Saturday, April 04, 2009

We're Number One!

Forbes Magazine recently named it's picks for the top cities to live in the United States. Portland, Maine came out on top as the best city over 500,000 to live in. Portland is a great little city. If I had to live in a city again, Portland would be my first pick. Folks are generally friendly and it is easy to drive around or walk. It has good food, good drink, and it is on the water.

But Portland is not a city of over 500,000. As a matter of fact, the population of the city is only 64,000. Lee Nelson, Channel 6 news guy, brought this fact up on his daily blog. So how did Forbes decide that Portland fit into the category of 500,000 when the whole state only has 1.2 million people? Well, they used what is called a MSA measurement. Apparently the MSA population area comprises an area of linked population density. So basically when Forbes said Portland was number one, they really meant all of southern Maine. If this is the case, I live in the number one spot in the country according to Forbes magazine. The official MSA for Portland includes four counties. Acton is in one of them. I am an hour away from the city center in the sticks and about as removed from any notion of city living as one can get.

While Forbes draws upon the population of areas only remotely linked to Portland, they then only use statistics specific to the city itself to embellish their claims. By today's standards, Portland has a low unemployment rate of 5.9% and a fairly high per capita income. Head down the road to say Sanford and the unemployment rate doubles and the per capita income plunges.

I felt some pleasure at reading of Portland's rise to the top. But I find the honor to be not honestly won based on the criteria used. It is not Portland's fault. It is Forbes magazine. Tweaking statistics to fit into some kind of template, is not being very objective. All in all, I would just as soon they had not bothered.

Keep it 'Tween the Ditches................

(356 / 3415)


BBC said...

I don't mind visiting a big city at times, but live in one again? Fuck that.

This town is considered small and I wish that half of the monkeys here would leave.

BBC said...

But it's great that you are number one. I'd like for us to be about number one thousand.

Mind if I tell these monkeys to move over there?

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Main???---hmmm thats someplace close to Nova Scotia isn't it? (lol)----they get a terrible lot of snow I am told.

Bill said...

I lived in Portland way back in '72. It was a dying town back then. A lot has changed!
Portland is no Boston or Seatle by any means, but it's spreading out fast. I just did Route 202 on the west side last November and couldn't believe the 3 "roundabouts" in a row! That was fun! But wow, surburbia has taken over the places that were fairly rural back when I lived there.
I'd move to Portland if I had to live in a city, but I'd sure want a lot more money to live on than what I live on now up here in Greenville.
The one thing I really don't like about Portland is in the springtime when it's gray and about 40 degrees but the rest of Maine is basking in 60 or 70 degree sunshine. That ocean can sure be cold in April and May.

Kulkuri said...

Saw a thing on TV this morning that said Nebraska was the happiest state and that the entire left coast and parts of the right coast (New York was one) were the unhappiest.
Portland or as a guy I knew from there called it Porkland, is a nice town. I was there in '98 and even visited the most photographed and painted lighthouse in the world. Still got a t-shirt of the minor league ball club there, the Sea Pups.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

I do love the state of Maine, and although I don't know the city of Portland very well, I'm sure the recognition is well-deserved. However, one of good things about Maine is that it usually avoids publicity like this and has therefore been able to keep its population at a reasonable level.

I know of an American of Chinese origin who talks in wonderment about the "emptyness" of America - how there's just so much space. Well, I suppose that's a relative thing - I live in Canada, so I'm always amazed at how crowded America is.

Which is why I like Maine - especially northern and eastern Maine. Fewer people. Hopefully, Crum, you won't get waves of newcomers moving into York County because of Forbes Magazine.

A Midnight Rider said...

I have been going to Portland over the Thanksgiving weekend for years.

We go to Boulder now to #1 son's, but Portland has been very high on my list for almost 10 years. Being close to Freeport helps.