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Best for you maybe

I agree with Big Media Matt – the criteria used in this Best Places to Live guide sounds exactly like a formula to determine the richest exurban areas and not much else. The $50,000 median income cutoff is a guarantee that all major urban areas are excluded, while the 60-mile radius around a major urban center cuts off all rural areas. (Just out of curiosity, are there any places that clear the income and employment hurdles and which aren’t within 60 miles of a “major city”?)

This “survey” is nothing more than a litmus test. Either one would only ever live in places like The Woodlands and Sugar Land, or one would sooner be broken on the rack than live there. I know a few people who live in the burbs because that’s where they work, and a few people who live out there because that’s what they could afford, but I don’t know anyone who feels like they have a choice in the city-versus-suburbs matter who’s indifferent to it.

I don’t know how granular their financial data is in this, but in some parts of the Big City, there’s a real wide range within a small area. I live in a ZIP code where a lot of folks live at or below the poverty level, but you couldn’t tell that from my neighborhood. And I’ll take it over any “soulless exurban sprawl zone”, even and especially master planned soulless exurban sprawl zones.

There’s more to a place to live than just income levels, and any survey that undertakes to rank them without considering these things will produce bogus results. Keep that in mind before you buy that sprawling swankienda out in Fort Bend or Montgomery County.

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5 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Any list that ranks Plano as the best city in Texas is a great list… of places to avoid.

  2. Luis says:

    I’ll bet ski towns like Aspen and Jackson Hole meet the economic and employment milestones and are more than 60 miles from a major city. The only way they don’t is if they have enough people who are not working and just having fun as permanent residents. But my guess is that those people are just visitors (maybe spending several months at a second home) with a permanent residence elsewhere.

    Any survey that says Westminster is the best place to live in Colorado is obviously a crock.

  3. Norbizness says:

    Yeah, Plano and Richardson are bad-ASS!

    Oh, and Sugar Land. Certainly not one long, disgusting strip mall extending down both Highway 6 and 59.

  4. apostropher says:

    Any survey that says Westminster is the best place to live in Colorado is obviously a crock.

    Any one that lists Cary, NC as the best place to live even in Wake County, much less the entire US, can only be a parody.

  5. apostropher says:

    Um, the eastern US, that is. Preview is my sorely neglected friend.