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Methodology


 

General Indicators

Weights*
Indicator
Methodology
Year
100 large
252 small
Cost of living
Median housing price/per capita personal income; divided by corresponding U.S. value
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: National Association of Realtors, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Moody's Analytics
2012 0.118 0.119
Crime rate
Violent and property crimes per 100,000 population
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois State Police Department
2012 0.124 0.110
% binge drinkers**
Men (at least 5 drinks), women (at least 4 drinks)
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Milken Institute
2011 0.060 -
Employment growth
Indexed growth (2007-2012)
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moody's Analytics
2007; 2012 0.118 0.131
Unemployment rate
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moody's Analytics
2012 0.139 0.162
Income distribution
Gini coefficient
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Census Bureau, Moody's Analytics
2012 0.053 0.059
Weather
Composite score using heating degree days, cooling degree days, humidity, sunshine, and snowfall/sleet
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Milken Institute
2009 0.261 0.367
Fatal car crashes
Number of crashes involving a fatality, per capita
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
2012 0.126 0.052
* Figures may not add up to 1 due to rounding.
** Used only for large metros.

Americans of all ages are interested in the cost of living, neighborhood safety, the economy, and weather as measures of the livability of a community. In order to provide the most comprehensive measurement of a community's overall livability, we maintained the same indicators as we used in the 2012 index. Older Americans want safe, affordable, vibrant communities that can best enable successful aging in place. As such, we captured the preceding indicators to measure the overall livability of metros.

Go to Health-Care Indicators