San Francisco Voted America's Best City 2012

Leonardo Palotta
Businessweek released its annual "Best Places to Live" rankings today, and San Francisco took the top spot.

Businessweek evaluated 100 of the largest cities in the U.S. and based its rankings on the following, in order of importance:

  • Leisure attributes: Number of bars, restaurants, libraries, museums, parks, pro sports teams (major and minor)
  • Education: Public school performance, number of colleges, amount of people with graduate degrees
  • Economic factors: Unemployment rates, crime, and air quality, which seems more environmental than economic, but we'll take it

Not included in the rankings (to our favor) were how often one must wear a jacket, how far and often one must walk uphill, and amount of time spent crying over rent.

Here's the breakdown:

Rank: 1
Population: 808,854

The City by the Bay, this year's winner, provides residents with the best blend of entertainment, education, safety, clear air, and a prosperous economic base. As the heart of the Bay Area, San Francisco draws on the prosperity of Silicon Valley and possesses its own diverse history well represented at cultural centers such as the de Young Museum. Residents care fiercely about their cafés and causes; night life flourishes in the Mission and the Castro, while tech companies code away in SOMA.

Bars: 394
Restaurants: 3,430
Museums: 70
Libraries: 52
Pro sports teams: 2
Park acres per 1,000 residents: 7
Colleges: 17
Percent with graduate degree: 16
Median household income: $90,640
Percent unemployed: 7.8

70 museums! We didn't even know we had that many. Might be time to brush up on our culture.

Also raising the roof for Bay Area awesomeness in the Top 50 list are Oakland (ranked 31) and San Jose (ranked 33).

While the comments about our No. 1 win are, well, just what we would expect Internet comments to be, we are nevertheless thrilled and unsurprised (and slightly chagrined when it comes to our commute) that S.F. attracts 129,000 tourists every day.

Here's hoping we keep our edge against our neighbor to the north, Seattle, which ranked No. 2, and Portland, which ranked No. 5. For now though, we'll bask in the glory that is living in the best city in the world.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. Follow Anna Pulley at @annapulley.

My Voice Nation Help

I guess they got tired of handing NYC the top spot and are on the hippy train.

Whatever S.F/Seattle/Portland have combined, NYC has more of it.
Yes I live in S.F but NYC always takes the cake. For the near same amount of living expenses, you can be in a better city(Don't worry, I'm on the next flight to NYC this summer, S.F was a big mistake).

The women in S.F are just plain weird, but again most of them are hippy transplants who are "sooo vegan" and almost all of them have their tata's pierced, and act like they own the world.....Plus, the city shuts down at 9:30 pm, and on weekends it shuts down at 12.

While you smucks are having your last call in the best city in U.S.A 
People in NYC are just leaving a restaurant and going to clubs(as the last call there is 3:30 am)

There is A lot of bums! I swear, and the city is just all around dirty as hell, and most of S.F's crime is swept under the rug.

Though S.F does have A lot of amazing places to eat and get desserts (bi-rite comes to mind)

But again, NYC reigns supreme.

70 museums? Again, you lose out to your big brother from the east.

Transport? again..loss.

S.F is just a small wannabe of NYC. everyone is into "fashion" and eating out and public transport..blah blah blah...It truly is a rip off. I know most of you will be angry, but through my time living in S.F I have noticed that it is trying very hard, along with its people, to be a smaller New York city.

red.marcy.rand topcommenter

As a native San Franciscan, born here in 1975, Business Week is out to lunch. The City is way overpriced, overcongested, overtaxed, overregulated, crime ridden and dirty as hell.

Around the Civic Center are there are enough bums and beggars to make it look like a mini-Calcutta.

Overpaid Yuppies add nothing to the quality of life here. And those Graduate degreed types are the most leftwing of voting boobs. The unemployment rate is easily double the bogus 8% figure.

The hills, the views and the weather are still great but that's it.

Portland is overzoned and consequently overpriced as is Seattle to a lesser degree.

These 'awards' mean nothing in the real world.


@ebwater lo farei se ci andassi Ci andrei se potessi, subito

Jennifer Zolinas
Jennifer Zolinas

I live here and have lived many other places and this is by far thee worst. Only here till school's done and I'm out!!!

Paul Canniff
Paul Canniff

It's the most walkable city and that makes it the best for me. I hate cars and freeways. In SF you can get around most places on public transportation.

Andrea Ackerman
Andrea Ackerman

Adam you must live here and have lived no where else!


@MacMcClelland are they walking around naked with these cockrings?


@MacMcClelland @annapulley @businessweek Things I never thought I would google: "What is a cock ring"


@MacMcClelland San Francisco is a great city despite the cockrings


@SFWeekly @businessweek Its about time they recognize!!!


@SFWeekly @businessweek NO. NO NO NO. Rent's too damn high already.


@DianaNiglio infatti non è niente male

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