Pleasanton ranks #4 on national list of best U.S. cities

Survey cites city's excellent schools, low crime, high employment numbers

by Jeb Bing / Pleasanton Weekly

Pleasanton ranks No. 4 in a recent survey of America's 50 Best Cities to Live In conducted by 24/7 Wall Street, a nationally recognized online website targeting investors and the business community.

The list was profiled in an article in yesterday's edition of the nationally-circulated daily newspaper USA Today. It was also talked about on yesterday's "Live with Kelly & Michael" morning television show on ABC.

The staff at 24/7 Wall Street reviewed data on 550 cities with populations of 65,000 or more, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. The ranking was determined on the basis of variables such as crime, education, employment growth, leisure, infrastructure, environment, and housing affordability.

"Pleasanton is a community where everyone makes an investment into the greater good and it's reflected through excellent schools, a robust economy, and amenities for all who live and work here," observed Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho. "We're very honored to receive this recognition."

Pleasanton ranked highest on safety, with a 97.4% score in the category, not surprising considering that violent crime per 100,000 residents is 68.2.

Education in Pleasanton garnered another high score, at 91%, and the survey narrative describes local students as "having access to a high-quality education, with secondary students performing well above the state average in math, language arts, and science last year."

The website ranks Pleasanton Unified School District among the Top Ten school districts in California, and both of the city's comprehensive high schools consistently rank among the Top 100 High Schools in California by U.S. News and World Report.

Economic indicators were also factored into the formula to determine America's 50 Best Cities to Live In, and Pleasanton ranked high in this category, with an 84.7. The median income in Pleasanton ($112,000) is among the highest in the country, and the unemployment rate in the city is just 3.7%, one of the lowest rates nationwide. Several large business parks, including

Hacienda, a business park that is the largest in Northern California, provides employment for more than 40,000 workers in the city.

The high employment is complemented by Pleasanton's central location, at the axis of Interstates 580 and 680, and with two BART stations, giving it an average commuter travel time of 28.9 minutes.

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