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Best Cities 2010: Portland, OR

City: Portland

State: Oregon

Best Cities Overall Rank: 6

About Portland: 

Flourishing farmers markets, an awesome science museum, and Jamison Square, which boasts a fountain that draws kids to its cool mist on a hot day: There's much to see and do in Portland, which ranks high in safety, recreation, and air quality. The real estate market here is also more robust than in other cities.

What moms say: Heather Harvey takes her two preschoolers to the farmers markets on Saturday mornings. "Shopping in the markets has given my kids an appreciation of where their food comes from," she says. "We also enjoy the live music and the balloon guys."

What's great for families: The Oregon Zoo features a sea lions exhibit and is home to the first third-generation elephant to be born in the United States: 286-pound Samudra, or Sam for short.

County: Multnomah

Population: 557,700

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

Newspaper with the largest circulation: The Oregonian

Portland blogs:

The Oregonian: Omamas

Mama Seasons

Improvising Fatherhood

Portland's Facebook page: Follow Portland on Facebook

Portland's Twitter page: Follow Portland on Twitter

 

Education rank: 77

High School graduation rate 2008: 68.5%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 1

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 0.18

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 11

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 1.97

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 265

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 17.6

Total Expenditures Per Student: $10,285

 

Health rank: 14

Quality children's hospitals: 4

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.72

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.36

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

 

Safety rank: 8

Violent Crimes, 2008: 3,445

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 617.71

Sex Offenders: 191

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 34.25

 

Economy rank: 33

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 24.1        

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 11.3    

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 647.49

Median Home Sale Price: $252,600                   

5-Year Home Value Index: 2.01%                        

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 16.59%      

 

Recreation Rank:  28

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 10,763       

Parkland per 100,000: 1,929.87

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