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Best Cities 2010: Lexington, KY

City: Lexington

State: Kentucky

Best Cities Overall Rank: 5

About Lexington: Among the many reasons families love Lexington are its 5,821 acres of parks, pools, and playgrounds, the low crime rate, and a stable real estate market. This city, considered the world capital of racehorse breeding, had the top score in our Home Value Loss ranking. This means that of all the cities surveyed, fewer homes here (just 6.65 percent) sold at a loss than in any other city. Lexington also has fewer registered sex offenders than more than three quarters of the cities surveyed.

What moms say: Holli Powell, mom of a 10-month-old daughter, fell in love with Lexington because it's not only beautiful, clean, and safe but also small enough so that it's easy to meet other moms. "It's a really friendly city and people are always out in their backyards and getting together for cookouts or for parties," she says.

What's great for families: From late April to October, the Keeneland Race Track is a wonderful place to spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon watching the horses. "We go with our friends and bring picnics and blankets," Powell says. "You can just spread out the food, and all the kids run around and play."

County: Fayette

Population: 282,000

Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

Newspaper with the largest circulation: Lexington Herald-Leader

Lexington blogs:

Bluegrass Moms

Me, You and Manu

The Mother Tongue

Lexington's Facebook page:  Follow Lexington on Facebook

Lexington's Twitter page: Follow Lexington on Twitter

 

Education rank: 2

High School graduation rate 2008: 81%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 4

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 1.42

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 9

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 3.19

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 267

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 13.8

Total Expenditures Per Student: $9,770

 

Health rank: 13

Quality children's hospitals: 2

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.71

Quality Pediatricians: 1

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.35

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 0.33

 

Safety rank: 18

Violent Crimes, 2008: 1,780

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 630.95

Sex Offenders: 283

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 100.31

 

Economy rank: 39

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 19.7        

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 9.1      

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 1,241.85

Median Home Sale Price: $143,100                                           

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 6.65%        

 

Recreation Rank:  25

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 5,821         

Parkland per 100,000: 2,063.35

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