Forbes.com is an Internet media company. It is known for providing commentary, analysis, tools and reporting relative to business, technology and investments. They are famous for their annual Forbes Lists, such as the Forbes 500s, 200 Best Small Cos., 400 Best Big Cos., World's Richest People and 100 Top Celebrities, to name a few.
Forbes.com researched what it believes to be the best cities for singles in America in 2003. First, they came up with a list of the 40 largest cities in the country, as defined by the 2000 U.S. Census. Let's start with the results of their research: Phoenix came in at the Number 21 Best City for Singles out of the 40 largest cities. Not too bad, and not too good. Right about in the middle of the pack, I'd say! So on what scientific criteria did they base their rankings?
Eatin' and Drinkin'
Forbes.com knows that singles like to go out, so the number of nightclubs, bars and restaurants was a factor.
Gettin' Smart and Havin' a Good Time
When singles aren't eating and drinking, Forbes.com knows that they are going to universities, visiting museums, and attending sporting events and live theatre.
Workin' For a Living
It takes money to support all that eating and drinking and theatre-going. Projected job growth in the city was considered in the ranking.
Cost of Living Single
An important variable in the equation has to be the expense involved in living in the city as a single. Forbes.com evaluated the cost of pizza, a movie ticket, a six pack of beer and apartment rents to determine the city ranking in this category.
That Unknown Factor
The last category they used to rate the 40 largest cities is based on what they refer to a "Buzz Factor." What is the Buzz Factor? Well, it is someone's (we don't know whose!) idea of how that city is generally perceived.
So What Were the Results?
Nightlife and cultural activities in Phoenix rated about average. The Forbes.com staff gave Phoenix a "thumbs down" for Buzz Factor, apparently because of the summer heat and the perception of the city as a retirement destination. But it got excellent ratings based on expected job growth and cost of living for singles. The good weather, quality of life and "healthy, outdoorsy lifestyle" also figured in positively.
I can't believe that Minneapolis/St. Paul rated better (by 8 places!) than Phoenix for singles. OK, so they have nice parks. Boring. And why is St. Louis 7 places better than Phoenix for singles? What if someone doesn't drink beer? What then? Obviously, this wasn't intended to be a very scientific research project, and I am not really peeved that Phoenix got a 21 ranking. Really, I'm not. After all, there is so much growth in the Phoenix area that I'm hoping more people decide to move to Orlando (number 20) or Los Angeles (Number 4)!
I'm Warning You!
Beware of statistics that use Census population numbers that are based on cities. In our case, Phoenix is considered a city, but is separate from Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler or Tempe for some statistical purposes. So in a study like this, did Scottsdale cultural activities, or Arizona State University enter into the equation. Who knows?