BY SARAH STEPHENS, OWNER/EDITOR
Photo taken from 247wallst.com website
Editor’s Note: For the complete article, including all rankings and methodology, please follow this link: https://247wallst.com/special-report/2020/01/13/americas-50-best-cities-to-live-8/
According to a special report by 247wallst.com, Millbrook, Alabama is named among the top 50 Best Places to Live. The article appeared on the website Jan. 13. Millbrook was the only location in Alabama named in the study, which brings a smile to city officials.
The findings put Millbrook as number 42 on the list.
“We had no idea this study was even being done, or that Millbrook was included in the rankings until it was published. We are just so honored,” Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley said. “When you consider that Millbrook was officially formed in 1977, and look at the growth in population and business, it is pretty impressive. I give that credit to our City Council, City leaders and our residents past and present. Like anywhere, we have issues that deal with crime and infrastructure. But as the city grows and sales tax revenues increase, we put more funding into all of our departments. I am a firm believer that a city is only as good as its leaders and its residents. I think everyone in Millbrook can take a little credit on this. As the article stated, there is no such thing as a perfect city. But if you are asking me, I think we are pretty close. Our goal is to continue getting better.”
Council President Michael Gay also offered his thoughts on the article.
“It is gratifying to see our city recognized for our quality of life. Our city offers a high quality of life conveniently located in the River Region,” Gay said. “Millbrook has seen steady, consistent growth that has allowed the city to plan for this growth without heavily indebting our city and not having to raise taxes and fees. Our city employees do an outstanding job serving the public. This is evident by the recognition of our police department for the low crime rate. I also want to thank and recognize our many organizations, schools and businesses that contribute to making Millbrook a part of this list. Great things are happening!
According to the most recent Census, per the article, Millbrook’s population was at 15,160 within city limits. Over the past five years, the projected population change, per the article, is at 3 percent. Median household income is $59,443 and the five-year average unemployment rate is 3.7 percent.
The article, published by writer Samuel Stebbins on Jan. 13, reads, “Millbrook is the only city in Alabama to rank on this list. Area residents benefit from low effective property rates as the typical homeowner pays just 0.3% of their home value in taxes each year, a fraction of the 1.2% national average. The area also appears to have plenty of opportunities for gainful employment. According to the Census, an average of just 3.7% of Millbrook’s labor force were unemployed in the last five years, a far smaller share than the 5.9% national rate.
Violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are also less common in Millbrook than they are nationwide. The city’s violent crime rate of 285.5 incidents per 100,000 residents is well below the national rate of 380.6 per 100,000.”
In the overall comparisons, the article had this to say about rankings.
“Local governments bear some degree of responsibility for neighborhood safety, economic vitality, the presence and condition of public spaces, and a wide range of other amenities and services that affect the daily lives of local residents. Across the nearly 30,000 cities, towns, villages and unincorporated places in the United States, these and other factors that are closely tied to quality of life vary considerably.
Using over two dozen metrics related to affordability, economy, standard of living, and community, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 best cities to live in in the United States. In order to ensure geographic diversity, we only considered the highest-ranking city in each county. Data came from a number of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is important to note that there is no such thing as a perfect city or town, and that many of the attributes one may look for in a community are subjective and not quantifiable. This list favors areas with conditions that have almost universal appeal, however. These include short commute times, walkability, reliable public transit, affordability, job availability, entertainment options, cultural attractions, low crime, and access to places like grocery stores and hospitals.
While household income was not itself a factor in the index, many of the cities and towns on this list are relatively wealthy. This is likely not a coincidence, however, as income is closely tied to several other measures used to create this list, including low crime and low unemployment. This is the income it takes to be considered rich in every state.
Population growth can be a sign that a given area is attractive to new residents and families, and not surprisingly, the majority of cities on this list are home to more people today than five years ago. Just over half of the cities on this list reported greater population growth than the U.S. as a whole between 2013 and 2018. Here is a list of the fastest growing place in each state.”