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slides: New England’s Best Cities 2013

Monday, September 02, 2013


What is New England's Best City?

GoLocalProv releases its 2nd annual New England's Best Cities 2013, its comprehensive head-to-head comparison of the cities of New England. The analysis was developed over two months, utilizing thousands of data points to compare the largest 30 cities, by state, in the region.

Inspired by national rankings from media outlets such as US News & World ReportForbes, and Business Week, GoLocal's evaluation compares each state's five largest cities, from the region's smallest contender (Rutland, VT) to its largest (Boston, MA) in five general areas: Economics/Prosperity, Safety, Culture, Health, and Overall Quality of Life. Utlizing a total of 17 metrics ranging from median household income, unemployment, school quality and crime rates to arts-related employment, wifi hotspots, public libraries and walkability among others, the GoLocal proprietary formula quantifies the many qualities that go into a city's fabric.

To read more about GoLocalProv's methodology, go here.

The Cities

GoLocal has analyzed the 5 largest cities in each New England state:

Connecticut: Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury

Maine: Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, South Portland, Auburn

Massachusetts: Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge

New Hampshire: Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry, Rochester

Rhode Island: Providence, Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, East Providence

Vermont: Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, Colchester, Rutland

Variety in sizes, attributes

New England’s rural, northern states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont had cities with much smaller populations overall than their southern neighbors, but GoLocal applied per capita ratios through the rankings to get at fair ways to compare large cities to smaller places. The cities ranged in population, from Boston’s 617,594 to Rutland’s 16,495.

But as the New England's Best Cities 2013 ranking will show, biggest doesn’t always mean best. Qualities of life, from healthy air, sunshine, walkability, parks and wifi hotspots, and low crime rates gave smaller, rural cities competitive mettle against larger cities’ assets such as more cultural resources. Prosperity factors such as median household incomes, unemployment, and cost of living didn’t correlate necessarily to size, either.

What emerges is the complex view of New England’s cities that one would expect. What cities hold the best combination of wealth, opportunity, lifestyle, healthiness, fun and good weather and environment that combine to make it the best?

With research by: Scott O'Leary, Sabrina Abballe, Ben Mandeville.


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