrombie

should ask mitu. =P

ROFL, but yeah it's pretty much the best city in the damn state.

Avatar image for rilpas
#20 Posted by rilpas (8161 posts) -

[QUOTE="Allicrombie"]

[QUOTE="rilpas"]so for those who live/lived there. Is Baltimore any good?mitu123

should ask mitu. =P

ROFL, but yeah it's pretty much the best city in the damn state.

that's good to know, I plan on moving there in the near future :P

Avatar image for sonicare
#21 Posted by sonicare (54991 posts) -

San Francisco is a great place to live if you have a lot of money.

Avatar image for CHOASXIII
#22 Posted by CHOASXIII (14688 posts) -

so for those who live/lived there. Is Baltimore any good?rilpas

No, I live somewhat near there and I have been there many times.

Avatar image for rilpas
#23 Posted by rilpas (8161 posts) -

[QUOTE="rilpas"]so for those who live/lived there. Is Baltimore any good?CHOASXIII

No, I live somewhat near there and I have been there many times.

what's wrong with it? crime? ugly place? cost of living?
Avatar image for CHOASXIII
#24 Posted by CHOASXIII (14688 posts) -

[QUOTE="CHOASXIII"]

[QUOTE="rilpas"]so for those who live/lived there. Is Baltimore any good?rilpas

No, I live somewhat near there and I have been there many times.

what's wrong with it? crime? ugly place? cost of living?

From what I have seen the crime is pretty bad there and it just seems like a nasty place. Also there is the fact that I hate cities and wouldn't want to live in one. Just giving my opinion though. The cities on the outskirts like White Marsh seem nice though.

Avatar image for Allicrombie
#25 Posted by Allicrombie (26185 posts) -

San Francisco is a great place to live if you have a lot of money.

sonicare
You need a lot of money to live in Cali period. I know a dude who lives in what is pretty much a large closet, with a hole in the ground for a toilet/shower/sink, and is paying $1600 a month, its insane.
Avatar image for gamerguru100
#26 Posted by gamerguru100 (12623 posts) -

St. Paul (10) and Minneapolis (12)

Not bad.

I live in a suburb of Minneapolis. MN isn't too bad, with the exception of cold ass winters and mosquitoes in the summer.

Avatar image for CHOASXIII
#27 Posted by CHOASXIII (14688 posts) -

Just to point out something funny, no cities from Delaware are on there. -suprised face-

Avatar image for Mozelleple112
#28 Posted by Mozelleple112 (6952 posts) -
[QUOTE="sonicare"]

San Francisco is a great place to live if you have a lot of money.

Allicrombie
You need a lot of money to live in Cali period. I know a dude who lives in what is pretty much a large closet, with a hole in the ground for a toilet/shower/sink, and is paying $1600 a month, its insane.

WTH. that's worse than Oslo :p
Avatar image for JoGoSo
#29 Posted by JoGoSo (441 posts) -

Wow, my city is #25!

It's not bad here at all, but I don't know if I agree.

Avatar image for HoolaHoopMan
#30 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (8865 posts) -
Woooo go St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Avatar image for KC_Hokie
#31 Posted by KC_Hokie (16099 posts) -
My city, Kansas City, is #15. I would argue it should be ranked higher than that. Glad most people don't know how nice of place this is to live.
Avatar image for coasterguy65
#32 Posted by coasterguy65 (7133 posts) -

Washington D.C. being number 3 invalidates the list. Sure D.C. is nice if you live in N.W. DC or somewhere near the monuments...the rest of the city...not so much.

Avatar image for gamerguru100
#33 Posted by gamerguru100 (12623 posts) -
Woooo go St. Paul and Minneapolis. HoolaHoopMan
Seconded. :D
Avatar image for dragonfly110
#34 Posted by dragonfly110 (27738 posts) -

I'd put Columbus and Chicago higher on the list, out of all the cities I've visited they've always been my favorites. I'm a bit biased though as my favorite college(OSU) is located outside Columbus and I was born and raised in the Windy City, and will probably continue living here for years to come; I love the music and theater scene here. Honestly the gang violence is really over emphasized in the ranking, I mean yes there are certain parts of the city that are very shady but they're all fairly isolated to the far west side(from my experiences at least)

Avatar image for muller39
#35 Posted by muller39 (14949 posts) -

#11 in 2012 though in 2010 Pittsburgh was #1.

Nintendo_Ownes7
That is shocking.
Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#36 Posted by LJS9502_basic (158457 posts) -
Pittsburgh still makes that list. Hmm.....
Avatar image for Laihendi
#37 Posted by Laihendi (5871 posts) -
If their sample group is the 100 largest cities then this list is basically the better half of some of the worst places to live in America.
Avatar image for coolbeans90
#38 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

D.C. is megh.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#39 Posted by LJS9502_basic (158457 posts) -

D.C. is megh.

coolbeans90
Kind of surprised to see it as number 3.
Avatar image for coolbeans90
#40 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

[QUOTE="coolbeans90"]

D.C. is megh.

LJS9502_basic

Kind of surprised to see it as number 3.

Very. If it is true, I suppose that American cities must really kinda suck. I mean, D.C. isn't terrible, but BAD traffic (but decent public transport to circumvent that) + rough areas + lame tourist traps . . . decent night scene, but every city has that. Has some fun stuff to see, but it loses the novelty after living there for a while. Definitely worth visiting for that, though.

Avatar image for Badosh
#41 Posted by Badosh (12761 posts) -
Woooo go St. Paul and Minneapolis. HoolaHoopMan
Yeah buddy!
Avatar image for dagreenfish
#42 Posted by dagreenfish (1818 posts) -

I can personally attest that both Portland and Denver are awesome cities to live in. Both San Fran and Boston were fun places to visit, don't think I'd want to live in either one though.