Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Honolulu gets
mixed grades
in survey

San Francisco tops Money
magazine's annual U.S. ranking
of the 300 'Best Places to Live'

By Russ Lynch


As a place to live, Honolulu ranks best in the country in how much households have to pay for utilities, high in climate and air quality, and in the top third of 300 cities for culture and the arts, according to a Money magazine survey.

But the survey, reported in Money's November issue, ranks Honolulu near the bottom in the cost of housing, poor for high unemployment and low job growth, and in the bottom 10 percent for commuting to work.

The average commute turned out to be 24 minutes in Honolulu, compared with a U.S. average of 19.5 minutes, placing Honolulu 276th out of the 300 cities.

Honolulu's average household utility cost of $60, however, made it the overall leader in that category, which had a national average of $110.59.

According to Money's "Best Places to Live" survey, Honolulu's air quality ranked 73rd in the country in that category. The national average index was 119.

Honolulu ranked 99th out 300 in the arts and culture index but 294th for the cost of a two-bedroom home and 241st out of 300 for its unemployment level. The number of property crimes ranked Honolulu 241st in that category but it was in the 59th position in violent crime.

Money did not issue an overall ranking of all the cities it surveyed. But the best big city is San Francisco, the magazine said, followed by Austin, Texas, and New York. The best small city is Rochester, Minn., followed by Columbia, Mo., and Boulder, Colo.

In its survey, the magazine looked at demographic and U.S. Census data to determine how 300 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas rate in 46 categories. Money's editors then focused on those things important to their readers: economy, education, culture, recreation, health and safety. Details are available at

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