by Dan Rafter
Like living in a big city? Personal finance site WalletHub suggests that you move out of the Midwest. And if you must live in this part of the country? Move to Lexington.
WalletHub recently published its 2015 list of the best and worst large U.S. cities in which to list. And the list of the worst cities was dominated by the Midwest. WalletHub picked eight Midwest cities to fill its list of the 10 worst large metropolitan areas in which to live.
Detroit was named the absolute worst large city in which to live by WalletHub. Memphis was right behind it. Also on the bad list were Cleveland, Indianapolis, Wichita, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Tulsa.
Lexington was the only Midwest city included in WalletHub’s 10 best large cities in which to live, ranking in a tie with San Francisco for eighth place. Topping the list of most desirable cities in which to live? Austin, Texas, followed by Raleigh, North Carolina, and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The editors at WalletHub looked at 31 metrics to determine their rankings, including the quality of cities’ health systems, the strength of their public schools, the economic growth they are experiencing, tax rates and crime rates. By these measures, WalletHub found that Midwest cities were largely lagging the rest of the country.
WalletHub’s list is certainly a controversial one. And, as brokers doing business in Detroit and other Midwest cities on the list will tell you, economic activity and construction is on the rise in their markets, so the future is brighter for many of these Midwest cities than WalletHub’s survey would lead you to believe.
But whether you like WalletHub’s rankings or not, there are some interesting stats from the survey. For instance, the percentage of adults who eat five servings of fruits or vegetables every day in San Francisco is two times higher than it is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This reluctance to eat veggies and fruit could lead to an unhealthier population, and is one reason why WalletHub ranks Tulsa as one of the 10 worst large cities in which to live.
The survey also found that the violent crime rate in Detroit is 13 times as high as it is in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and that the percentage of the population that smokes daily in Louisville is four times higher than in San Jose, California. WalletHub found that the percentage of adults with a body mass index of 30 or higher in Memphis is two times higher thani n San Jose.
Not everyone will like this story. And one of the commenters on WalletHub’s site probably summed up the feelings of many readers, saying that such surveys are worthless. What really matters, according to this commenter? Jobs. U.S. residents will live in any city if they can find a good job there, this commenter said.
“If Siberia was in the US and it had jobs, people would move there and it would rank well,” the commenter wrote.
And, really, it’s hard to argue with that.