Irvine is Best-Run U.S. City: USA Today

Irvine is the best run city in the country, according to USA Today.

Meanwhile, my hometown, San Bernardino, is ranked the worst-run city.

I think I'm more surprised by Irvine's placement on the list than Smog Berdoo's.


USA Today reports an area's economy, job market, crime level and welfare of the population figured into the rankings.

Here's why Irvine was numero uno:

1. Irvine, California

> Population: 230,000 (86th largest)
> Credit rating: not rated
> Violent crime per 100,000: 51 (the lowest)
> 2012 Unemployment rate: 5.7% (tied-10th lowest)

Irvine has a very well-educated population. Last year, 97% of Irvine adults had at least a high school diploma, and more than two-thirds had at least a bachelor's degree. The city is home of the University of California, Irvine, which is the top local employer. The heavy concentration of well-educated adults has also led to higher incomes. Irvine's median household income was around $96,000 last year, exceeding that of nearly every other large city. The typical Irvine home cost about $630,400 last year, more than any other large U.S. city except San Francisco. The city was also one of the safest in the nation, with only 51 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Following Irvine (in order) are: Fremont, California; Plano, Texas; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

San Bernardino managed to, uh, top(?) Detroit by having filed for bankruptcy in the face of a $46 million deficit. Also cited were: falling tax revenues; poor financial planning (including inaccurate reporting from city officials); a housing market in crisis; low median household incomes; a 16 percent unemployment rate last year (nearly double the national rate of 8.1 percent); and less than 11 percent of adults living there have a bachelor's degree or higher last year, the smallest percentage of any large U.S. city.

Next came Detroit, then Newark, New Jersey, then Miami and finally Stockton, California.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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