24/7 Wall St. considered data from a number of sources. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided unemployment data. The average rate for the most recent 12 months was used for our ranking. Credit ratings were provided by Moody’s Investors Services. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report provided violent crime rates by city. We relied on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for median household income, the percentage of the population below the poverty line, high school completion for those 25 and older, percentage of the population without health insurance and the change in occupied home values from 2007 to 2010. Once we reviewed the sources and compiled the final metrics, we ranked each city based on its performance in all the categories. A few cities did not have credit ratings or violent crime rates; these were not rewarded or penalized for the missing data.
Michael Sauter, Charles Stockdale, Ashley Allen