Okay, we were embarrassed again…
…actually twice within two weeks by the same publication.
But I keep having this unsettling thought.
What if we live in one of the most livable cities in America, but these preposterous loony rankings convince us and people elsewhere that we’re a bunch of losers?
WalletHub recently published “2016’s Best-Run Cities in America.”
Birmingham ranked 128th out of 150 cities.
The Birmingham Business Journal quickly followed with the headline, “Birmingham receives low ranking for city management.”
Then YellowHammer piled on, “Birmingham ranked one of the worst-run cities in America.”
Tweets and retweets spread the bad news everywhere.
But the ranking is baloney.
First of all, the study shows nothing about how well the City of Birmingham is managed. Financial stability was measured, but Birmingham’s finances remain in good order. The other measures have nothing to do with governance.
WalletHub says it “examined each city’s performance on six key indicators, including financial stability, education, health, safety, economy as well as infrastructure and pollution.”
As usual, the city of Birmingham was ranked without its wealthier suburbs against cities like Louisville, Kentucky which has a county-city government. (Louisville combined its county and city government in 2003)
Louisville, which includes all of Jefferson County Kentucky, ranked 26th and Birmingham, which includes less than 1/3 of Jefferson County Alabama, ranked 128th.
Making matters worse, a week earlier, WalletHub, rated Birmingham the 3rd most stressful city in America—based on high divorce and crime rate, percentage of adults in fair/poor health or who had been diagnosed with depression, suicide rates, average weekly work hours and unemployment rates. WalletHub again measured Birmingham without its suburbs like Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills with cities with much broader boundaries.
If you were a business or an individual looking to move to a new town, would you select Birmingham with its low rankings or would you pick a higher rated city?
And do you really think Birmingham is the 3rd most stressful city in the U.S.?
Birmingham is likely one of the least stressful cities in America.
Newcomers always comment on our comfortable way of life and our hospitality.
But it certainly may be stressful for people who live in the urban areas of Birmingham, but WalletHub ranked Birmingham 3rd in stress and Chicago 33rd.
As of the end of July there had been 2,120 people shot and wounded and 414 homicides in Chicago–compared to 57 homicides in Birmingham. Do you really think urban Chicago is less stressful than urban Birmingham?
I love Birmingham. And I’m sure you do too.
Don’t believe for a minute the nonsense published by website and media people who’ve never visited here and have never experienced our beauty and generosity.
- Birmingham embarrassed by another key national ranking
- National publication embarrasses Birmingham
- Birmingham NOT one of the most dangerous cities in America
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David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).