The Philadelphia Main Line Dominates ‘Best Place to Live’ Rankings. Does Sports Fandom Play A Part?
Despite the Phillies horrible start which currently sits at (0-4) and seeing losses in three professional championship chances in the last 6 months, those who live along the Philadelphia Main Line have something to brag about!
I was watching the national news and they unveiled rankings from NICHE and their 2023 “Best Places to Live in America”. I was fascinated with how neighborhoods along Route 30 in Delco, Montgomery and Chester County dominated the rankings. From the time I leave my home every day to go to the station in Bala Cynwyd I pass through four of the Top 9 communities in the NICHE rankings. So often when depicted in the national media or in television and movies, the Philadelphia area gets a cartoonish depiction. These rankings tell a much different story.
Chesterbrook was named the top place to live in America. The area falling on both sides of 202 and adjacent to Malvern took the top spot for the third time. Ardmore grabbed the third position, Penn Wynne was 5th and Devon placed 9th. That’s an incredible showing and I was interested in finding out what all of these communities has in common.
The NICHE rankings consider 17,932 communities across America. They base their analysis on the following criteria; Affordability, Local Housing Market, Neighborhood Diversity, Area Public Schools and Walkability.
I look at all of those neighborhoods and would add the following;
– Access to public transportation to take you into the city of Philadelphia for those who want to work in a big city but don’t prefer living in it.
– The private grade and high schools are among the best in the nation.
– There are Universities within a short drive of all of these communities for students to pursue undergraduate degrees and adults to continue their education towards advanced degrees.
I host a sports radio show for a living and I actually wonder how much or if the sports crazed community we live in has anything to do with these rankings. In the past year we have seen at a fever pitch the recovery of our neighborhoods from the Covid lockdowns as people returned to a more normal life. That also collided with a renaissance in Philly sports success. We saw a Conference Title in the NFL, MLB and MLS. That was an unprecedented performance even without one of those campaigns ending in a parade. The sense of civic pride that surrounded those events was clearly palpable. I know after living in Atlanta for 25 years that a big population city does not translate to it being a passionate pro sports town. Unlike Atlanta, Philadelphia has a huge generational fan base advantage. You feel it everywhere you go. My wife continually is now adding to her Philly sports gear because she sees it everywhere you go. A fan base being depicted as wearing their “hearts on their sleeves” could not apply more accurately to our local area. It creates conversation among complete strangers and a commonality of joy that unites.
I didn’t need NICHE to tell me that I was once again living in one of the best places in America, the Philadelphia Main Line. I always knew it.
You can read the full article here from niche.com