Thursday, May 31, 2007

Are the Best 'Burbs Midwest 'Burbs?

One of the more intriguing questions at last week's candidates forum was the suggestion of another urban or suburban model for Bloomfield. The folks at Sperling's BestPlaces may have the best research on the subject -- their most recent report is "The Best Suburbs in the MidWest."
Rankings are based on crime stats and school quality along with median home prices. Appleton, Wis., stands out from the rest with a median home price of just $119,500, the lowest on the top 25. Business Week has a slide show of all the towns.
"The MidWestern 'Burbs have the best combination of affordability and quality that we have seen in any U.S. region so far. Half of the suburbs on the list have a median home price below $239,800, and only five of the 25 have median home prices above $300,000. The average cost of living index among these suburbs falls just short of the average for the country (100), at 98.4.
In many other parts of the country, schools and safety suffer as affordability increases, but this doesn't seem to be the case in the Midwest. The secondary school test score indexes on our list range from 93.2 (Rochester, Minn.) to 210.5 (Columbia, Mo.), compared to each state's average of 100. The average violent crime index on the list is just 57, vs. the nation's average of 100—so you may be able to leave that door unlocked after all."

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