The New York Times Opinion editors have created a website that will help you find places in the United States that best suit what you are looking for in terms of potentially multiple criteria.
Here is the link: Where Should You Live?
The choices are grouped into four categories:
- Lifestyle (17 choices)
- Climate (6 choices)
- Politics (3 choices)
- Demographics (9 choices)
You select any of the items that are important to you, and if it is really important, you can click it twice to give it more weight.
I chose the following:
- schools (double click)
- health care (double click)
- warm winters (double click)
- racial diversity
In a strange coincidence, the top two cities based on my choices are North Sarasota and Sarasota in Florida. That is where my wife and I have talked about retiring to for a couple of years now.
I thought a few key attributes were missing, including walkability, waterfront, community library (I chose schools as a proxy for this), cultural opportunities (museums, plays), and public transit. As far as I can tell, with the exception of public transit, I think Sarasota would still rank quite high if those factors were included and I selected them.
I think the results offer a good reason to take a trip to Sarasota, preferably while it is still chilly here in the Philly suburbs.
Among the top 10 cities listed for me, 7 are in Florida, 2 are in Hawaii, and 1 is in California. I guess by double-clicking on warm winters, it quickly narrowed the possibilities.
The New York Times website does provide an explanation as to how the survey works and includes statewide scores for all of the criteria. While that may be of some help, I think it would be nicer if they provided city scores.
Overall, the survey confirmed what cities match the criteria that are important to us.
But I’m going to play around with it a bit more to see what choices I would have to make so that Philadelphia works out to be the number one destination for where I should live.
I know I won’t be selecting mountains, warm winters, or low crime…