Wednesday, August 20, 2014
   
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Gothenburg Rated No. 3 best place to raise family

A consumer-advocacy group in San Francisco says Gothenburg is the third-best city in the state to raise a family..

NerdWallet based the rankings on public schools, median home values, ongoing costs of home ownership, median incomes and economic growth.

Of the top three cities, Gothenburg is the only outstate city and was described on the Internet site as claiming two Fulbright scholars and having 10 computer labs throughout its school—one computer for every three students.

Gretna took top honors in the ratings followed by Seward.

Within the area, Holdrege was ranked sixth followed by McCook and Broken Bow.

NerdWallet communications analyst Laura Zulliger said the group asked the following questions:

Does the town have good public schools? Academic performance of schools were rated by the non-profit organization GreatSchools. The organization compares a given school’s standardized test scores to the state average to obtain a rating on a 1 to 10 scale (10 representing the highest score). Higher ratings led to a higher overall score.

Can you afford to live there? Both median home values in each town and ongoing monthly home costs, including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities, fuel and other bills were examined. Lower costs led to a higher overall score.

Is the town growing and prospering? Economies were assessed by looking at median household income and income growth over the last decade. Higher income and greater growth led to a higher overall score.

Once the top 20 cities emerge from the data, Zulliger said people in the state were contacted to insure the study results were accurate.

The information was provided to media outlets to help families decide the best place in which to settle.

“Cities were happy to get it because it’s a confirmation of a lot of hard work they’ve done to improve their communities,” Zulliger said.

She said NerdWallet does the homework for consumers by providing analysis of financial information in a clear, easy-to-understand way.

The group is analyzing the best place to raise a family in all 50 states and hope to be finished by December.

When taking people on community tours, Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce director Anne Anderson said visitors are told that the city offers a superior quality of life with excellent schools, good medical facilities, recreation and a way of life that is hard to beat.

“It’s good to see it in writing that other people share our opinion,” Anderson said.

For more information on the study, go to the nerdwallet website.

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