Gainesville is ranked the 34th best American small- to mid-sized city on Livability.com’s list of Top 100 Best Places to Live, based on surveys and data analysis of amenities that residents value most.
The city fared better in the list of Top 10 college towns, trailing only No. 1 Boulder, Colo. and Ann Arbor, Mich.
In the Top 100 list, Gainesville scored highest in the healthcare category, with the fourth-highest score, based on access to hospitals and average spending on healthcare.
The city also scored high in education and amenities. Education includes quality of public schools, resident education levels and the presence of colleges and universities.
“College towns have a number of key advantages: a constant influx of new residents; enhanced cultural opportunities often of a scale you’d find only in the largest cities; a more stable economy due to a dominant industry that is less volatile than most; and a means of creating a unique identity and sense of pride in the community,” Livability.com Editor Matt Carmichael wrote.
Amenities includes options for entertainment, culture, healthy living and recreation, based on farmers markets, golf courses, parks, weather and the role of arts in the community.
Gainesville’s lowest score was in housing, based on access to affordable housing, home prices and how they relate to income, age of housing, occupancy and the ratio of owners to renters.
The other categories are economics, infrastructure, demographics, and social and civic capital.
Palto Alto, Calif., is the top-ranked city in the nation and Miami Beach is the top-ranked city in Florida at No. 5 overall. Livability.com does not list a Top 100 Best Places to Live for 2012.
Source: The Gainesville Sun