The USDA Thinks Baltimore Is Not a Pleasant Place to Live

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The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham uncovered a nifty document from the 1990s, in which the USDA ranked every one of the nation’s 3,000-plus counties, in an attempt to list the most (and least) desirable places to live. And according to this ranking, the best spots are all along the southern California coast. The worst are in northern North Dakota. 

Baltimore? Um, not so hot: The city and county are the 1,732nd-most attractive place to live in the entire United States. How is attractiveness measured, you ask? Through various measures of natural amenities, including topography, weather, and water–with “mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water” deemed the most ideal situation.


That description of what counts as good living sounds as though it was written by a bunch of Californians… or perhaps some east coast folks who were exhausted after another long, gray winter.

Check out the interactive map here to see how your favorite places rank.

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