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‘And the award goes to’ … Madison as ‘Best Place to Live’

MADISON – From a lengthy list of honors and awards, the latest distinction for the City of Madison is “Best Place to Live in Alabama” by Niche.

Madison scored ‘A+’ from Niche.com in three categories: “Public Schools,” “Housing” and “Good for Families.” The city received an ‘A’ for both “Diversity” and “Jobs.” Madison’s lowest mark was ‘B-‘ for “Crime and Safety.”

Niche listed Madison’s population at 46,396. In real estate figures, the median home value in Madison is $233,600, while the median rent payment in $864.

For one judging criterion, Niche considers millions of public reviews. One reviewer commented, “Madison is an amazing place to live. It has the feel of a small town, but the availability of a larger one. I love the school systems. The people are always friendly and helpful. The entire town is like one big family regardless of age, creed, color or sex.”

To derive grades and rankings, Niche applies calculations with multiple resources of public data, including school ratings, housing trends, crime rates, employment statistics and access to amenities.

The 2018 “Best Places to Live” ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the overall livability of an area. This overall grade uses a total of several key factors about a location:

* Higher Education Rate – Percentage of residents who earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to U.S. Census. Niche assigns 12.5 percent for a city’s total ‘grade.’

* Cost of Living — Using consumer price index and access to affordable housing. 10 percent.

* Housing — Using home values, property taxes, housing costs, local schools and more. 10 percent.

* Public Schools — Averages Niche’s K-12 overall grade for all public schools. 10 percent.

* Diversity — Based on ethnic, generational and economic makeup. 7.5 percent.

* Miscellaneous rankings – Niche assigns 5 percent to 10 other categories for a city: Composite Overall Score, 1-5 scale for overall experience at location; Crime & Safety; Family, combining school quality, safety and family-friendly living; Health & Fitness; Jobs, including cost of living; Nightlife; Outdoor Activities; Shortest Commute; Walkability, based on proportion of residents that walk or bike; and Weather.

For more information, visit niche.com.

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