Cary, NC – There are many factors that go into picking where you live: cost of housing, incomes, crime, poverty. A new study combines these factors and found Cary is among the best when it comes to livable cities and towns and the best on the East Coast or in the South.
A new study by SmartAsset of mid-sized municipalities found that out of the more than 170 towns and cities surveyed, all of whom had populations of more than 100,000, Cary ranked fourth when it came to livability.
The factors the study looked at included income inequality, monthly housing costs, how home values had changed over the past five years, median household income, poverty and unemployment rates, percentage of residents without health insurance and commute times.
AJ Smith, SmartAsset’s VP of Financial Education, said they included many different metrics and did not weigh them separately in order to give people looking at the study enough information to make decisions for themselves.
“Personal finance is personal. We want to get people to think about what is ‘livable’ for them,” Smith said. “Some things matter more for some people than others.”
In the study, Cary ranks higher than any other municipality either on the East Coast or in the South. Of the other cities in the top 10, Cary has one of the lowest poverty rates at 5.6 percent, one of the lowest median housing costs with $1,333 per month and one of the lowest unemployment rates at 2.5 percent.
“Cary scored highly in six of the eight factors and had one of the lowest poverty rates in the entire study,” Smith said.
Cary’s commute time is also better than more than half of the municipalities in the study, which Smith said is important to determining someone’s quality of life.
“It says how much life you can have outside of your work,” Smith said.
The SmartAsset report also points to Cary’s standing as one of the safest municipalities in the entire country as one of its stand-out qualities.
The only mid-sized cities and towns to rank ahead of Cary in the study are Santa Clara, California in third and then Rochester, Minnesota and Olathe, Kansas – both tied for first.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Hal Goodtree.