Juneau ranked high for good quality of life

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2004

Juneau is ranked No. 11 among 3,141 counties and cities in the United States for having a high quality of life, according to a recent study.

American City Business Journals used 20 statistical indicators to determine the rankings, released this week.

Juneau received a score of 16.22 points. That compares to the highest score of 18.99 given to Los Alamos, N.M. and the lowest score of minus 16.04.

Juneau Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chris Wyatt said the ranking could affect whether people decide to live in Juneau.

"If people thought about relocating to Alaska or starting a business, it could have a positive impact," Wyatt said.

The ranking may attract more tourists, she said.

"As a visitor to other places, if I heard it's good for residents, it would be good for visitors," Wyatt said.

Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau President Lorene Palmer said she is not able to determine whether the ranking would generate more visitors, but said that type of media "attention always adds to a community's desirability."

Juneau received a national percentile score of 99.68 percent. That is the percentage of cities and counties that it surpassed in the rankings.

It scored high in the categories that measured the percentage of workers who work in the same county in which they live, percentage of homes owned by occupants, and the number of adults 25 or older who hold high school diplomas, according to ACBJ's study.

The ratings formula compared each county's performance against the U.S. county-by-county averages in 20 categories, yielding an overall quality-of-life score.

Counties with upper-income families, large homes and well-educated adults received high marks. But ACBJ also rewarded points for racial diversity, short commutes and family stability.

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