Best Cities 2010: Data Sources

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Best Cities 2010: Data Sources

The education, economy, safety, recreation and health data we used to determine the Best Cities of 2010

Source: Census


High School Graduation Rate 2008
Source: Individual school district or state department of education.

Blue Ribbon Schools 2003-2009
Source:Department of Education, Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009

NAEYC-Accredited preschools
Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children

NAEP State Proficiency Reading, Grade 8
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2009

NAEP State Proficiency Math, Grade 8
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2009

Pupil/Teacher Ratio
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2007-2008

Total Expenditures Per Student
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2006-2007


Quality Children’s Hospitals
Source: National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, member

Quality Pediatricians
Source: Castle Connolly, America’s Top Doctors directory of pediatricians

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


Violent Crime, 2008
Source: FBI, Uniform Crime Report. Crime in the United States, 2008. Violent crime includes: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault

Note: Arlington VA data not avail for 2008, so 2007 was used. Augusta data not available from 2008, 2009 data used

Sex Offenders
Source: State Sex Offender Registries


Travel Time to Work, 2006-2008, in minutes
Source: Census 2006-2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates. 

Mean Travel Time to Work of Workers 16 Years and Over Who Did Not Work at Home (Minutes).

Percent of labor force unemployed
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas, Monthly Rankings, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Jan. 2010. 

Best Performing Cities Job Index
Source: Milken Institute

Where America’s Jobs Are Created and Sustained, November 2009, Best-Performing Cities 2009. The Best-Performing Cities index was designed to measure objectively which U.S. metropolitan areas are most successful in terms of job creation and retention, the quality of jobs being produced, and overall economic performance. Specifically, it pinpoints where jobs are being created and maintained, where wages and salaries are increasing, and where economies 

Median Home Sale Price

5-Year Home Value Index

Percent of Homes Sold for a Loss


Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds)
Source: The Trust for Public Land OR city website. Data includes only parkland maintained by city department