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Two more lists tout Bend as top spot to live, vacation


Bend continues to make national lists of the best places to live and visit – two more just this month.

MSN Money presented an analysis and ranking from 24/7 Wall Street of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” that placed Bend at No. 43. The brief article even links to a Zillow listing of Bend homes for sale, and this time, it’s not about the typical PR amenities – the outdoors lifestyle, the brewpubs — but other factors and statistics.

For example, it noted a population of just over 91,000 and a median home value of $347,300, in the nation’s top 25 percent — and a poverty rate of 10.4 percent, in the bottom 25 percent.

Among other stats: 40.2 percent of Bend residents have at least a bachelor’s degree, again in the nation’s top 25 percent.

“High incomes and a low cost of living make the area especially attractive,” the authors said (clearly not buying the long-standing ‘poverty with a view’ claims of some residents).

“The typical (Bend) household earns $60,784 a year — about $3,000 more than the typical American household,” the article said. “Goods and services are also 2.6 percent less expensive in Bend on average than they are nationwide.”

The article went on to note Bend’s 24.2 percent population growth over the past decade, “more than three times the comparable U.S. population growth over that time.

“Job growth appears to be keeping pace. Employment in Bend climbed by 15.1 percent between 2014 and 2016, the most substantial employment growth of any U.S. city. Only 3.8 percent of Bend’s labor force is out of a job, well below the 4.9 percent U.S. annual employment rate.”

The only other Oregon city on the list — the Portland suburb of Beaverton, six spots higher, at No. 37. No. 1 on the list: Carmel Indiana, population 90,533, where it says residents “are healthy, wealthy and well-educated — almost 70 percent of the adult population has a bachelor’s degree.”

Then there’s the list of “The Best Vacation Spot in Every State,” presented by MSN Lifestyle from PureWow, a “women’s lifestyle destination” that focuses on “fashion, beauty, life hacks and recipes.”

It picks Bend as Oregon’s best spot to vacation, for reasons many other such lists have touted over the years. It also claims that “20 years ago, Bend was virtually unheard of” — something old-timers might quibble about.

“But today, this up-and-coming city attracts crowds for its gorgeous landscapes and blossoming cultural scene.,” the authors said. “Above all, Bend is known for craft breweries (you’ll find over two dozen) and easy access to the great outdoors.”

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