And you thought Santa had lots of lists

November 24, 2012

The lists just keep coming.

Research leads to statistics, and that information leads to lists – positive and negative.

There are lists of the top 10 cities with underwater mortgages, and the top 10 for smart phone theft. How about the top 10 cities for sleeping? Yes, that list is out there as well.

Those are lists compiled by various websites, magazines, news organizations and public relations firms.

Some don’t make sense, such as the best and worst cities for healthy eating. Isn’t that more of a series of personal choices, not dependent on your location? I think most towns big enough to have a grocery store have both vegetables and ice cream available for purchase. What you consume is entirely up to you as an individual – last time I checked.

There are plenty of other lists with equally dubious formats. That would include the best- and worst-dressed cities. How can anyone make such silly judgments? Everyone knows that people in Texas, regardless of their city, dress better than people in any other state. It’s just a fact.

Some lists make you feel good about the cities, such as the top 10 for veterans transitioning back into civilian life (military.com). Dallas ranked No. 3 behind only Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

These lists can also fall into the plain vanilla category of “things that make you go hmmm.”

That would include the list of worst cities for bicycling. Again, wouldn’t this really depend on your personal decisions? Dallas residents might want to avoid riding a bike on LBJ Freeway at 5 p.m. on Fridays. But that city also has its share of quiet neighborhoods in which the traffic averages under 200 mph.

Not all of the lists are frivolous. Some could be helpful.

KEEPS ON GIVING

A recent list that caught my eye was the top 10 cities where a paycheck goes farther, from Salary.com. New London, Conn. was No. 1. The closest in the top 5 was Tulsa.

Well, as the song says, I’ve been to Oklahoma. But that option would still require leaving Texas to make the “big bucks.” I’d have to think over that option a little more before moving to where the wind (not to mention the dust and the tornadoes) comes sweeping down the plains.

For those of us who are single, there is a list of the best cities for dating. Again, I don’t believe that can be measured in terms of city vs. city in any meaningful way. On the other hand, maybe I’ll check out that one after all and get back to you.

Forbes published a list of the most dangerous cities in America, based on violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Texas had none in the top 10. Detroit and St. Louis were No. 1 and No. 2.

One list rated the best and worst drivers, by city. Sioux Falls, S.D. headed the list of best drivers, while Washington, D.C., had the worst.

The best drivers in cities with at least one million residents apparently reside in Phoenix. San Antonio was third and Houston ranked fourth.

A list of cities with the most traffic congestion showed Los Angeles at No. 1. Houston was eighth. I can’t believe Austin wasn’t in the top 10.

I can get by without most of these lists. But I think I might like to get a peek at the top 10 cities for peace of mind.

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