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slides: Massachusetts’ Best Communities 2013: #100-#51

Thursday, June 20, 2013

 

What's the best community in Massachusetts?

From the tiniest Berkshire villages to the urban canyons of Boston, where is the best place in the region to live, whether you're a young single, a starting family, or empty-nesters? What city or town combines affordability, safety, schools, arts, culture and recreation and nightlife in the very best balance? GoLocalWorcester's 2nd Annual Massachusetts' Best Communities examines the Bay State's 351 cities and towns  to come up with that very answer. After more than 100 hours of analyzing thousands of data points, we have the answer for 2013.

Massachusetts' Best Communities 2013

With updated data, GoLocalWorcester will reveal its new ranking of the Top 100 Massachusetts communities, moving up the list toward the Top 10, which will appear on Thursday. What day will your town make the list? And at what ranking? Which towns ranked lower than yours? Which ones higher? Compare the rankings every day, as we move toward the #1 town in the state.

Check the slides, below, for the latest rankings.

On Friday, GoLocal will reveal its Massachusetts' Best Communities 2013 Chart, with the latest data on each city and town, so you can compare results across the state, from housing costs to MCAS scores, from crime rates to arts and culture sites.

How GoLocal ranks Massachusetts' communities

To translate "great community" into a quantifiable assessment, we went to the data. With rankings created nationally by leading media sources like Kiplinger's and Money Magazine, we created our own set of criteria for what makes a community great. 

Our researchers spent hours poring over measures from public sources that help define a great place to live. We gathered and assessed housing prices, tax rates, median household incomes, crime statistics, and school performance on standardized tests in elementary, middle, and high schools. We counted places to go out and have fun, from bars and restaurants, to theaters, historic sites and museums, and golf courses. We even counted libraries. (For a full explanation of our methodology and sources, go here.)

New for 2013: Take our poll

Get ready to vote, Massachusetts. Today, let us know which aspect of community matters most to you. On Thursday, vote on what are the best things in the Top 10 towns in special town polls.

New for 2013: Voices from the communities

GoLocal will speak with local officials, as well as experts on communities and urban life throughout the week, sharing their insights on what makes our cities and towns more or less livable. Read what they have to say about how communities are changing and how that affects our daily lives.

What the rankings mean... to you

We're expecting to hear from you. How do you feel about your town's ranking? What do the measures we use tell you about your community? Join the conversation about Best Communities here in comments, on your town's profile, and on Facebook. Share the piece, talk to your friends and neighbors, and enjoy the biggest backyard conversation Massachusetts. has ever seen.

And stay tuned all week.

Research by Sean Quinn, Stephanie Hayes, E-Soo Kim, Ben McKay, Karen Mills, Michelle Johnstone, and Kalena Crafton. Photography by Caitlin Gill. 

 

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