Yeah, But We’re Cool

So Las Vegas didn’t crack’s annual list of “100 Best Places to Live,” with Eden Prairie, Minn., taking the title. But our city outranked desirable hometowns in several categories, with homes that average half the price, twice the sunny days and more jobs added over the last decade than in the top five “best” cities combined. (Of course some of those jobs have since been lost, but let’s not quibble.)

It doesn’t take Las Vegans who still have a job long to get to work, according to the survey: Our 22-minute average commute is on par with CNN’s top cities. Happy hour comes early here too, with twice as many bars and a third more restaurants nearby. (Forbes used that statistic, and others, to rank us as “America’s Coolest City” recently. We tied with New York for the top spot.)

Las Vegans are also younger, more likely to be single and more racially diverse than residents from the average town on CNN’s list. And all Nevada cities started the survey with an advantage over their counterparts in, say, California, with low sales tax and no income tax.

On the minus side of the ledger, Las Vegas has fewer libraries and museums. The city’s education and crime stats also didn’t help its standing. We have fewer colleges, test scores well below the “best places” average, and residents here are 11 times more likely to be victims of personal crime. –