City getting bad for cynics

  The Rhode Island School of Design, along the banks of the Providence River.

The Rhode Island School of Design, along the banks of the Providence River.

From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com:

Local cynics will be depressed to read that Magnify Money has ranked the Greater Providence area the fifth-best metro area in America in which to retire.  The rankers looked at lifestyle, cost of living, medical quality and cost, and assisted-care quality and cost.

The high score was explained by what were seen as reasonable (in regional terms) monthly housing and goods-and-services costs and the quality and quantity of its retirement and assisted-care facilities. Assisted-care establishments are certainly thick on the ground in Rhode Island, especially in Providence!

The highest-ranked cities: Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; Denver; Charlotte, and then Kansas City, Mo., and Providence, tied for fifth. The bottom three, by the way, are Miami, Houston and New York. (The first two have an increasing propensity to be underwater.)

Interestingly, the Providence area’s “lifestyle’’ ranking, a much better than  average index score of 55.9, was brought down by a low  volunteerism rate (18.6 percent, compared to a 50-city average of 24.7 percent) – something I have long lamented about Rhode Island. The  highest rates of volunteerism tend to be concentrated in affluent parts of the state, such as Barrington, East Greenwich and the East Side of Providence. We need to widen that!