Movoto Names America’s 10 Most Caring Cities

November 12, 2014

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us that the verb, “to care,” is when an action takes place to, “do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage.” It also means things that are done to keep someone or something healthy and in good condition. Based on those definitions, who would not want to live in a place that is viewed as “caring?”

The real estate research firm Movoto, recently identified ten of the nation’s “Most Caring Cities.” While it may be a factor you’ve never considered, the analysts from Movoto feel it is a positive distinguishing feature for a city to have, just like top-rated schools, quality medical care or walkability.

So, how did they figure out which locations are the most caring and connected with residents? Using the 2010 U.S. Census to pinpoint the country’s 100 largest cities and comparing data from social media and local business listings, the analysts noted specific indicators of caring communities. Here they are:

  • Student-counselor ratio
  • Charitable donations by percent of income
  • Crimes per 100,000 people (the lower the better)
  • Pet shelters and rescue per capita
  • Homeless services per capita
  • Mental health counselors and therapists per capita
  • Percent of workers who carpool (caring for the environment)
  • Facebook likes for “charities and causes” per capita

Next, the information was listed for each city and ranked according to the highest levels of caring activities that were brought to light in the study. Here are the winners…

10. Durham, NC

For starter’s it’s also known as the “City of Medicine” thanks to its world renowned medical facilities and Duke University’s school of medicine. Perhaps all of those folks working in the health and wellness fields have something to do with its “care” ranking! For Movoto’s criteria, Durham had the 7th best student counselor ratio. It ranked 9th for having the most mental health professionals per capita. More than thirteen percent of Durham’s commuters carpool and they are also active givers to charities, especially animal rescue.

9. Nashville, TN

Movoto reports that “Music City” did well across the board in terms of caring indicators. It was revealed that Nashville residents were in 11th place for non-profit donations. They are also very active in supporting their local shelters for the homeless, victims of domestic violence and stray animals. Nashville came in 9th place for its student counselor ratio.

8. Birmingham, AL

Wow! “The Magic City” delivers when it comes to giving. According to Movoto’s findings, “Birmingham folks donated an absolutely stunning 10.9 percent of their income to charity.” This put it in second place for that marker. The southern city had the 12th highest number of carpoolers, which is directly linked to showing concern for the environment.

7. Santa Ana, CA

A notable distinction in this SoCal city is its admirable low crime rate, which made it the 7th lowest on the list. Over 17 percent of Santa Ana’s workforce carpools, which put it in the number one spot for that merit. The community works hard for animals in need and came in at 11th place for the number of pet shelters per capita.

6. Las Vegas, NV

It may be surprising to hear that “Sin City” is a warm and fuzzy place. However, the stats say it’s true! From animal shelters to homeless services to workers who carpool, Las Vegas had solid scores in each of the caring categories. Las Vegas has plenty of mental health professionals to go around and ranked 20th for its number of Facebook “likes” for charitable causes.

5. New Orleans, LA

Hurricane Katrina certainly devastated the “Big Easy,” but it likely brought its residents closer. There is a high level of support here for students and those in need of mental health services. New Orleans residents are very active on Facebook in support of local charities and non-profit organizations. In fact, folks here contribute an average of 5.6 percent of their annual income to helping causes, such as Habitat for Humanity.

4. Baton Rouge, LA

It may off the radar of most of us, but the city of Baton Rouge has residents who truly care about others. They are active givers, donating 6.8 percent of their income to charity. After Hurricane Katrina, Baton Rouge was a safe haven for nearly 200,000 displaced victims. The community leads by example and it shows with its number one ranking for the ratio of counselors to students.

3. Tucson, AZ

The “Old Pueblo” may be synonymous with the “Wild West,” but when it comes to crime, Tucson had the 4th lowest rate. A caring police force and established community watches in neighborhoods are credited for deterring crime. Movoto revealed that the city’s scores in each category placed it in the top half with many in the top thirty percent.

2. Austin, TX

Anyone who has visited Austin lately will not be surprised that it’s at the top of the list. It did well in all of Movoto’s categories, especially for its high number of agencies that offer services to the homeless. In recent years, Austin has been named, “The Greenest City in America,” and ranked #2 as the “Best Big City in Which to Live.”

See related post, “Why is Everyone Moving to Texas?”

1. Atlanta, GA

Could it be referred to as “Hotlanta” because its residents are so warm and giving? Maybe! Of all of the cities on the list, Atlanta came out on top due to its efforts for the homeless, high number of charitable contributions and work for animals in need.

To read the entire Movoto article and see real estate listings in each of these caring cities, please use this link:

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