It wasn’t that long ago, that Naperville was ranked #1 in the country for best places to live. Then in the top 50, followed by the top 100, and now we find ourselves ranked 250th. Chanting “we are #250”, just doesn’t have the impact that being #199 has.
Rankings are always a little bit suspect, but sliding down 249 spots is dramatic. This latest ranking was announced by Niche, a company founded about 15 years ago at Carnegie Mellon University, located in Pittsburgh, Pa and ranked #23 according to U.S. News and World Report, which is itself not ranked in the Top-10 of periodicals.
To Naperville’s credit, being ranked #250 in the United States, also qualified Naperville to be ranked #1 in Illinois. Considering the State of Illinois is ranked at the bottom of most every list, Naperville being #1 is like being the tallest short guy in the county.
Niche’s ‘Best Places To Live’ used the following criteria:
- Cost of living
- Crime and safety
- Family amenities
- Health and fitness
- Outdoor activities
- Public schools
- Real estate
- Short commute
Cost of living was weighted the most, with weather the least; Naperville scored lowest in those two categories, along with outdoor activities.
In another listing of best places to live, a few years ago, Naperville wasn’t even ranked #1 within five miles of the municipal center; Bolingbrook ranked higher.
Getting back to Carnegie Mellon University, its mascot is Scotty the Scottie Dog. Scotties are ranked 58th, best breed of dog, by the AKC, which is much better than 250th.