Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica Ranked Among Most Livable Cities by Livability.com
By Jorge Casuso
October 17, 2013 -- Santa Monica has been named one of the nation’s 100 best small and mid-sized cities in which to live, but it still ranked 12th in California, according to rankings posted Wednesday by Livability.com.
The website ranked cities with populations of between 20,000 and 350,000 based on economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare Santa Monica ranked 44, with Palo Alto taking the top spot.
Santa Monica scored high in the areas of amenities and education, as well as social and civic capital, according to a statement issued by the website.
Santa Monican was comprised of a mostly younger population of renters who were single, mostly white, had college degrees and worked white collar jobs.
“This is a group that is very innovative and entrepreneurial,” Livability.com editor Matt Carmichael told The Lookout. “It’s people who will plant roots in the community and grow with the community.
“We’re seeing a slight decrease in the number of people who are homeowners,” Carmichael said. “We’re seeing more renters. That’s going to keep people downtown.”
Santa Monicans were considered “super spenders” when it came to entertainment, and “extra spenders” on food, health and utilities, according to the website.
"Great cities are more than just a check-list of bars, coffee shops and museums,” Carmichael said in a statement. “Our goal was to collect the best data available, from the best sources and the best partners to gauge the true measures of livability.
“Access was important, but so were utilization and affordability," Carmichael said. "By using data from the public sector, the private sector and non-profits focused on these issues, we have compiled an Index that celebrates America's great cities and towns."
For the months-long study, data for each city was collected from a wide range of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Walkscore and GreatSchools.com.
"This is the first time we have focused on measures for specific cities instead of metropolitan regions," said Kevin Stolarick, PhD, research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute. "While getting consistent, reliable data at the cities level had its challenges, the results were worth the effort."
To produce the list, the website partnered with the Martin Prosperity Institute, “the world's leading think tank on the role of location, place, and city-regions in global economic prosperity,” according to the statement.
Livability also recruited the market research firm Ipsos Public Affairs to conduct a survey “to find out what quality of life amenities residents value most,” according to the website.
“Respondents were asked about factors that make their communities better places to live, as well as the factors they would consider in selecting another city.”
The five most livable cities were Palo Alto, California; Boulder, Colorado; Berkley, California; Durham, North Carolina, and Miami Beach, Florida.
Livability.com is owned and operated by Tennessee-based Journal Communications, which publishes more than 100 magazines for chambers of commerce, economic development agencies and corporations, according to Wikipedia.
For a complete list of the rankings visit livability.com.
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