There are thousands of suburbs around New York City alone, and a seemingly endless number of suburbs around the country, but not all of them are great places to live.
We recently published our list of the 50 Best Suburbs in America.
For this list, we examined data on nearly 300 American suburbs. We started with the Census Bureau’s places, and concentrated on cities and towns with populations between 5,000 and 100,000 which were within 40 kilometers (24.9 miles) of the nearest metropolitan area.
We then looked at the 2008-2012 American Community Survey and factored in average commute times, median household income, poverty rates, and a measure of housing affordability (percentage of homeowners who pay less than 30% of monthly income on housing).
Since we think that great suburbs need to be safe and have excellent schools, we also took into consideration FBI crime rate data for both violent and property crimes in 2013 as well as public school ratings for high schools in the top 300 suburbs from GreatSchools.org.
To create the final ranking, we took the percentile rank from 0 to 1 for each measure (from 0, being the worst, to 1, being the best) and took an unweighted simple average of these measures, with each criterion weighted the same.
Here is the spreadsheet showing our calculations (click to enlarge):
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