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Madison Drops In Rankings of “Best Places to Live”

July 17, 2008

I know we all celebrate when our city is named #1.  But to go from #1 to #89 in less than 10 years?  This seems a little extreme.

That’s just what happened in the latest Money Magazine “Best Places to Live Survey“.  

OK, I find it hard to believe that Naperville, IL is #3.  Have you been there lately?  It’s about as suburban as Schaumburg.  Definitely not a place I’d like to live.  Guess I’m not the norm anymore.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Andy permalink
    July 18, 2008 7:39 pm

    For the record, I live in Naperville. However, the criteria used to determine these “best places to live” are explained in’s introduction–jobs, livability, median income, schools, etc.

    Naperville is pretty darn good in these criteria. Schaumburg’s nothing to sneeze at, either, on these criteria. But to say that you don’t want to live there does not take into account the more or less objective criteria used.

    Of course, these lists reliably serve only one purpose: to drive links back to CNN Money. Eyeballs=money for their site.

    BTW, I like Madison. If I had a job there, I’d live there.

  2. July 18, 2008 11:54 pm

    Andy-Thanks for the comments. Not that I’m against Naperville. I lived in the Chicagoland area for 6 years before escaping to Madison. (Yes I’m very partial to this city). I gained 2 hours in my day not spent sitting in traffic in my car. I agree about these polls. We were VERY proud to be the #1 city in the past. Just thought it was worth mentioning on the blog.
    Have a great weekend.

  3. October 22, 2008 5:08 pm

    I’m also in the Madison area now, but like Darren previously lived in and around Chicago for 12 years. In my job prior to moving out of that area I commuted 32 miles one-way using primarily Route 64 (North Ave.), I-355 (N-S Tollway), and Lake-Cook Rd. It was no less than a 5o minute drive under the best of conditions … 8pm post rush-hour and no snow/rain; the usual one-way time was 75 minutes (worse with rain/snow).

    In addition to jobs, income, schools, etc., I wonder if or how much “livability” and quality-of-life factors such as lengthy commute times play into “best place to live” survey rankings like these. Having been freed from many hours in my car per week since then, long commutes will forever be a “quality of life” issue to me.

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