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McKinney, TX - Best Place To Live in 2014 CNN Money Magazine

CNN Money Magazine 2014

Back in 2012, McKinney ranked #2 on the list of best places to live in the US... and now, two years later at the next survey, it's now the solid #1 (2014 press release) ! This survey is conducted by CNN's money magazine, and takes into account a large variety of factors which determine the quality of life - across the entire US and covering cities with in between 50,000 and 300,000 people.

The methodology CNN Money Magazine follows covers many aspects of day by day life... starting from the 781 cities in the US, there are ~500 with in between 50 thousand and 300 thousand inhabitants. Then a number of cities is excluded based on...

  • being a retirement communities
  • places with a median family income of less than 80% of the state average
  • anywhere that the population is comprised of more than 95% of a single race
  • cities with poor educational scores
  • any place located more than an hour from an airport
  • median family income of more than 210% of the state average
  • median home price of $1 million or more

Next, the cities are sorted based on 45 specific criteria's in eight categories:

  1. Economic opportunity and jobs. Economic opportunity is based on purchasing power, foreclosure rate, tax burden, and state’s fiscal strength. Job opportunities is based on income growth, county employment (not seasonally adjusted), and projected job growth.
  2. Housing affordability. Housing affordability is based on median home-price-to-income ratio and average property taxes.
  3. Education. Education is based on test scores, educational interests and attainment, and percentage of kids in public schools.
  4. Crime. Crime is based on property and violent crime rates.
  5. Health. Health is based on number of doctors and hospitals in the area and health of residents.
  6. Arts and leisure. Arts and leisure is based on activities in the town and area, including movie theaters, museums, green spaces, and sports venues.
  7. Ease of living.
  8. Diversity.

More subjective factors are added through interviews with the residents in the top 35 cities...

  • have happy residents
  • manageable traffic
  • attractive parks and gathering places
  • community spirit
  • ...

The full methodology (and results) can be found on the CNN Money Magazine Website.

The data sources CNN uses are mainly NeighborhoodScout, OnBoard Informatics, and CoreLogic - take a look at these sites to explore massive amounts of statistics on just about any aspect of American life !