Fun With Lists: Philly Ranked Among Most Frugal Cities in America

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It’s been a week of impressive rankings for our great city, but recent analysis by Coupons.com, has us scratching our heads: Philadelphia is ranked the 14th most frugal city in America.

On the one hand, that’s awesome! We’re outsmarting the man, one coupon and sale rack bargain at a time. On the other hand, we’re officially a city full of cheapos. With the cost of living in the Philly metro area clocking in at one of the lowest of most coastal cities in America (especially in the Northeast), isn’t it time to stop hoarding our pennies and maybe start splurging a little? It’ll help local businesses and also benefit, well, your closet. (And if you need help with that, well, check this out. And this. And, last one, this.)

Just sayin’.

The Top Party School in Pennsylvania Is … Who?!?

Yesterday the Princeton Review released its new 2015 list of the “Top Party Schools” in the nation, and certain parties Are. Not. Happy. In particular, there’s Bucknell University, a tiny (3,600 undergrads) school in will-o’-the-wisp Lewisburg, PA, (population 6,000), nestled along the Susquehanna River. On this year’s list, Bucknell sits in the number four slot, behind only the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (number one), the University of Iowa (number two) and the University of Wisconsin (number three, duh), all of which have, oh, hey, say, 10 times as many students as Bucknell. Read more »

Philly Named Third Worst Large City in U.S.

Depressing screen shot from WalletHub's results.

Depressing screen shot from WalletHub’s results.

This week the personal finance website WalletHub released a report titled 2015’s Best & Worst Large Cities to Live in, and of the 62 U.S. cities with a population of more than 300,000, Philadelphia ranks 60. The only cities that fared more poorly were Memphis (61) and Detroit (dead last).

Now, normally, I’d look at a study like this and say, with characteristic Philadelphian brio, “Screw you, WalletHub! What do you know? You’re just pumping out content-marketing blather so that people will BuzzFeed you. Surely, your ‘study’ is slight, frivolous and easily debunked.”

Not so.

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Pennsylvania Is One of Top 20 States That “Americas” the Hardest

phillies

The real estate website Estately.com just came out with an unconventional listicle that, like some cowboy-hatted, flag-shirt-wearing country singer, initially used the word “America” as a verb, i.e., “Which U.S. State ‘Americas’ the Hardest?” Now, before you flee for some David Foster Wallace-dotted hills in search of depth and substance, let me qualify this listicle by saying it was written by Ryan Nickum, who—despite turning out such blog posts regularly—is smart and funny and wise. (He also has a keen understanding of Philadelphia even though he lives in Seattle, hence his short-lived Tumblr Philly’s Basement Bars.) Readers weren’t totally understanding the use of America as a verb, so Nickum changed the title to the more palatable “Which U.S. States Are The Most ‘American’?” But that doesn’t convey the same flushed-faced patriotic fervor, if you ask me.

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Is Pittsburgh Really Better Than Philly? (Spoiler Alert: No)

philly v. pittsburgh

So there’s this website, NerdWallet.com, that’s ostensibly a personal finance site but which often sends out press releases ranking cities compared to this or that criteria designed to make those cities feel smug and secure in themselves — or, you know, the opposite.

The latest ranking involves a straightforward comparison of Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia — and as you might guess, Pittsburgh comes out on top. Why? Well NerdWallet has a list of criteria. But really, it’s because NerdWallet says so. So we say NerdWallet is wrong — or, at least, not nearly as right as it presents itself:

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Ranking Puts West Conshohocken as the #1 Suburb in America to Buy a House

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

Wasn’t it just last month that Niche had us scratching our heads with its “Best Suburbs in America” list? If you recall, they ranked Narberth as the 10th best ‘burb in the country, ahead of the likes of Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, and even Lower Merion Township. Now, they’ve caught us just a teensy bit by surprise yet again with their recently released “Best Suburbs to Buy a House in America” compilation.

The ‘burb honored with the no. 1 spot on the ranking? West Conshohocken.

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Want to Live Longer? Move to Lancaster.

They say this city can kill you. Well now we have proof.

Graphic from Measure of American of the Social Science Research Council's report "<a href=

The Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America project has released a report called “Geographies of Opportunity: Ranking Well-Being by Congressional District” in which they measure health, access to knowledge and living standards within the country’s 435 congressional districts as well as Washington, D.C. Only a few states get called out for special notice, and wouldn’t you know it, Pennsylvania is one of them.

pa-district-2There’s a special section called “A Tale of Two Districts: Life Expectancy in Pennsylvania.” The reason the state gets special attention is because it’s an outlier in terms of the health metric, and not in a good way. “Only four districts outside the South have life expectancies of less than 76 years,” the report reads, and one of those is Pennsylvania Congressional District 2, shown at left, which covers much of West Philly, and  other surrounding neighborhoods. The average life expectancy in this district is 75.6 years, to be precise, which is several years below the national average. Read more »

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