Money Sense Magazine has release their report on Canada’s Best Places to live in 2012. The report ranks 190 towns and cities in Canada using categories to compare the pros and cons of urban communities in Canada.
Peterborough ranked as the 55th for 2012 as the best place to live in Canada. Comparing our rankings in 2011 where Peterborough was ranked 38th and in 2010, Peterborough was ranked #17.
I will discuss the criteria for 2012 below and the report does changed some if its 22 separate categories all having different weights given for the answer. This does make it interesting and at the same time, it becomes a conversation piece as to why communities move up and down on the scale.
Categories and Points
WALK/BIKE TO WORK: Peterborough scored 10.15% ranked 35
7 points – This represents the percentage of people who walked or took their bike to work. Source: 2006 Statistics Canada reports.
WEATHER: Peterborough scored with 110 days of precipitation with 840.3 Mm/year and ranked 15th
18 points – (6 for each : amount of precipitation, number of wet days, days below 0°C). Ideal volume of precipitation is considered to be 700 mm per year. Source: Environment Canada
AIR QUALITY: Ozone scored in at 27th, ranked 6th
2 points – One point for parts per million of ozone and one point for levels of suspended fine particulate matter, both of which are major components of smog. Source: Monitoring stations in or nearest to each city as reported by the National Air Pollution Surveillance Network.
POPULATION GROWTH: Peterborough +2.1%, ranked 110
10 points – Results are based on the average Canadian population growth rate from 2006-2011 of 5.9% plus 2%. Higher growth rates create problems as cities struggle to provide services to growing populations. Lower growth rates means less opportunities. Cities with negative growth received 0 points. Source: 2011 Statistics Canada figures
UNEMPLOYMENT: Peterborough scored 7.3%, ranked 100th
10 points – 2011 data from Statistics Canada when provided and 2012 estimates derived from Canadian Demographics.
HOUSING:Time to buy in Peterborough was 3.40 years, ranked 122
15 points – (7.5 for average house prices and 7.5 for time to buy a house) House price averages from reports and listings by MLS, Canadian Real Estate Association, and the Real Estate Boards of Toronto, Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Edmonton and Quebec. Time to buy was derived from average price divided by average 2012 estimated household income sourced from Canadian Demographics.
HOUSEHOLD INCOME:Peterborough Average House Price was $257,400, ranked 97th.
4 points – Based on 2012 estimates. Source: Canadian Demographics.
DISCRETIONARY INCOME: Peterborough scored 27.75%, ranked 64
4 points – Discretionary household income as a percentage of total household income derived from 2012 estimates. Using a percentage figure adjusts for higher cost of living and tax factors. Source: Canadian Demographics.
NEW CARS: Peterborough scored 13.47, ranked 97
4 points – 2009-2011 model year vehicles as a percent of total vehicles as per Canadian Demographics.
INCOME TAXES: Peterborough ranked 4th,
2 points – Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of combined federal and provincial (or territorial) income tax paid on a single person income of $50,000. Source: www.taxtips.ca.
SALES TAXES: Peterborough ranked 4th
1 point – Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of provincial or territorial sales tax.
CRIME: Severity Crime, Peterborough scored 84.0, ranked 100, Violent Crime rate, Peterborough scored 1,040, ranked 66. Totoal Crime rank, 6.396, ranked 73.
5 points – Violent crime rates (2 points), total crime rates per 100,000 people (2 points) and crime severity rates (1 point) for 2010. (Lower is better in all three cases.) Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
DOCTORS: Doctors per 1,000, Peterborough scored 2.21, ranked 91st.
6 points – Number of general practice and specialist physicians per community and converted to doctors per 1,000 people. Source: Canadian Medical Association
HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Peterborough scored 3.49%, ranked 54
4 points – Percentage of people in each city who are employed in health occupations. Source: 2006 Census
TRANSIT: Peterborough came in at 2.46%, ranked 86th
5 points – Based on the percentage of the workforce utilizing public transit. Source: 2006 Census
AMENITIES: Peterborough has 1 Hospital, 1 College and 1 University
3 points – One point each for a hospital, university and college. Cities in a CMA area received credit if a particular institution was located anywhere in the CMA.
CULTURE: Peterborough scored 1.36% and was ranked 69th
Bonus points – A city could receive up to 5 points based on the percentage of people employed in arts, culture, recreation and sports. Source: 2006 Census
Best Places to Live 2012 displays cities’ rankings in each category and total rankings out of 190 cities, not points.
All data and calculations are on this downloadable spreadsheet.