Best Places To Live

Every year editorial staffers get together various criteria to decide on the 10 best places to live in the country. Your criteria may not be the same, however, Money Magazine's annual article is a good way to find an overview of statistics and information, and make some comparisons.

Cerritos, for instance, has one of the top-rated high schools in the country whose students' scores far exceed the national average and outperform schools in the top 10 cities, it provides many amenities for its residents, but is not one of the top 10. For one thing, the median housing price is much higher there than the 10 selected cities. And, typical of Southern California, the air quality is lower compared to New Hampshire or Florida locations. However, Claremont is Number 5 on the 10 Best Places ot Live list, so air quality is not the only issue. And Lake Mary, Florida, (Number 4) has twice the diabetes rate than Cerritos.

But other things that change are insurance premium costs, property tax rates, crime rates, and average income. In a city such as Long Beach, the average income shows much lower than Cerritos because Long Beach is a very widely diversified city with extremes in income and demographics.

But even with all the California-bashing going on now, it has the most cities in the 1op 100 of any other state--9 in all, 5 are in Southern California: Claremont 35,900; Clayton 11,400; Coronado 25,900; El Dorado Hills 22,200; Grand Terrace 13,200; Granite Bay 24,800; La Mirada 48,600; La Palma 16,100; Moorpark 33,700.

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