Farmington’s downtown area was one of the factors in the city’s placement among the top five best cities to live in Michigan 2019 list.

Farmington’s downtown area was one of the factors in the city’s placement among the top five best cities to live in Michigan 2019 list.

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Farmington named fifth-best city in state for 2019

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published July 9, 2019

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FARMINGTON  — In a recent study conducted by a digital-based company named Chamber of Commerce, Farmington ranked as the fifth-best city in the state in which to live in 2019.

Troy came in first, Royal Oak second, Bloomfield Hills third and Rochester fourth. All top five cities reside in Oakland County.

Farmington Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kate Knight said the city is “thrilled to be recognized.”

“We’ve known all along that we are a great community and a great value, with everything from our housing stock to our schools to our downtown,” she said.

The Chamber of Commerce company, which provides access to data-driven information about small business creation through product research and written guides and reviews, ranked a total of 2,509 qualifying cities  — with populations above 25,000 residents and enough publicly accessible data for analysis  —  based on five factors: employment, housing, quality of life, education and health.

“Statistically, we gave all metrics equal importance so that no cities would be unduly advantaged or disadvantaged due to only one metric,” said Rob Lora, the media outreach coordinator for Chamber of Commerce. “All in all, we felt the statistics chosen were a holistic representation of what a city would strive for to constitute a great or better life for its citizens.”

This is the first year the company has created this list.

Lora said the company “wanted to create a report that people would find both interesting and useful.”

“We wanted to create something that would help those not of the business sphere too,” he said.

The list cites Farmington’s extensive development, both downtown and throughout the city, and its school district as two main factors for its ranking. While Lora said those factors aren’t statistically correlated with the ranking, they still indirectly affect how the city was ranked.

“Many of the city’s positive attributes mentioned there played a role in its overall outstanding rank,” he said.

Knight agreed.

“There is a strong correlation between successful public schools and a thriving downtown and people’s housing,” she said. “Because of the wide range of affordability, we have entry-level market-rate homes, and multimillion-dollar homes within the greater Farmington area, so that represents opportunity for lots of people who want to enter a strong community and have access to great public schools. It’s all interconnected, and we’re all working toward the same goal.”

In addition to these factors, Lora said Farmington deserved the fifth spot in the company’s ranking because the city has one of the lowest poverty rates in the state, “a metric that falls well below the national average as well,” he said.

“This is in part due to being top-10 best in the state regarding median household income, bachelor’s (or higher) graduate rates and employment rates,” Lora said in an email. “Furthermore, the obesity rate is one of the absolute lowest in the state as well. In sum, the city of Farmington has much to offer and little to envy.”

While resident Mark Maniewski agrees with the ranking, he said, “Just think about how much better it would be with actual people here and all the empty storefronts filled.”

“How many more nail and hair salons do we need?” he added.

Overall, Knight said she’s happy to celebrate the placement and glad to see the city make the list, though she doesn’t feel the city has to vie for a higher placement in the future.

“We don’t feel competitive in that sense, and we’re happy to celebrate the spotlight for some of the same reasons,” she said. “Whether you’re ranked first or fifth, we recognize and appreciate the great characteristics of all the communities, and we’re pretty different.

“We feel like we have it all. We’ve got charm. We have accessibility. It’s a comfortable place to raise a family,” she added.

To check out the full list of rankings, visit www.chamberofcommerce.org/best-cities-to-live-in-michigan.

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