Baltimore drops to 126 on list of desirable cities

August 14, 1993|By Patricia Meisol | Patricia Meisol,Staff Writer

Charm City lost some of its charm last year, according to a new ranking of the best -- and worst -- places to live in the United States.

Baltimore dropped below Detroit, Atlanta and Chicago as readers of Money expressed more worry over the city's education and crime, pushing this city of baseball and crabs to No. 126 out of the 300 largest metropolitan areas ranked by the magazine. Baltimore was listed as 97th in the country in 1992.

The annual list is based on reader surveys. This year, things they considered more important were good schools, new business potential, short commutes, low housing prices, good public transportation and proximity to major and minor sports.

Of less importance were low property taxes, affordable medical care and low sales taxes.

The best of the best was Rochester, Minn., where 61 parks, six golf courses and 30 miles of bike trails make it a homeowner's dream.

Baltimore readers of the financial magazine rated the city lower in five of nine categories: crime, arts, education, leisure and transportation. The things they thought improved: the weather, economy, health care and housing -- the last ever so slightly.

Despite the drop, the city came in ahead of Washington; Philadelphia; Jacksonville, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich. Another Maryland city, Hagerstown, jumped 83 points, to No. 204 on the list. Cumberland joined the list at 232.

A host of Southern cities moved up on the list of 300 best places, including Savannah, Ga.; Hickory, N.C., and Atlanta, host to the 1996 Summer Olympics. Atlanta rose to 96th place, from 174th last year.


The following is a ranking by Money magazine of the 300 largest metropolitan areas in order of best place to live in 1993 to the worst. Number in parentheses is 1992 ranking.

Rochester, Minn. (NR*)

2. Madison, Wis. (10)

3. Minneapolis-St. Paul (4)

4. Houston (16)

5. Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (17)

126. Baltimore (97)

144. Washington (101)

204. Hagerstown (287)

232. Cumberland (NR*)

296. Yuba City, Calif. (285)

297. Mansfield, Ohio (291)

298. Davenport, Iowa (288)

299. Glens Falls, N.Y. (295)

300. Rockford, Ill. (299)

* Not ranked last year.


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