Three Virginia cities are named to ‘America’s 50 Best Cities to Live’
Virginia Beach, Alexandria and Chesapeake have been named to “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” compiled by 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion website.
Virginia Beach ranked No. 37 on the list, while Alexandria was 43rd and Chesapeake was 48th.
The top city on the list was Newtown, Mass.
To compile the list, 24/7 Wall St. looked at 550 cities that the U.S. Census Bureau reported as having populations of more than 65,000 in 2012.
Information was collected in seven major categories: crime, economy, education, housing, environment, leisure and infrastructure.
The economy category, for example, included median household income, cost of living, employment growth from 2011 to 2013, and the 2013 unemployment rate.
24/7 Wall St. used a formula to weight each category and convert each category rank to a meta rank ranging from zero to 100. Crime, economy, education, and housing received full weights, while environment, leisure, and infrastructure received half weights.
Virginia Beach was listed as having a median household income of $61,626, a 2013 jobless rate of 5.3 percent, a median home value of $259,500, a violent crime rate of 169.4 incidents per 100,000 residents and an average commute travel time of 22.6 minutes.
“Low crime and low unemployment are among its most attractive features,” 24/7 Wall St. noted.
Alexandria had a median household income of $81,160, an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. a median home value of $501,200, violent crime rate per 100,000 residents of 166.6 and an average commuter travel time of 29.8 minutes.
24/7 Wall St. noted that Alexandria has one of the lowest unemployment rates of large U.S. cities and one of the highest levels of college graduates, 64 percent of its adult population over 25. Nonetheless, the ranking notes that the city is expensive, with a median home price of more than a half million dollars.
Chesapeake had a median household income of $65,562, an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, median home value of $249,300, violent crime rate per 100,000 residents of 368.7 and an average commute time of 25.3 minutes.
Noting the city is the home of Dollar Tree and other major employers, 24/7 Wall St. said residents are “generally well paid and they are likely to be employed.” The website says that the city’s amenities include nature trails and access to hiking, biking and kayaking