50 Best Places to Live in New York

Number cruncher devises elaborate system to rate neighborhoods on satisfaction
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2010 12:23 PM CDT
50 Best Places to Live in New York
In this Oct. 29, 2009 photo, a Brooklyn brownstone building is for sale by its owner in New York.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

If you live in New York, the fact that Nate Silver has concluded that Park Slope is the most "satisfying" neighborhood in the city is hot stuff—especially if you own real estate in Park Slope. But if you don't, what's pretty hot is the methodology the numbers genius has devised for New York magazine to figure out what satisfying means, when it comes to a neighborhood.

He assigns percentages to some obvious things—like housing costs (25%), shopping (9%), schools (6%), transit (17%)—and some hipper things like diversity and creative capital (both 6%). Then he runs lots of statistics through that model. And he's devised a handy Livability Calculator that New Yorkers can use to re-rank the factors based on their own personal needs—ie, no school-age children, no interest in nightlife—to find what would be the most satisfying choice for them. Now if he could just do this for relationships...
(More Nate Silver stories.)

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