Letter: Here’s a ranking you won’t see touted by the Chamber of Commerce

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You published an article, “Ranking the Rankers,” about the continuous drumbeat of Ann Arbor’s rank of No. 1 City, No. 1 Suburb, etc., and how those ratings are obtained.  I have found those ratings to be questionable both in their conclusions and in their methodology (nicely reviewed by you).

I found the AARP Livability Index via a citation in The New York Times today.  While their orientation is naturally to retired people, they make the point that liveability is important to all ages. “People experience communities as a whole, so the Public Policy Institute looked across multiple aspects of livability to get the full picture. The Livability Index assesses seven broad categories of community livability: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity.” The ratings are on a basis of 0-100. “We score communities by comparing them to one another, so the average community gets a score of 50, while above-average communities score higher and below-average communities score lower.” 

So what is Ann Arbor’s score? 58. 

Here is the index based on all those categories. https://livabilityindex.aarp.org/search#Ann+Arbor+MI+USA

I think that assessment of those categories can tell us some useful things about ourselves.  At least we are still “above average.” 

Vivienne Armentrout


Usually, this just means Jim, one of our partners, uploaded the article. There's an off chance it could be an intern, though, so be nice.