Bella Vista Ranked “Best Place to Live in Philadelphia”

Niche.com's community ratings went granular this year with new rankings of city neighborhoods. Here are this year's top-rated Philly neighborhoods.

 

Bella Vista, home to the Italian Market, received the highest grade in Niche.com's first-ever ranking of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. | Photo: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Bella Vista, home to the Italian Market, received the highest grade in Niche.com’s first-ever ranking of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. | Photo: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Thanks to the “open data” movement, it’s now possible for those outfits that rank the best of everything to turn their gaze to individual city neighborhoods. Niche.com, which produces annual rankings of the best schools and best communities to live in in the country, has now added new rankings of the “Best Places to Live” in American cities.

And in its first ranking of Philadelphia neighborhoods, Bella Vista took top honors.

As with its rankings of communities, Niche assigned letter grades to Philadelphia neighborhoods for 13 factors:

  • Education: percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees or higher
  • Public schools: average grade for the neighborhood’s public schools, weighted by the number of students
  • Cost of living: housing, food and fuel costs
  • Crime and safety: statistics measuring the general safety of a neighborhood
  • Nightlife: access to bars, restaurants and other cultural amenities
  • Real estate: trends in housing prices, affordability and homeownership rates
  • Diversity: demographic and socioeconomic composition of the neighborhood
  • Shortest commute: Average length of commute to work, plus the percentage of residents who walk, bike or use public transportation
  • Family amenities: Access to libraries, cultural facilities, parks and other outdoor amenities
  • Health and fitness: Statistics covering a neighborhood’s general well-being and access to care
  • Jobs: Opportunities for employment and economic stability in and around the neighborhood
  • Outdoor activities: Access to and residents’ proclivity towards outdoor activities
  • Weather: General year-round weather statistics

Bella Vista received A grades in education, nightlife, diversity, shortest commute, family amenities and outdoor activities. It got an A-minus for public schools, a B-plus in health and fitness, and Bs in crime and safety and real estate. Niche gave the weather a B-minus grade, the job picture a C and the cost of living a C-minus.

Rounding out the top five Philadelphia neighborhoods this year are Passyunk Square, Hawthorne, Queen Village and Old City.

Broken down by region of the city, “Greater Center City” dominated the top 10, with seven neighborhoods making the cut: the four listed above plus No. 6 Fitler Square, No. 7 Northern Liberties and No. 8 Graduate Hospital. In addition to Passyunk Square, South Philadelphia was represented by No. 9 Dickinson Narrows; rounding out the top 10 was Wissahickon in the city’s northwest.

The full rankings of the 100 best Philadelphia neighborhoods, with letter grades assigned for each category, can be found here.

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