Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Owensboro Ranked Among Top 100 Places to Live

Owensboro has been ranked in the top 100 on Money Magazine’s new “America’s Best Places to Live” report.

The report ranked “small” cities — those with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 — by criteria including such as job prospects, schools, low crime rates and things to do.

Owensboro was ranked 93rd. Money Magazine noted the city’s claim to being the “Bar-B-Q Capital of the World” and its free “Friday after 5” weekly concerts on its downtown riverfront each summer.

Owensboro students’ math and reading test scores are above the state average, the personal crime rate amounts to only two per 1,000 residents and it boasts average commute times of less than 13 minutes.

However, its median family income of $50,467 is well below the average of $90,957 among the 100 best cities, and it experienced a 7.25-percent decline in jobs from 2000 to 2009, compared with average job growth of 15.71 percent among the other cities.

Owensboro was the only city in Kentucky to make the list.

Eden Prairie, Minn., near the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, ranked No. 1 thanks to a low unemployment rate, numerous lakes, 125 miles of recreational trails and strong municipal financial condition.

Rounding out the top five were Columbia/Ellicott City, Md.; Newton, Mass.; Bellevue, Wash.; and McKinney, Texas.

The rankings are available in the August issue of Money and at money.cnn.com.