A look at Southborough’s #8 “Best Community” ranking

by Beth Melo on July 25, 2014

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GoLocalWorcester just ranked Southborough as #8 “Best Community” out of 72 in Central Mass. This is their 3rd annual ranking of communities.

I always take rankings with more than a grain of salt. (And frankly, I really wonder about the objectivity of a Worcester based site that ranks Worcester as the #1 community all three years, while other towns shift in rankings.)

These rankings are purportedly based on affordability, economic condition, education, safety, and arts & culture.

Southborough’s ranking here is in the top ten, but some readers may be surprised by some of the communities that were higher ranked:

  1. Worcester
  2. Harvard
  3. Bolton
  4. Westborough
  5. Holden
  6. Hopkinton
  7. Shrewsbury
  8. Southborough

Southborough’s stats used were:

  • Affordability ranking: 36
  • Education ranking: 17
  • Economic condition ranking: 3
  • Safety ranking: 5
  • Arts & Culture ranking: 11

Personally, the most surprising statistics to me were that we beat our neighbors on affordability but took a beating on education! 

Ranked #2-4 for education were Hopkinton, Shrewsbury, and Westborough’s. For affordability, they all ranked in the mid-60s.

Interestingly, the site ranks Northborough as #16 for education and our town at #17. But our combined high school came in #4 in their recent  high school rankings.

This year, GoLocalWorcester doesn’t explain the methodology.  But in 2012, when the rankings first began, they described the measuring and weighting of criteria. Those standings relied on MCAS scores.

At least they fixed the safety ratings. (In 2012, they bizarrely ranked Southborough as #60 for crime!)

The site also posted a the top 100 communities in the state. That placed Southborough as #91. While they didn’t specify the number of communities looked at, numbers indicate at least 260 were compared.

For the full GoLocalWorcester community ranking stories, click here.

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