Cleveland, already the "most miserable" city in America according to Forbes, gets knocked again in rankings put out last week by Portfolio. In the rankings for "Quality of Life" among big cities, Cleveland falls 59th out of 67. So it's time to freak out, pack up a U-Haul, and study the list for a city that has a better quality of life, like the shining beacon of happiness that is Allentown-Bethlehem, PA.
Cleveland did top Los Angeles, which came in at number 60. If you want to know how and why Portfolio ranked the cities as they did, the gory details are after the jump. Warning: They are boring.
Basically, they cobbled together a bunch of categories — poverty, housing, growth, transportation, income, unemployment, education — and pretended that you could extrapolate people's feelings about their life based on that. Nowhere did they include Number of Sporting Events That Crush Your Heart, Number of Politicians Who've Ridden in Batmobiles, or Number of LeBron James's Who Are Holding Your City Hostage, however.
You get the point.
Factors: Portfolio.com/bizjournals used a 20-part formula to rate each market’s quality of life. Each component is followed in parentheses by the trait it measured and the type of reading—highest or lowest—that earned a maximum score:
1. Population growth since 2000 (growth, highest).
2. Percentage of residents who have lived in the same home for more than one year (stability, highest).
3. Share of all residents who are between the ages of 25 and 44 (young adults, highest).
4. Percentage of workers who work at home or walk to work (ease of movement, highest).
5. Average commuting time to work (ease of movement, lowest).
6. Median household income (earnings, highest).
7. Poverty rate for families (earnings, lowest).
8. Mortgage affordability, calculated as a ratio of median house value per $1,000 of median household income (cost of living, lowest).
9. Rent affordability, calculated as a ratio of annual median rent per $1,000 of median household income (cost of living, lowest).
10. Unemployment rate for persons between the ages of 25 and 64 (employment, lowest).
11. Percentage of all jobs that are classified as management or professional positions (employment, highest).
12. Percentage of workers who are self-employed (entrepreneurship, highest).
13. Percentage of houses that have been built since 1990 (housing stock, highest).
14. Percentage of houses that have nine or more rooms (housing stock, highest).
15. Housing vacancy rate (housing stock, lowest).
16. Homeownership rate (homeownership, highest).
17. Median house value (homeownership, highest).
18. Percentage of adults (25 or older) who hold-high school diplomas (education, highest).
19. Percentage of adults (25 or older) who hold bachelor’s degrees (education, highest).
20. Percentage of adults (25 or older) who hold advanced (master’s, doctoral, and/or professional) degrees (education, highest).