Places Rated Almanac (Special Millennium Edition)

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9780028634470: Places Rated Almanac (Special Millennium Edition)

This blockbuster best-seller makes headlines coast to coast with its candid, fascinating look at all the factors that contribute to our quality of life. Sometimes controversial and always thought-provoking, Places Rated has been completely updated with the latest statistics. It's packed with timely facts and unbiased information on more than 350 metro areas in North America.Whether you're mulling over the idea of relocating, trying to decide where to start out, or just curious about how your hometown stacks up, you'll be intrigued by Places Rated Almanac. Places Rated ranks each metropolitan area on a number of essential factors, many of which are of vital interest in today's economy. They include:

  • Job markets
  • Cost of living
  • Housing costs
  • Educational standards
  • Quality of public transportation
  • Health care
  • Recreational facilities
  • Crime rates
  • Environmental factors
  • Climate
Easy-to-use charts help readers put this wealth of information to work to find the places that best suit their special needs and interests. Packed with unbiased, reliable and up-to-date information, this one-of-a-kind guide offers something to amuse or intrigue on every page. Newly redesigned this year with a two-color interior!

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Review:

Looking to live somewhere where houses are cheap? Head to Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, where the average home costs $75,700, and annual property taxes for that home are about $960. Perhaps a good job market is a higher priority. In that case, pick Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; or Riverside, California, as they top the list of places projected to have the highest-percentage increase in new jobs by 2005. Most of those jobs, by the way, are expected to have above-average pay. This and other detailed information can be found in the sixth edition of Places Rated Almanac, a helpful resource for people thinking of relocating as well as those with a desire to learn about cities and towns. Metropolitan areas are rated in nine categories: costs of living, job outlook, transportation, education, health care, crime, the arts, recreation, and climate. But don't go looking for statistics on Podunk--the focus remains on 354 metro areas, metro defined as a city or urbanized population of at least 50,000, located in a county with a total population of at least 100,000.

Places Rated is laced with intelligent and, unexpectedly, witty writing. The whole concept of judging places, the author notes, may seem the utmost of brass. "Yet everyone does it, privately. Some suspect that culture in Omaha or Des Moines or Saskatoon is a contradiction. Others surmise that daily life in Miami consists of surviving drug-trade shoot-outs..." Organized intelligently, Places Rated acknowledges that "livability" and "quality of life" are moving targets. Livable for whom? The artist who wants mountain vistas? The entrepreneur who wants low taxes and no red tape? With these limitations in mind, the book ends with a chapter titled "Putting It All Together," where the reader is invited to rate cities with a customized list of priorities. Arriving at your customized list, however, requires answering 72 questions that force you to decide once and for all what you value most--a low cost of living or good school districts or mild winters or some other criterion. And should you find that climate matters most, head for Santa Barbara, California, where winters and summers are mild and natural hazards are few, and stay away from Rochester, Minnesota, unless you're willing to endure 35 days when it's 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and 165 days of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, annually. --John Russell

From the Back Cover:

Your Source for Finding the Best Places to Live in North America! Whether you're looking for a place to set down roots, relocating a business or family, or just curious about how your hometown stacks up against the competition, Places Rated Almanac is for you. We rate and rank 354 metro areas across the United States and Canada, examining nine essential factors to help you make the right choice for your lifestyle. Places Rated Almanac tells you exactly where you'll find:

  • The most affordable places to live
  • The fastest-growing job markets
  • The safest neighborhoods
  • The best public schools
  • The best health care
  • The richest cultural life
  • The best places to enjoy the outdoors
  • The most convenient transportation
  • The sunniest climates
Other Special Features:
  • A personalized quiz to help you determine the factors that are most important to you
  • Contact information for each metropolitan area's Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and daily newspapers
  • Numerous two-color maps and charts
  • New data on racial diversity, wealth, and politics
Visit us online at www.frommers.com or www.idgbooks.com

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