Vancouver is one of the top 100 places to live in the United States, according to a ranking released by Livability.com today.
We may fall at No. 96, but hey, we made the list.
The web site named Palo Alto, Calif., the best city among those with a population of 20,000 to 350,000.
Livability.com, a division of a Tennessee-based communications company, worked with the Martin Prosperity Institute, part of the University of Toronto, to develop the ranking. They scored 1,700 small and mid-sized cities based on economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care.
“It’s not surprising to me that Vancouver is again being recognized by outside experts as being such a quality place to live,” Mayor Tim Leavitt said. “It points to community leadership that recognizes that a quality community has many different values.”
Vancouver’s highest score was an 80 out of 100 for “amenities,” which Livability.com defines as “access to parks, farmers markets, golf courses and natural amenities, as well as the weather and the role of arts in the community.”
Vancouver’s next highest score — 69 — was for health care, in large part because Vancouver has a hospital within its city limits.
Vancouver earned a score of 62 for both social and civic capital and demographics. The former is based on data from Esri, a California-based geographic-information system company, that measure crime, voter participation and church membership. The latter is based on 2010 U.S. Census data, which Livability.com analyzed for diversity.
“Vancouver, located less than 20 minutes from Portland, is known for its scenic views and outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain climbing, which help make it one of Livability.com’s Top 10 Staycation Cities,” according to the site. “Vancouver also features attractions such as the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, and is home to a variety of restaurants that serve locally produced, sustainable food.”
The community leaders who worked for years to make Vancouver what it is today should be proud, Leavitt said.
“It’s affirmation that our community is moving in the right direction,” he said. “Our goal should be to be in the top 50 the next time.”