Words & Deeds

Idaho has one of ‘America’s 50 best cities.’ It might not be what you think.

It’s a pretty great place to live, right?
It’s a pretty great place to live, right? www.flickr.com/photos/donutgirl/

If you live Boise, you’ve become accustomed to soaking up praise about how great our city is.

So it’s somewhat jarring to see an article about “America’s 50 best cities to live in” that doesn’t include Boise.

And, hey! It does include Meridian!

The latest list, released Friday at USA Today’s website, was compiled by 24/7 Wall St, a financial news and opinion company that generates content that gets republished at places such as USA Today, MSN Money and The Huffington Post.

To find the cream of the livability crop, “24/7 Wall St. created an index of over three dozen socioeconomic measures to identify the 50 best American cities to live in.” The article explains that “low crime, a healthy economy and affordability are just a few examples of universally desirable attributes in any community.”

Meridian finished at No. 25: “Population: 95,627. Median home value: $236,200. Poverty rate: 6.2% (bottom 10%). Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 36.7%.”

“Meridian, Idaho’s population increased by 24.6% over the last five years — faster than in all but a handful of other U.S. cities and many times faster than the U.S. population growth rate of 3.7% over the same period. The city’s strong economy does not likely hurt its appeal. For example, total employment in Meridian climbed 8.7% from 2014 through 2016, more than double the comparable job growth rate nationwide. As of 2016, only 3.3% of Meridian’s workforce were out of a job compared to the 3.8% statewide and 4.9% nationwide unemployment rates.

Rapid job growth and low unemployment are often characteristics of relatively safe places — and Meridian is no exception. The city’s violent crime rate of 109 incidents per 100,000 people is less than one third the statewide rate and less than a third the U.S. violent crime rate.”

All that said, Meridian apparently isn’t as awesome as it was two years ago. When 24/7 Wall St. published this list in 2015, Meridian was America’s No. 1 city to live in.

Ah well. There’s always next year. Go get ’em, Garden City.

• • • 

Want more Idaho entertainment news? Follow Michael Deeds on Facebook and Twitter.