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Youngstown ranks No. 5 for raising a family

Published: Fri, April 18, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Tom McParland



The city enjoyed some positive press this week when Forbes Magazine named the metro area as the fifth-best in the country for raising a family.

It’s not the first time Youngstown made an appearance on a prominent Forbes list. The business magazine ranked Youngstown No. 4 on the 2012 version of its “Best Cities for Raising a Family” list.

A year ago, Forbes awarded Youngstown a No. 20 ranking on its less-desirable list of America’s most-miserable cities, based on nine factors that included violent crime, unemployment, foreclosures and taxes.

But the magazine eschewed some of the more-volatile factors — such as unemployment and weather — in favor of more family- oriented measurements in Wednesday’s ranking.

“The Youngstown metro area is still near the bottom on the national income ladder, but it also boasts low cost of living, short commutes, and solid school and crime statistics outside the city proper,” Forbes said of the city.

In total, the magazine evaluated the country’s 100 largest metro regions based on median household income, cost of living, housing affordability, homeownership, commute, crime rate and local school quality.

A top selling point for the area is its low cost of living, which makes it an enticing community for young families, said Tiffany Sokol, program coordinator at the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.

YNDC focuses on revitalizing targeted city neighborhoods and also provides planning services for Youngstown.

“For the cost of living, you really can’t beat the amenities that are available here,” she said. “There’s a lot of opportunity to be a homeowner from a young age and increase your stability.”

Tom Humphries, president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said there are other factors at play beyond the hard metrics Forbes considered.

”The things that underlie all that are the friendliness and attitude of the people,” he said. “You don’t teach that.”

Favorable mentions for Youngstown have been increasing in the past few years as the area has benefited from prominent investments in manufacturing and the developing Utica Shale play.

The chamber, which tracks Youngstown stories in the national and international media, said the city is now featured in an average of 600 stories per year.

The attention bodes well not just for Youngstown, but also the surrounding townships and cities, Humphries said.

“We are all branded — good or bad — by the name of Youngstown,” he said. But “we are a melting pot, and we are larger than just the city of Youngstown.”


1DontBanThisDrone(1015 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Um, yeah ok.


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2glbtactivist(315 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Is this an April fools joke? Youngstown is the worst place in America to raise a child.

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3kensgirl(1046 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Read the story again. This time it included statistics from "outside the city proper". That includes all the burbs that Ytowners hate. If it was just Ytown it would go back to "miserable". The only place left that's half decent to live in Youngstown is the Schenley/Bears Den area. I grew up in Youngstown and remember how nice it was before drugs and thugs took it over. If you want to hate me for it oh well. When gunfire could be heard outside my child's bedroom at night it was time to move. Sorry all you burbs haters but it is what it is. Move on. Or better yet move.

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4redvert(2231 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I also wasn't buying any of this until I read "outside the city proper."

Also stated was, "A year ago, Forbes awarded Youngstown a No. 20 ranking on its less-desirable list of America’s most-miserable cities, based on nine factors that included violent crime, unemployment, foreclosures and taxes."

That hasn't changed, seems like a couple posters here might be a little bu*t hurt but it is what it is.

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5city_resident(528 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

You folks realize that anytime we're included on one of these stupid lists, (whether good or bad) they're always talking about the Youngstown Metropolitan Statistical Area, right?

BTW, most city residents don't hate the suburbs; they hate the people who keep running away from their problems, causing the problems to spread. That's why the blight is now spreading into the suburbs, too.

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6JoeFromHubbard(1742 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

@ city_resident:

It is not the people leaving who cause the problems of the city to spread, it is a select remaining few who are to blame.

It doesn't cost a thing to pick up trash, eliminate litter, not destroy property, and not threaten residents.

Until attitudes change, the issues will remain.

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7walter_sobchak(2634 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Amen, Joe. Back in the '80's, my mother, who lived on the south side, would constantly call the police and councilman about the continuing small problems that destroy the neighborhood. Broken down cars, trashy homes, uncut grass, etc. It fell on deaf ears. Then, she was robbed in her home and had her head smashed with a handgun. She survived that and refused to run. Then, her home was burglarized two additional times and she had her purse snatched. She absolutely refused to leave as she wanted to stay in the house my father bought for her in her own neighborhood. Unfortunately, the problem becomes that, of those that stay, there is an increasingly violent side that makes it difficult for the good people that remain, who are in fear. But, do you think I would raise my kids in that environment? Overall, however, we have great suburbs with safe communities and excellent schools. For affordability, it is hard to beat Poland, Canfield, Hubbard, Howland, etc. Great communities to raise families!

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8city_resident(528 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

But, how would these lowlifes be able to live in your neighborhood, if people weren't leaving, making room for them?

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9redeye1(5540 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

City -resident You still don't get it , the people of thugstown let them start their crap and were afraid to speak up about it. Once word got out that thugstown was an easy mark all the thugs took over. Until the people want to get involved,you people have no one else to blame but yourselfs for the conditions you now live under

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10ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

City, so what you are saying is, if everyone would have stayed in Youngstown as opposed to moving out to a suburb, Youngstown would still be a great place to live?

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11city_resident(528 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Most of the problems the city faces are caused by (or exacerbated by) disinvestment.

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12sscavel(26 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

LOL . Did they say amenities? What amenities? Even if you live outside "city proper" there is still no amenities. And one yr ago Y-town was on the miserable list- I'm canceling my Forbes magazine. This is a joke. And the outskirts of y-town are getting bad too- these low lifes r moving to Boardman-and Canfield! The schools are not that great either. I moved away and all the kids that graduate are leaving the area. It will never return to what it was in the past! The only people making money there are govt workers and teachers that cry they are over worked and under paid! And they keep taxing property owners to pay them more!

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