AreaVibes measures the Livability of more than 35,000 cities and neighborhoods across the USA using a unique algorithm to determine if the area is a good place to live.
The AreaVibes Livability Score is based on various important metrics for each area, including: amenities, cost of living, crime rates, education, employment, housing and weather. The higher the score, the better the city (in our opinion).
Have a look below to see how we calculate the Livability Score.
The amenities category is based on various important nearby local amenities and how close they are located. The amenities include: grocery stores, restaurants, bars, shopping, coffee shops, schools, parks, libraries, book stores, entertainment, public transportation and fitness facilities. The more local amenities from each category located within 1 mile of the desired location will result in a higher score.
There are various categories within the cost of living score that create the overall cost of living index. First, weights are assigned based on government survey data and include the following items: goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). State income tax and state sales tax rates are also factored into the overall score. The score is then calculated based on comparisons to both state and national averages.
The 2 main categories of crime are violent crime and property crime. Within each category there are various types of crime. Violent crime includes: murder, rape, robbery and assault. Property crime includes: burglary, theft and vehicle theft. A total crime index is based on all total crimes. Higher weights are given to violent crimes as they are more severe. The score is calculated based on comparisons to both state and national averages.
To determine the education score, the following criteria is used: school test scores and education level achieved. The score is then calculated based on comparisons to both state and national averages.
To determine the employment score, the following criteria is used: median household income and unemployment rates. The score is then calculated based on comparisons to both state and national averages.
To determine the housing score, a combination of affordability and appreciation rates were used, including: median home values in relation to median household income as well as median rent values in relation to median household income for renter occupied dwellings. Also included were appreciation rates for average home prices for the previous 2 years. The score is then calculated based on comparisons to both state and national averages.
To determine the weather score, the following factors were used: average temperatures for summer and winter months as well as average temperatures for the rest of the year. Scores were based on ideal temperatures of between 70°-75°.