A change of heart: Journalist who reported Minnesota county was 'worst place to live' is moving there
You can raise your children in the city, or in somewhere better, choose wisely. The suburbs may not be as optimal as the middle of nowhere, but anything is better than the city.
Every county in America, ranked by scenery and climate
"I know this because in the late 1990s the federal government devised a measure of the best and worst places to live in America, from the standpoint of scenery and climate. The "natural amenities index" is intended as "a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live."
The index combines "six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer." Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.
These "natural aspects of attractiveness," as the USDA describes them, are intended to be constant and relatively immutable. They're not expected to change much over time, so the USDA hasn't updated its data beyond the initial 1999 scoring. "Natural amenities pertain to the physical rather than the social or economic environment," the USDA writes."
So, it was a comedy lark by the federal government looking to burn up some of the $4 trillion dollars it will extract from the productive each year! Wow, we really needed to know this information. I really enjoy that the social, and economic environment don't matter. Regardless, if the government were to assess this it would only find that the city is the best place on earth to live, the bigger the better.
Notice the great hidden secret, Portlandia, and Oregon more generally is pretty much terrific in everything except winter sun! And it only gets about 35-40 inches of rain per year. Bonus, it is about 1 to 1-1/2 hours from the temperate rainforest, and 1 to 1-1/2 hours from the desert! Same for snow/skiing, wilderness areas, major or minor water sources, mountains, multiple gorges, and what seems an infinite number of waterfalls. But don't come to Portlandia/Oregon the winters are too gray, and cloudy! Only a fool would live here.
Good luck Christopher and family, you should enjoy your time in the country. Your children definitely will.