Report: What makes the best place to live? Proximity to orchestras, for one

Posted on: September 21, 2016

A report in Monday’s (9/19) Money magazine listing the top 50 “best” places in the U.S. to live shows that the top ten towns all have ready access to orchestras—using the report’s criteria, one or more orchestras within 30 miles. “The availability of cultural resources and performing arts are an important contributor to quality-of-life ratings,” says Peter Goldey, chief information officer at Onboard Informatics and’s analytics partner for the story. “This is reflected in’s Top 10, which average nearly twice as many orchestras per city than the overall list.” The article states, “This year’s list included all U.S. towns and cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000, for a pool of 823 to start. To find the best, we sorted through almost 300,000 demographic data points.… We eliminated the 100 places with the lowest predicted job growth … and any place without a strong sense of ethnic diversity (more than 90% of one race).… We hunted for top home values.… We also considered accessibility to health care, culture, strong public schools, and sports.” Among the data sources were the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moody’s, U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Economic Innovation Group, and the League of American Orchestras.

Posted September 21, 2016