It would seem that New York City would be among the best places to live in the world. It is the largest city in North America, with a population of 8.5 million people who call it home for some reason or another. A new study of the best and worst places to live in North America puts it at the bottom of the list.
The Economist Intelligence Unit recently ranked the best and worst cities worldwide. It ranked a total of 172. The experts then turned to North America and looked at 25 cities. New York ranked near the bottom and was the worst among large cities. The yardsticks are “stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.”
Other cities near the bottom include dying metros Detroit and Cleveland. Each has lost about half its population since 1950 as large industrial companies have left. Most of these were tied to the automobile industry in one way or another. New York’s population is up over a third during the same time.
Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver topped the list. The highest-ranked city was Toronto.
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What is wrong with New York? Certainly, it is not known for its education, at least at the pre-college level. New York remains one of the dirtiest cities in the country and the one with the largest rat population. Subways and bus services used by millions of people are aged. The health care system works for the wealthy but is relatively expensive for everyone else. Crime, once relatively low, has returned to high levels. The city administration has no solid plan to improve these problems.
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New York has long been a city where people have to live. This is true of hourly workers and rich bankers. They cannot live in many other places if they want consistent work. Calgary may be a better place to live, but it is in a remote part of Canada and has a population of only 1.3 million.
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