Measure Of America: Houston Lags Behind

The American Human Development Project, which sounds like something you'd donate to for Festivus, has completed a survey ranking the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation on their well-being.

Coming in 10th place: Us.

"Measure of America" looks at health, educational and income factors to determine just how well a city's residents are doing (they also do it for states and Congressional districts), and let's just say Houston isn't doing that well, in terms of the top 10.

"It's tenth, but it's not a bad tenth," Kristen Lewis, co-author of the study, tells Hair Balls. "It's just under Dallas. There''s not a huge difference between cities on the list."

So at least we have that.

Houston tends to do okay on life expectancy and income, said Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, but the degree of education residents have is its "greatest challenge."

For instance, they say, 10 percent of adult Bostonians have not completed high school. In Houston, that figure is 20 percent.

Other comparisons: A baby born today in LA will outlive a baby born today in Houston by three years. And the typical worker in Washington DC earns $43,000, while one in Houston earns $31,000.

Their website has some nice interactive maps with all this info -- give it a try.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly