America's Top 50 Cities: We're #3!

Downtown Mountain View, CA

Downtown Mountain View, CA

In an recent article featured in USA Today ranking the top 50 cities in America, our very own Mountain View, CA was declared #3 in the country. I'm guessing the only reason we missed the #1 spot was because housing affordability was one of the criteria: 

To determine America’s best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 550 areas measured by the U.S. Census Bureau with populations of 65,000 or more.

Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 best cities to live.

Rounding out the top 5 are: #5 Evanston, IL #4 Pleasanton, CA #2 Bellevue, WA and claiming the top spot, #1 Newton, MA. More of a "who's that?" than a "who's who" list, which is explained by the fact that most large cities were automatically eliminated due to high crime rates. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be on the "obscure but safe" list than the "well-know but dangerous" list. 

Summary from the article: 

3. Mountain View, California

> Median household income: $91,422

> Unemployment rate, 2013: 5.00%

> Median home value: $749,000

> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 204.1

> Average commuter travel time: 20.4 minutes

Mountain View scores well across many important measures. The city had low crime rates, strong-performing schools, a highly educated population, and a healthy job market. Mountain View is home to several large high-tech companies. It is also part of Santa Clara County, which includes other well-known technology centers such as Cupertino, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale.

The county also offers access to numerous amenities, including more than 3,500 restaurants and 216 gyms and fitness centers as of 2012. As of 2012, Santa Clara County had more than 3,500 restaurants and 216 gyms and fitness centers. Additionally, as of this year, residents can also watch the San Francisco 49ers at their new stadium in Santa Clara.

However, the cost of living in Mountain View — and California, more generally — is also quite high. Mountain View homes had a median value of nearly $750,000 in 2012, among the highest in the nation and more than double the statewide median. Residents also have to pay California’s relatively high taxes. In addition to the 7.5% California sales tax, Santa Clara has an additional 1.25% sales tax. State income tax rates are also quite high.