St. Marys Is 27th-Best City To Live In

The city of St. Marys was named the 27th-best city in the United States to live in, according to a USA Today article of the 50 best cities to live in. The list was released on Tuesday.
Managing Editor

St. Marys is the 27th-best city to live in the United States, according to a USA Today article published on its website Tuesday night.

Citing a low cost of living and high safety for its residents, the city finished higher than bigger-populated cities throughout the country as well as several Ohio cities. The article looked at the top 50 cities to live in based on a weighted index of more than two dozen measures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI and other sources compiled by 24/7 Wall St. that fall into one of four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life and community. The publication then considered all boroughs, census-designated places, cities, towns and villages with at least 8,000 residents.

“It is something that I have known for a long time,” Mayor Pat McGowan said on Wednesday. “St. Marys is this little hidden gem out here in western Ohio and people in town don’t realize what they have got and how great it is here. Having worked and lived in different parts of the country, I knew exactly what it was and it was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back here.”

St. Marys cracked the middle of the list based on its newly-renovated walkways along the Miami-Erie Canal in addition to several parks throughout town. As one of a few Ohio towns ranked on the list, St. Marys was cited in the article for its low cost of living, goods and services in the area are about 8% less expensive then they are on average nationwide, according to the article, and St. Marys is a safe town. The article stated that there were 37 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city  in 2017, a fraction of the 383 per 100,000 nation violent crime rate.

McGowan brought up how safe the town is, adding that often times, a person can walk down a street late at night and know that they are safe, which was one of the factors for why St. Marys was ranked the 27th-best city in the country.

“We have a great little city here and the people of St. Marys should be very, very proud of it,” he said. “We very well deserve this ranking. This is a big deal. St. Marys does not need to take a backseat to any other community in the area. We are in a great spot and we should be very proud of it.”

McGowan echoed what the USA Today article stated, that St. Marys is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire in. The article found that the 8,143-populated city’s median household income is $48,661 — 42nd-highest income on the list — with a five-year unemployment rate at 2% — tied for the 24th-lowest rate on the list.

According to the article, the methodology for affordability was that more affordable cities were ranked higher. 

In the economy category, unemployment rate was given a full weight as well as the poverty rate in the quality of life category. Cities where poverty is more common were penalized. The drug overdose mortality rate was given a one-quarter weighting, which also included a hospital’s readmission rate, according to the article.

The community category factored in the average travel time to work — which was given full weight — and the share of commuters either walking, cycling or taking public transit to work was given half weight.