Tuesday, October 2, 2007

You are where you live

I was on a Southwest Airlines flight last week, and noticed an article in the inflight magazine titled "My Kind of Town." The premise was that if you don't feel at home where you're currently living, you can find somewhere more to your liking by moving to an area where people are more like you - and that demographic research is making that easier all the time. Southwest's Spirit magazine teamed with "Best Places guru Bert Sperling" and research firm Claritas to identify top ZIP codes for "The Single Life," "Cosmopolitan Couples," "Kids Rule," and "Senior Power" categories.

Raleigh, N.C., was profiled as the top pick for "The Single Life," but "Boise 83705" was named a runner-up, with this description, "With top-notch skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, and other adventure sports, Idaho's capital city attracts young professionals who moonlight as adrenaline junkies." I live in 83705, and I am none of those things - but it turns out the seven-oh-five also includes several other demographic groups including "Middleburg Managers," "Mobility Blues," "Sunset City Blues," and "White Picket Fences." (Blues means blue-collar, not Democratic.) My family doesn't really fit in any of these categories, either. We still like where we live, mere minutes from downtown, Boise State, the airport, and most of our activities. If we were able to move, I think I'd prefer another home within this same neighborhood.

Do you want to see what sort of people live in your neighborhood? Click here. I wish the site had a way for users to discover their ideal neighborhoods via a questionnaire rather than by trial and error. Actually, Best Places seems to have that tool, albeit for entire cities, not neighborhoods.

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