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Cities Ranked and Rated

Analyzing more than 400 metro areas in the U.S. and Canada using dozens of variables, the newly published, second edition of Cities Ranked and Rated written by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander and published by Frommer's, is the ultimate sourcebook for anyone looking to find the best place to live - or who's hungry to know how their hometown compares.

Where magazine surveys only show the big picture, Cities Ranked and Rated, 2nd Edition, lets you drill way down to find the percentage of white- versus blue-collar jobs, the number of annual days below zero degrees Fahrenheit, the cost for an average doctor visit and even the number of Starbucks in a given metro area. Extensive tables show you America's most literate cities, the best states for long summer evenings, and the places with the cheapest car insurance.

Cities Ranked and Rated, 2nd Edition, finally boils down all the variables into an overall city rating.

  1. Gainesville, FL
  2. Bellingham, WA
  3. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
  4. Colorado Springs, CO
  5. Ann Arbor, MI
  6. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
  7. Asheville, NC
  8. Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
  9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA
  10. Boise City-Nampa, ID

 

See complete rankings

Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, has "gained popularity among northern migrants seeking a Florida climate and intellectual stimulation without the high prices, tourist bustle, and stigma most commonly associated with the state," according to the authors. The book also highlights Gainesville's recreational opportunities, arts venues, opportunities for small businesses and small-town Southern feel.

The nation's least desirable place to live, meanwhile, is Modesto, CA, which scored a 0 on the book's 100-point scale. Modesto's lack of things to do, high cost of living and high unemployment rate contributed to this ranking, according to the book. In addition, "crime continues to be a real as well as an image problem," and "it was recently noted as having the highest auto theft rate in the nation," the authors note.