Monday, 13 July 2009

Quality of Life Ranking by Metropolitan Area.

Here is yet another interesting study on Quality of Living Ranking by Metropolitan Area by David Albouy, University of Michigan Economics professor.


Methodology of this study is as follows:

- Heating-Degree Days
- Cooling-Degree Days
- Sunshine, fraction possible
- Precipitation
- Proximity to Coast, salt or fresh water
- Violent Crimes per Capita
- Median Air Quality Index
- Restaurants and Bars per Thousand
- Places Rated Arts & Culture Index
- Residential Land Use Regulatory Index
- Sprawl Index
- Local Expenditures net of Local Taxes
- Federal Spending Differential

Let's review Top 15 metropolitan area (out of 241). Since this study does not evaluate economic related factors, scenic travel and second home destination metros are performing well.

1 Honolulu, HI MSA
2 Santa Barbara--Santa Maria--Lompoc, CA MSA
3 Salinas, CA MSA
4 Santa Fe, NM MSA
5 San Luis Obispo--Atascadero--Paso Robles, CA MSA
6 San Francisco--Oakland--San Jose, CA CMSA
7 non-metropolitan areas, HI
8 San Diego, CA MSA
9 Naples, FL MSA
10 Medford--Ashland, OR MSA
11 non-metropolitan areas, CO
12 Barnstable--Yarmouth, MA MSA
13 Flagstaff, AZ--UT MSA
14 Eugene--Springfield, OR MSA
15 Sarasota--Bradenton, FL MSA

As for the metros with the lowest quality of living, here is the worst 10. Small metros with industry flares did poorly.

232. Lima, OH MSA
234. Jackson, MI MSA
2234. non-metropolitan areas, AL
235. Rockford, IL MSA
236. Decatur, AL MSA
237. McAllen--Edinburg--Mission, TX MSA
238. Gadsden, AL MSA
239. Decatur, IL MSA
240. Beaumont--Port Arthur, TX MSA
241. Kokomo, IN MSA

Below is the ranking for metropolitan areas with 1 million+ population.

- While cost of living is high, California coastal markets such as San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles are ranked Top 3. No wonder coastal California is very popular places to live!

- On the contrary, Houston and Dallas are ranked in Worst 10 while Austin Tx does so-so at 12th ranking because of limited sprawl.

- The worst performing metros are those in Rust Belt, primarily because of severely cold weather and lack of culture. As these metros are losing jobs quickly, no wonder population are dwindling.

1 San Francisco--Oakland--San Jose, CA CMSA
2 San Diego, CA MSA
3 Los Angeles--Riverside--Orange County, CA CMSA
4 Seattle--Tacoma--Bremerton, WA CMSA
5 Miami--Fort Lauderdale, FL CMSA
6 Boston--Worcester--Lawrence, MA--NH--ME--CT CMSA
7 Denver--Boulder--Greeley, CO CMSA
8 Portland--Salem, OR--WA CMSA
9 New York--Northern New Jersey--Long Island, NY--NJ--CT--PA CMSA
10 West Palm Beach--Boca Raton, FL MSA
11 Norfolk--Virginia Beach--Newport News, VA--NC MSA
12 Austin--San Marcos, TX MSA
13 Sacramento--Yolo, CA CMSA
14 Salt Lake City--Ogden, UT MSA
15 Phoenix--Mesa, AZ MSA
16 New Orleans, LA MSA
17 Tampa--St. Petersburg--Clearwater, FL MSA
18 Orlando, FL MSA
19 Raleigh--Durham--Chapel Hill, NC MSA
20 Jacksonville, FL MSA
21 Chicago--Gary--Kenosha, IL--IN--WI CMSA
22 Nashville, TN MSA
23 Oklahoma City, OK MSA
24 Providence--Fall River--Warwick, RI--MA MSA
25 Charlotte--Gastonia--Rock Hill, NC--SC MSA
26 Washington--Baltimore, DC--MD--VA--WV CMSA
27 San Antonio, TX MSA
28 Cleveland--Akron, OH CMSA
29 Greensboro--Winston-Salem--High Point, NC MSA
30 Minneapolis--St. Paul, MN--p , WI MSA
31 Las Vegas, NV--AZ MSA
32 Rochester, NY MSA
33 Columbus, OH MSA
34 Kansas City, MO--KS MSA
35 St. Louis, MO--IL MSA
36 Atlanta, GA MSA
37 Dallas--Fort Worth, TX CMSA
38 Philadelphia--Wilmington--Atlantic City, PA--NJ--DE--MD CMSA
39 Detroit--Ann Arbor--Flint, MI CMSA
40 Indianapolis, IN MSA
41 Pittsburgh, PA MSA
42 Cincinnati--Hamilton, OH--KY--IN CMSA
43 Memphis, TN--AR--MS MSA
44 Grand Rapids--Muskegon--Holland, MI MSA
45 Buffalo--Niagara Falls, NY g , MSA
46 Houston--Galveston--Brazoria, TX CMSA

I've bloged a couple of posting on decline of California, rise of Texas and their rivalry. By looking at this kind of data, it is evident that California's anti-growth policy is contributing to keeping coastal area very attractive place to live. As for the Texas, free-to-develop culture made Houston and Dalls one of the most ugly places to live. I guess California and Texas should really learn from each other!

Happy Investing!!!!

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