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Best Counties in America
Old 08-19-2015, 07:18 PM   #1
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Best Counties in America

The USDA apparently ranks counties by climate and "natural amenities". Here's an article about the latest listing;

Every county in America, ranked by scenery and climate - The Washington Post

Those of you who live away from the Golden Shore are welcome to come visit us!

I will also point out that when I answer the "where should I live when I retire" questions, I always suggest the Oxnard/Ventura area. You won't have to look far to find Ventura county on the list.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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Nice to know that the USDA has all of the relavant work done for us. Thanks. I am bookmarking this for future reference.


I used to live in Ventura County. There is more to life than natural amenities but for me that is most of it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:33 PM   #3
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Yet another reason to live in New Haven County, Connecticut.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:06 PM   #4
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In the 70s here but then so is most of Colorado.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:20 PM   #5
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I drilled down a few layers to find out what the purpose of this report is. From the original report (my bolded):USDA ERS - Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change

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Rural county population change--as well as the development of rural recreation and retirement-destination areas--are all highly related to natural amenities, much more so than to other locational measures such as the rural-urban continuum code. The index of natural amenities developed in this study can capture much of each of these relationships, but the index serves best as a summary of factors associated with broad shifts in U.S. population over the past 25 years.
So how you gonna keep them down on the farm after they've seen California (or something like that).
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:33 PM   #6
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I've never read any "best of" list that is anywhere near accurate. Such articles are so often written by those in very large cities that have "tunnel vision."

These maps show the really good places to live are out west where there are no people living. And it's in places where housing and the cost of living is unaffordable for normal citizens.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:54 PM   #7
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Cool chart, alldone. Thanks for posting.

Coastal California ranks well on the pleasant weather map, too:

http://www.kellegous.com/j/2014/02/03/pleasant-places/
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:00 AM   #8
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I thought the USDA was supposed to make sure our meat, eggs, milk, chickens, etc were safe...Not where we are supposed to live. I could go off on a p*litical rant but I'll just keep my mouth shut. Maybe they'll put out a Money Magazine next month on the best farm counties to visit. In the meantime I'll send another check to the gov't for my quarterly tithe.
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:29 AM   #9
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Interesting that neither Alaska or Hawaii have any data. While HI rarely ranks very high on the "best places to live" type articles, I would think it would do well in this type of study. "Best places" includes things like costs, w*rk opportunities and crime, etc. But from a purely "Natural Amenities" standpoint, I would put HI up against CA any day but YMMV.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:18 AM   #10
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The internet-reading public love their lists and rankings, don't they? Any blogger will tell you how hits go up when your title includes "the 5 worst..." or "the 7 top....", etc.
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllDone View Post
The USDA apparently ranks counties by climate and "natural amenities". Here's an article about the latest listing;



Every county in America, ranked by scenery and climate - The Washington Post



Those of you who live away from the Golden Shore are welcome to come visit us!



I will also point out that when I answer the "where should I live when I retire" questions, I always suggest the Oxnard/Ventura area. You won't have to look far to find Ventura county on the list.

They forgot crime rate, cost of living, taxes, amenities, housing options, etc. just more click bait, I'm afraid. Don't waste your time. They rated a very high crime city over my area just 8 miles away. No thanks!


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Old 08-20-2015, 01:23 PM   #12
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Lucky to live in #20! Sonoma County, CA. Not surprised with the ratting though.
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
Nice to know that the USDA has all of the relavant work done for us. Thanks. I am bookmarking this for future reference.


I used to live in Ventura County. There is more to life than natural amenities but for me that is most of it.
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Yet another reason to live in New Haven County, Connecticut.
I've lived in both counties, New Haven and Ventura, and prefer Montgomery, County, Texas now....
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:24 PM   #14
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This list is extremely suspect. Nye County, NV is listed as having very high natural amenities. It's a desolate place with nothing but Mojave desert as far as the eye can see... oh and it's where a lot of the nuclear testing was done too! Think I'll pass.
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post
This list is extremely suspect. Nye County, NV is listed as having very high natural amenities. It's a desolate place with nothing but Mojave desert as far as the eye can see... oh and it's where a lot of the nuclear testing was done too! Think I'll pass.
You mean Nye County doesn't fit the study criteria"

"The index combines "six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer." Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water."
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:43 PM   #16
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gotta love that middle part of Idaho though
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post
This list is extremely suspect. Nye County, NV is listed as having very high natural amenities. It's a desolate place with nothing but Mojave desert as far as the eye can see... oh and it's where a lot of the nuclear testing was done too! Think I'll pass.
Well, look on the bright side. What are the chances anyone would ever "nuke" the area (again) if we end up in a nuclear war - perish the thought.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:41 AM   #18
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Although Collin County, TX is very prosperous, there is nothing much to recommend it from a scenic standpoint. Weather in the summer is brutal, but the other seasons aren't bad, if you exclude tornadoes and ice storms...
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:00 AM   #19
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Thanks for the fun map. Although you can't ignore other data (crime, amenities, etc.) it provides another perspective for those of us looking at places to retire.
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