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hood

2005 Best Places to Live Report, from Sperling's

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Here are the Michigan Cities that were ranked, out of 331 cities, in the "Best Places to Live 2005" report by Sperlings see the complete list at: http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/bes...ces05_list.aspx

As with most lists, this is just fact-based opinion, but what do you think.

6. Ann Arbor

157. Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland

162. Lansing-East Lansing

219. Saginaw-Bay City-Midland

234. Flint

237. Kalamazoo-Battle Creek

245. Jackson

263. Detroit

299. Benton Harbor

Now even I am suprised at how low Detroit ranked, also at the cities Flint and Saginaw ranked above. The list does not, however seem to be based on income, crime or any of the traditional criteria, see that some quite rich and low crime communities rank very low.

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I really hate lists like this. They tend to be full of researcher bias.

That said, I find the results to be quite interesting. I would choose Detroit over Flint any day. Of course I'm drawn to big cities, and Flint is anything but a big city. In Detroit you can get around without a car if you absolutely had to. Doing that in Flint would be next to impossible. The cost of living is slightly higher in Detroit, and Detroit has a higher crime rate. However, Flint schools are better overall than Detroit schools. The climate is the same, and the economies in both cities are really bad.

I really do wonder exactly what criteria they used to reach these conclusions.

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If you get a chance, check out some of the stuff they grade things on. Data is consistantly three or four years behind publications, for instance, some of the data, In the 2004 publication, has statistics for Grand Rapids that are from 1997.

Don't put to much weight into these things, as a person who owns the publications, take it from me some cities that were in the top ten one year, can be in the 190's the next. Just as Metro Detroit was in the top 100 a few years ago, now creeps near the bottom.

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They can't be basing it on any statistical data, because we aren't the Grand Rapids - Muskegon - Holland MSA anymore :P I believe that changed in 2003.

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They can't be basing it on any statistical data, because we aren't the Grand Rapids - Muskegon - Holland MSA anymore  :P  I believe that changed in 2003.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If that is true, its a great developemnt, having the GR MSA include completly independant cities with a total of like 8 counties is or was ridiculous while Lansing could only claim 4 counties in it's MSA. GR including Muskegon would be roughly the equivalent of Lansing claiming Howell and Jackson. Always thought that was dumb. GR-Wyoming seems good though, anyone find it odd that Flint is lumped into the Detroit MSA? It's not on this list but according to the census bureau it is. And as I said, I don't put much faith in these either, but they are never the less interesting to look at, but I still can't find their criteria for this particular one.

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Distance has little (if not nothing) to do with how MSA's and CSMA's are put together. It all has to do with commuting patterns; how many people commute to certain counties for work. It's a given that urban areas that are relatively isolated would have great influence on their surrounding areas meaning larger metro area populations.

If you want to measure built environment, Urban Area populations are much more important. If you want to measure a cities influence, MSA and CSMA stats are more important.

But that's neither here nor there. :) lol

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To me the Urban Areas figure is all that really matters, I want to know how large a city is based on continuous development, which is why driving down Saginaw/Grand River Ave. in Lansing makes the metro seem somewhat impressive you can go over 10 miles with solid development. I thank you for showing me those Urban Area stats a while back, they are helpful.

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If that is true, its a great developemnt, having the GR MSA include completly independant cities with a total of like 8 counties is or was ridiculous while Lansing could only claim 4 counties in it's MSA. GR including Muskegon would be roughly the equivalent of Lansing claiming Howell and Jackson. Always thought that was dumb. GR-Wyoming seems good though, anyone find it odd that Flint is lumped into the Detroit MSA? It's not on this list but according to the census bureau it is. And as I said, I don't put much faith in these either, but they are never the less interesting to look at, but I still can't find their criteria for this particular one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I always thought that the GR - Musk - Holland MSA was a bit far-fetched (not to get too far off topic). Yes, some people do commute between the three communities, but they don't really share any infrastructure, culture, sports teams, etc., and I don't think the economies are as intertwined as some would believe. I have always thought of GR as the 550K or so in Kent County, and maybe another 100 - 200K just outside of that. Holland and Muskegon are about as diametrically opposed as two cities could be.

As far as these ratings go, they are always a bit suspicious, as someone mentioned, when a city can go from the bottom 100's one year and shoot up to the top 20 the next (with no significant changes in crime, economy, job growth, etc.). These ratings are just to start controversy to sell whatever they are selling (advertising, subsriptions, etc.). IMO.

Interesting topic though, hood.

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If that is true, its a great developemnt, having the GR MSA include completly independant cities with a total of like 8 counties is or was ridiculous while Lansing could only claim 4 counties in it's MSA. GR including Muskegon would be roughly the equivalent of Lansing claiming Howell and Jackson. Always thought that was dumb. GR-Wyoming seems good though, anyone find it odd that Flint is lumped into the Detroit MSA? It's not on this list but according to the census bureau it is. And as I said, I don't put much faith in these either, but they are never the less interesting to look at, but I still can't find their criteria for this particular one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

At least it's nowhere near Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (and sometimes Winston-Salem thrown in there too) in North Carolina, where it practically is half of the state. lol

As for the list, I am a bit surprised that GR isn't higher on the list. I'd think it'd be at least 125-135, but considering it's nation-wide it's probably just that there were cities slightly better than GR, and not that GR was worse than some cities. :)

Edit: It's North Carolina, not Calorina. :rofl: Must have calorie counting on the brain. lol

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in the 97 version, Grand Rapids was in the top seventy, when the new one came out in 00 it was mid range 150's. Grand Rapids is ranked in the bottom thirty in terms of climate, about fifty cities lower than any other in Michigan, this really has a hand in keep the rating so average.

Hood, Just to correct you on something, the GR-Musk-Holland, CSMA Included only Four counties, Allegan, Muskegon, Kent, and Ottawa. I know it's more than off topic. Even with the new configuration of numbers the population is still in the mid 800'000's very decidedly Michigans second most populous Metro area by a long shot.

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The thing is that there is a huge bias towards newer sunbelt sprawlers. That's just a fact. Mainstream America now favor, in ridiculously high numbers, sprawling cities with huge lots and "safe" streets. That's why we must take these "reports" with a grain of salt. They have an inherent, built-in bias against older cities.

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The thing is that there is a huge bias towards newer sunbelt sprawlers.  That's just a fact.  Mainstream America now favor, in ridiculously high numbers, sprawling cities with huge lots and "safe" streets.  That's why we must take these "reports" with a grain of salt.  They have an inherent, built-in bias against older cities.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:lol: I can just see the raters now: "rust-belt in this pile", "sun-belt in this better pile". "Oh, and we'll throw Ann Arbor in the top twenty just to make it APPEAR as though we are unbiased toward the rust-belt". :P

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I think that they base their study on what a people like and dislike at the time of the study. You can't blame them, they are not there to decide who is right or wrong, just to give people what they want.

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in the 97 version, Grand Rapids was in the top seventy, when the new one came out in 00 it was mid range 150's.  Grand Rapids is ranked in the bottom thirty in terms of climate,  about fifty cities lower than any other in Michigan, this really has a hand in keep the rating so average.

Hood,  Just to correct you on something, the GR-Musk-Holland, CSMA  Included only Four counties,  Allegan, Muskegon,  Kent, and Ottawa.  I know it's more than off topic.  Even with the new configuration of numbers the population is still in the mid 800'000's  very decidedly Michigans second most populous Metro area by a long shot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Just thought I would post the urban area populations of some Michigan Cities, these are the population stats that really matter.

Detroit - 3,903,377

Grand Rapids - 539,080

Flint - 365,096

Lansing - 300,032

Ann Arbor - 283,904

Kalamazoo - 187,961

Muskegon - 154,729

Saginaw - 140,985

Howell - 106,139

Holland - 91,795

Jackson - 88,050

Port Huron - 86,486

Battle Creek - 79,135

Bay City - 74,048

Benton Harbor - 61,745

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Just thought I would post the urban area populations of some Michigan Cities, these are the population stats that really matter.

Detroit - 3,903,377

Grand Rapids - 539,080

Flint - 365,096

Lansing - 300,032

Ann Arbor - 283,904

Kalamazoo - 187,961

Muskegon - 154,729

Saginaw - 140,985

Howell - 106,139

Holland -  91,795

Jackson - 88,050

Port Huron - 86,486

Battle Creek - 79,135

Bay City - 74,048

Benton Harbor - 61,745

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

From where are these "stats"?

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Howell's Urban Area population says so much.  Livingston County will be almost all sprawl before it's said in done.  Howell is less than 10,000 in population.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, Livingston County is growing now like Oakland used to be. Lansing and Detroit's sprawl is mingling somewhere in the Howell area. Eventually I-96 will be developed all the way from Detroit to Lansing.

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From where are these "stats"?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Census, http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/Datas...C&_lang=en&_ts=

Click on "Summary File 1" then "list all maps" on the side. Then select "Total Persons," and click "next." Select the level of area you want to look at (Nation, state, county, ect...) then when the map comes up, at the top where it says "Display map by" select urban area, then use the "I" icon and click on the area you want data on, you have to allow it through your pop-up blocker, if you have one.

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Hmmm, 365,000 for Flint probably includes Flint township in there as well, because there's no way the City of Flint alone has that kind of population, it wasn't even close to that at its peak.

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Ahh, so thats how they figure them out, I just figured they picked out an urban area based on solid development.

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That seems odd, even if it's only an alone tract with over 1,000 ppsm it counts as urban? There is no rule on how many consecutive tracts there must be to consider an area as urban?

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