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Cities are ranked on 28 factors sorted into six categories, including housing affordability, infrastructure, online search results and social media attention.
Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas round out the top 5 large cities in the 2018 America’s Best Cities rankings, while Omaha, Nebraska; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Charleston, South Carolina and El Paso, Texas took top honors for small cities. Large cities are defined as those with a population of at least 1 million people, while small cities are metropolitan areas with populations from 200,000 to 1 million.
The rankings are compiled by Resonance Consultancy, a consulting firm that advises on real estate, tourism, economic development and international destination branding. Cities are ranked on 28 factors sorted into six categories, including housing affordability, infrastructure, online search results and social media attention.
New York CIty, for example, ranked first in a handful of factors, including neighborhoods and landmarks, nightlife, culinary destinations and culture. Honolulu took top honors in Instagram mentions and parks and outdoor activities, the latter category “led by its powdery beaches, some of the best and safest ocean swimming in the state (often with sea turtles and dolphins!) and the option to head for the emerald Koolau Range before or after work,” according to the report.
The user-generated metrics, particularly social media presence, help form a more complete view of a city than relying only on economic factors, Chris Fair, president of Resonance Consultancy, told the Reno Gazette Journal. Reno, Nevada, was named the sixth best small city.
"You get a holistic view with respect to the performance of a city in all these areas that determine desirability," he said.
Download the full report here.
Kate Elizabeth Queram is a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.
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