Every day, it seems, a new study comes out ranking American cities for one attribute or another. Do you want to know which city has the best Halloween? There’s a study for that. Or how about which city was best for “Football Fans & Super Bowl LVI.” You can find that one here.
These studies, issued by businesses looking to grow brand awareness, are interesting nonetheless so long as they are taken with a grain of salt.
In the last few days, two new ones came out. They give Jersey City high marks for both happiness and bike friendliness.
First bikes. According to Explore Worldwide, which describes itself as “one of the leading operators of cycling adventures around the world,” Jersey City ranks 8th of 50 medium and large cities studied. Jersey City, it says “ranks among the best bike friendly cities due to a well-built bike sharing program and network of bikeshare stations, with 500 bikes for explorers to use. Jersey City also ranks as the second best city for bike commutes.” What will probably come as no surprise to local bike advocates is Jersey City’s low score (40) for bike safety. The entire study can be viewed here.
Apparently, the profusion of bike lanes in Jersey City, which have drawn the ire of some, hasn’t had an appreciable effect on locals’ happiness.
The financial website, Wallethub — the Amazon of urban rankings — says that of 182 cities studied, Jersey City ranks 43rd in overall happiness. Jersey City did particularly well, ranking 20, in the category called “community and environment,” which includes such areas as the divorce rate, hate crimes, leisure time, and parkland. In contrast, Chilltown (who came up with that name?) did abysmally, placing 170th, on “income and employment,” which looked at incomes, the poverty rate, and job satisfaction, among other related metrics. Jersey City did much better, coming in at number 40, on “emotional and physical well-being,” the third of the main groupings, which looked at such measures as depression, suicide, drug use, and food insecurity.
Wallethub also reported on numerous subcategories. On the positive side, Jersey City ranked 7th best for its suicide rate and 23rd for its separation and divorce rate. Less positive was Jersey City’s ranking at 133rd for adequate sleep and 181st for average commute time. The entire study can be viewed here.