The study, published on www.creditdonkey.com, based its rankings on the odds of being a victim of a violent crime, commute time, average income, residents who attended some college and restaurants per capita. According to the study, Cartersville residents have odds of 1 in 392 of being the victim of a violent crime, a commute time of 21.1 minutes, an average income of $45,280, 22.6 percent of residents attended some college but had no degree and the restaurant to inhabitant ratio is 1 per 198.1.
Though she could not attest to the website’s reputation, Cartersville Downtown Development Authority Manager Tara Currier still appreciated the ranking.
“I’ll be perfectly honest, I didn’t know anything about this website and I’m not sure what their background is, but I think anytime we have someone who is, obviously, from the looks of the article, [researching] census information and information about our crime and just about the quality of life and is going to rank us specifically as number one, that’s a great thing. So certainly any hopefully reputable source out there is going to claim Cartersville the greatest place in Georgia to live is something that we’re going to be glad to brag about,” she said.
Currier said she was glad to see one piece of data the study claimed: the low odds of being the victim of a violent crime. She said the number reflected the results of the DDA’s downtown master plan survey.
“Our highest, most positive response we got was that 86 percent of the survey respondents felt safe in downtown,” Currier said. “So I think that just going back to the crime rate that was listed on CreditDonkey, we can back that up with the information we received in the downtown master plan survey as well.”
For her part, Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau Co-Director Regina Wheeler believed the restaurant ratio spoke well of the community, as did the ranking as a whole.
“We like it. We’re certainly in the come play and leave your money behind business, you know? Not so much as the living business,” she said of the CVB’s role in the community. “However, when you have a good destination for tourism, quite often you become a great destination to live in as well. So we were very honored by that particular award, if you will. But as to how they arrived at it, I really don’t know.”
The study used information from the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the website. The other cities on the list, from top to bottom, were Alpharetta, Pooler, Suwanee, Duluth, Fayetteville, Kennesaw, Peachtree City, Conyers and Snellville.
An added benefit of the study, Currier explained, was the buzz it created in the Cartersville community.
“I shared it — and again didn’t say anything to the credibility — but just how exited we were that we were ranked number one by a site and, gosh, we have over 16,000 views on that,” she said. “People were sharing with their Facebook specific friends how much they love Cartersville, and so that’s just a great way to get the word out about what a great community we do live in.”
To view the full survey, visit www.creditdonkey.com/live-georgia.html.