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Green Bay Ranks Among Top 10 Cities for Quality of Life

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WBAY) – The greater Green Bay area has received high accolades from U.S. News & World Report, securing the 7th spot among [ppp1].

Madison, another city in Wisconsin, claimed the 3rd position, making it the only other Wisconsin city in the top 25 ranking.

In the category of cities with populations under 500,000, Green Bay clinched the third spot on the list, following Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Boulder, Colorado.

In the previous year, U.S. News & World Report recognized Green Bay and positioned it at #16 on the list of Best Places to Retire.

To evaluate the cities for their quality of life, the magazine assessed various factors such as resident satisfaction, commute time, crime rates, access to healthcare, and the quality of education.

Green Bay achieved an overall score of 6.9, with a Quality of Life rating of 7.3 and a Value rating of 8.0, the highest among all cities in the top 25. The next closest city in terms of Value rating was Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a score of 7.5.

The publication commended Green Bay for its culinary scene, cultural offerings, downtown revitalization efforts, and waterfront attractions.

Describing the city, the report highlighted its vibrant arts and entertainment sector, revitalized downtown area, and presence of two college campuses, creating an appealing atmosphere for both young families and retirees. Additionally, Green Bay’s active waterfront on the Fox River offers activities like waterskiing, riverfront dining, and sunset cruises during the summer.

The report also noted the city’s flourishing craft beer industry, diverse dining options, and its proximity to the scenic getaway destination, Door County, making Green Bay an attractive settlement choice.

Scoring Criteria for Green Bay

In assessing the greater Green Bay area with a population of 326,590, U.S. News & World Report utilized data from various sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Labor, and FBI.

The average salary in Green Bay was reported at \(51,510, below the national average of \)58,260. The city’s unemployment rate in 2021 stood at 6.2%, lower than the national rate of 8.7%.

The estimated average monthly rent was \(851, with a median home price of \)278,558. The average commute time was 20 minutes. Green Bay was praised for its affordable cost of living, with housing costs below the national averages, although the report highlighted Wisconsin’s high property tax rates.

Green Bay exhibited a lower crime rate compared to similar-sized cities, scoring 8.9 out of 10. The data from 2020 indicated 220 violent crimes and 943 property crimes per 100,000 residents, both below the national average crime rates. Crime rates in Green Bay, as well as nationally, have been on a declining trend since 2004.

For college readiness, Green Bay received a score of 6 out of 10, higher than cities of a similar size, with a favorable student-teacher ratio of 15-to-1.

City Ranking Methodology

The Quality of Life component contributed 36% to a city’s total score, encompassing factors such as crime rates, college readiness, resident satisfaction, commute time, healthcare, air quality, and FEMA risk factors.

Value accounted for 23% of the total score, considering household incomes and the affordability of housing, utilities, and goods.

The Desirability Index, making up 22% of the score, surveyed 3,500 individuals nationwide, evaluating migration trends, temperate days, and the availability of restaurants and bars per capita.

Lastly, the Job Market Index constituted 19% of the score, analyzing the average salary and changes in the unemployment rate.

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