No word on whether it was a photo finish, but three entries shared top honors in the horse race that is the Better Living Index ranking of metropolitan areas in the 2003 Editor & Publisher Market Guide, whose publication was announced Nov. 18.
Perennial front-runner Iowa City, Iowa — it’s finished first every year since the Better Living Index was established in the 1999 edition of the Market Guide — was joined in the winner’s circle at the top of the index ranking by Lawrence, Kansas, and Bryan-College Station, Texas. The ranking is computed using a cost-of-living index, a crime index, and education levels.
A standard source for market research, the 79th annual edition of Market Guide includes numerous ranking tables for all 318 metropolitan statistical areas, the top 250 counties, and the top 250 daily newspaper cities in the United States. It is the only reference guide to do this.
Among the ranking tables are population, disposable income, income per household, total retail sales, and retail sales in nine specific categories. All data are based on final 2000 U.S. Bureau of the Census population figures — rankings are based on E&P estimates for 2003.
The latest edition of the Market Guide features retail-sales data and projections organized according to the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. These classifications, which replaced SIC classifications, are designed to more closely reflect the structure of today’s economy.
The Market Guide is produced by VNU Business Media Inc., publisher of E&P.
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