Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Rankings Only Tell You So Much

Well, it turns out that those of us living in Canton, Ohio are living in the 9th most miserable city in the U.S., according to Forbes magazine. While there is no denying that we are far from being an urban paradise, it's sad that such rankings might turn people away from a community that has actually been on the upswing. For example, we've had a revival of interest in new downtown restaurants and art galleries here. The Joseph Saxton Gallery has a world-class collection of prints from world-famous photographers, right here in Canton.

Their methodology
takes into account unemployment, taxes (both sales and income), commute times, violent crime and how its pro sports teams have fared over the past two years. We also factored in two indexes put together by Portland, Ore., researcher Bert Sperling that gauge weather and Superfund pollution sites. Lastly we considered corruption based on convictions of public officials in each area as tracked by the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (
Which means that the list is dominated by cities in the upper Midwest and Northeast regions, i.e., the Rust Belt, since we all have cold weather and high unemployment, due to manufacturing jobs leaving our areas. Northeast Ohio is further harmed by corruption and poor sports teams. At least Canton has low crime and short commuting times. New York and Chicago are also on the list, but they are considered highly desirable places to live.

In the end, we love living in Canton, and are growing more attached to the place every day.