Money Magazine just released the 2016 edition of their 50 Best Places to Live. Columbia, Maryland took the top spot this year in part for being a community that prizes economic and social diversity. Each year, Onboard and Money Magazine join forces to hunt down US places with the highest quality of life. The rankings are based on important “livability” factors like low crime rates, job growth and ethnic diversity. For this edition, the magazine also limited the size of the communities from 50,000-300,000.
This year, Onboard Informatics helped Money narrow the results by focusing on financial factors like median property values and household incomes. Communities with strong local economies and low taxes were also rated higher.
It can be difficult to rank intangibles like quality of life. That’s where Onboard’s data analytics team comes in. Onboard aggregates data on all 150 million properties in the US and their surrounding areas. That includes things like local unemployment, number of doctors, and the overall health of residents. Once the data is collected, the results are analyzed and individual areas can be compared against each other. More information on the methodology used can be found here.
Onboard has worked with Money Magazine since 2001 on compiling and providing the data for these stories. The success of this feature exemplifies the relevance and appeal of local information in generating interest and driving traffic. This story is picked up every year by numerous publications from national television programs to regional newspapers. It is arguably one of the biggest story’s Money Magazine runs all year and it’s due in large part to the underlying data that fuels the results.
We have long known that local data created compelling content. Money Magazine once again has set the bar with their Best Places to Live story. We’re thrilled to have them as a continued partner.
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