Quality of Life in Cities
Quality of life (QOL) studies are abundant within the research and popular literature. Rankings are produced on national, state/province, city and municipal levels. Yet, there is not a widely supported simple index that is applicable to the city level. Using lessons derived from the Human Development Index and a review of the recent QOL literature, an index is developed for city-level comparisons and applied to 30 cities across Canada and the New England states. The QOL index is composed of the dimensions of Economy, Safety, Social Environment, and Education and uses the indicators of average income, crime rate, divorce rate, and educational attainment. Two alternate indices are developed and applied to measure the sensitivity of the index formulation based on the addition of the dimensions of Health (QOL2) and Housing (QOL3). The study indicates that city rankings are not dependent upon population size and that high-ranking cities consistently rank within the top levels of each of the developed indices. Statistical analysis (p
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