The benefit -- and cost -- of living here

albany skyline obstructed smallThe Albany metro area ranked #18 for quality of life in an analysis by Portfolio.com of the nation's 67 biggest metros.

Albany was just behind San Francisco and just ahead of Worcester. Raleigh was #1.

The metros were ranked on 20 criteria. Most of the categories are economic indicators such as household income -- but the set also includes categories such as commuting time and new home stock. Albany scored very well for jobless rate (3rd) and commuting time (7th). (The numbers were pulled from 2006-2008 Census Bureau figures, so many have probably since changed.)

The selection of categories highlights how tricky it is to figure something like "quality of life." Sure, people are probably happier when they have a short commute and don't have to scrape to pay the mortgage. But stats like that don't necessarily catch other important elements -- like weather, cultural opportunities or restaurant quality.

Cost of living: a coalition of local development groups has posted a cost of living calculator that compares other metro areas to the Capital Region. The calculator provides an overall cost comparison -- and it also breaks out individual items.

[via @techvalleyny]

Earlier on AOA: Misconceptions about Albany?

Comments

I've spent more time looking at the source numbers than any reasonable person should. What can I say, I'm just a data junkie.

Here is what I don't understand (and it is a bit of a departure from my usual Albany area rant): if our metro has significantly less poverty, significantly more high school graduates, and significantly less unemployment why is crime such a scourge in our downtown areas?

I mean, how many people have mentioned being deterred from spending time in downtown Albany, Schenectady or Troy especially at night. How many people have moved out of these cities because of safety concerns?

Why is this such a big problem in our community when the major factors of income, education and opportunity don't seem to be an issue?

Maybe the answer is obvious, and I'm just too new here to know.

The only way I can think to address Daniel's dilemma, would be to simply say that no cities are without crime, even the best of them. Every city has its unfortunate part of town that the residents in the nicer neighborhoods choose to pretend don't exist. Because our city is quite small by comparison, it makes these bad parts seem more expansive. The truth: anyone who has lived here since the 60's-70's (both of my parents) can tell you how much worse it was, especially in the 70's. I keep hearing stories about how Lark Street was scary, and Center Square wasn't even nice back then. That seems incomprehensible to me, but that's how it was. In the 10 years or so that I've lived here, I have noticed improvements, particularly in the Madison-South Pearl area. These neighborhoods are evolving, improving and always changing the fabric of our city-- any city, really, but there will always be a stain somewhere.

Daniel, you talk about scouring the data, and then your counterpoint is anecdotal. There's an obvious answer for you.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of mural

Took a minute the other day to admire this little mural in the Williams Street alley just off Broadway in downtown Troy. It's just very... (more)

The interurbans

Check out this clickable map of the old "interurban" trolley lines that ran all over New York State back in the 1920s. Here in the... (more)

Dr. Dog at Upstate Concert Hall

Indie rock band Dr. Dog is set to play a show at Upstate Concert Hall February 13. Tickets go on sale this Friday, October 19... (more)

Talking about artificial intelligence at the Rockefeller Institute next month / Automating Inequality with NYS Writers Institute this week

Artificial intelligence makes for good stories because killer robots and all that. But the reality of its promise -- and potential threat -- is probably... (more)

Solid Sound 2019 early-bird tickets

The Solid Sound festival will return to MASS MoCA June 28-30 in the summer of 2019. And early-bird tickets for the fest go on sale... (more)

Recent Comments

Giving out odd candy like Charleston Chews and Mallow Cups to confused trick or treaters and hoping that they try them and learn that they're awesome.

Drawing: Historic Haunted Pub Crawl of Downtown Albany

...has 44 comments, most recently from Michele

Today's moment of mural

...has 1 comment, most recently from ravioliollie

Where to buy Mexican-style chorizo?

...has 11 comments, most recently from Ashley

The Albany Hardware & Iron Co.

...has 3 comments, most recently from Paulsome

Greenhouse, aquaponics, mircrolivestock, composting: here's a chance to check out the Radix Center in Albany

...has 1 comment, most recently from Barbara Nazarewicz