If you've been paying attention over the last year, you know that we have it pretty darn good in Minnesota. It seems that every time new, dubiously researched national rankings come out, our fair state finds itself near the top.
We here at City Pages love telling you about it. That's because A) Minnesota is awesome and B) a wonderfully unreasonable number of people will click on any story that includes a list.
So without further adieu, here are the Top 10 top 10 lists Minnesota landed on in 2014:
Best Overall Quality of Life Ranking: 3 and 4
The good folks over at NerdWallet, a financial analysis site with a penchant for list-making, say that Minneapolis (#3) and St. Paul (#4) both ranked in the top five American cities when it comes to overall quality of life. The study looked at income, affordability, health benefits, the strength of the local economy, and work-life balance. Only Madison, Wisc. and Lincoln, Neb. ranked higher.
Least-Stressed States Ranking: 4
Movoto Real Estate found that Minnesota was the fourth-chillest state in the whole country. The study looked at census data pertaining to commute times, unemployment rates, hours worked, population density, percentage of income spent on housing, and percentage of population without health insurance.
Most Beard-Friendly Cities Ranking: 6
The Wahl Clipper Corporation placed Minneapolis sixth among major U.S. cities when it comes to beard-friendliness.
How did the hair clipper manufacturer figure this out? Through an "in-depth analysis of the online universe over the past two years for beard and mustache positivity. Conversations and searches surrounding facial hair were measured, and cities were ranked based on overall interest and positive sentiment."
We're not exactly sure how one quantifies "beard and mustache positivity," but it's always impolite to refuse a compliment, no matter how specious.
Best Cities for Recent College Grads Ranking: 5
Minneapolis has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best cities for recent college grads. This year Livability.com, a company that helps cities attract and retain residents, placed the City of Lakes at number five. Livability's algorithm accounts for the number of 25- to 34-year-olds, unemployment rate, rental vacancy and costs, non-service jobs, public transportation users, 25- to 34-year-olds with a bachelor's degree or higher, and bars and restaurants per capita.
Best Cities for Millennials Ranking: 1
Piggy-backing on the favorable conditions recent college grads find in Minneapolis, the data nerds over at Vox declared Minneapolis the best city in the whole damn country for millennials.
Vox based its findings on the metro's housing affordability, low cost of living and median household income. [page]
Best Cities for Singles Ranking: 7
Rent.com slots Minneapolis as the seventh-best city for single people.
It's hard to reconcile those numbers with the 2013 study that found women in Minneapolis are the third-pickiest bunch in the country. Solution: Move to St. Paul, which was named the most romantic city in America by USA Today this year.
Greenest Cities Rankings: 8 and 10
Both St. Paul (#8) and Minneapolis (#10) were named to the top 10 greenest cities in America, according to the alleged scientists at NerdWallet. Their algorithm accounts for the median Air Quality Index, number of parks per 10,000 residents, the percentage of commuters not using cars, and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion.
It's good to see St. Paul finally best Minneapolis in something.
Best Parks Ranking: 1
Its methodology factors in park acreage as a percentage of a city's land, service and investment, and proximity and access.
Top States for Business Ranking: 6
Despite raising taxes and generally supporting more regulation -- the supposed villains of prosperity -- Minnesota's DFL supermajority managed to shepherd the state to a sixth-place spot on CNBC's list of top states for business.
The business channel ranked each state in ten broad economic categories like cost of doing business, infrastructure and workforce education. At 6th, Minnesota was the top-rated blue state.
Most LGBT-Friendly Cities Rankings: 6 and 9
After a year outside of the top 10, both Minneapolis (#6) and St. Paul (#9) moved up in NerdWallet's gay-friendly rankings when gay marriage was officially legalized.
So to recap: Minnesota is a gay-loving, beard-having, business-friendly state with great parks, little pollution and a robust dating scene. It's perfect for recent college grads and millennials who just want to chill out and enjoy a high quality of life.
Keep it up, everybody.
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