Monday, 5 January 2009

America's 10 Most Boring Cities

To find the 10 least-discussed cities in the U.S., did a variety of news-archive searches to determine the number of stories which mentioned the 100 largest cities in national media outlets - namely newspapers the Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal; national newsweeklies Time and Newsweek; and national business magazines Forbes, Fortune and BusinessWeek. Heavier weight was given for stories that mentioned a city repeatedly. Rankings were adjusted for population size, as smaller cities would be expected to receive less coverage.

Chula Vista, Calif. (Population: 217,478)

The midway point between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, rarely makes national news, but when it does, it's often in stories about the region's border tensions. How many people even knew Chula Vista was one of the country's 100 largest cities?

Hialeah, Fla. (Population: 212,217)
Hialeah, in the Miami metropolitan area, barely exists as an independent city in the eyes of the national media. Many stories featuring an appearance of Hialeah discussed the impact of the city's Cuban-American population on the presidential election in Florida.

Mesa, Ariz. (Population: 452,933)
Considering it's the 38th largest city in the country, Mesa doesn't appear often in the national media. Many of the residents are oriented toward Phoenix which, as a key hub of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, appeared in stories far more often this year. When Mesa was featured, it was usually in stories about the housing bubble that hit the Southwest.

North Las Vegas, Nev. (Population: 212,114)
The lights of the Las Vegas Strip badly outshine the rest of the region. While the Strip is actually located in Paradise, Nev., to the south of Las Vegas proper, it appears few reporters have ever ventured north of Las Vegas. North Las Vegas' existence barely registers in the national media, though the city has a population equivalent to Reno's.

Chandler, Ariz. (Population: 246,399)
Chandler is one of a half-dozen small- to mid-sized cities nearly forgotten in the Phoenix sprawl. Arizona's Maricopa County has twice the population of Manhattan, but the differences among its communities are virtually unknown to a national audience.

Santa Ana, Calif. (Population: 339,555)
The city of Santa Ana was outdone by the infamous Santa Ana Winds that help fuel California's wildfires. The city itself is ignored in favor of its larger neighbor, Los Angeles.

Bakersfield, Calif. (Population: 315,837)
Bakersfield is one of a number of inland California cities that owe what little media scrutiny they received to the region's devastating housing bubble. Others on the list include Stockton, Fresno and Modesto.

Aurora, Colo. (Population: 311,794)
In Colorado, only Denver and Colorado Springs are larger than Aurora - but because Aurora is tucked away in Denver's southeast pocket, it is rarely mentioned as a separate entity.

Gilbert, Ariz. (Population: 207,550)
Another town forgotten in the Phoenix sprawl. Gilbert has grown rapidly in recent years, almost doubling since 2000, when the population was only 116,000. Even the government hasn't quite caught up yet - Gilbert is still incorporated as a town rather than a city.

Henderson, Nev. (Population: 249,386)
If you're a city in Nevada and not known for your casinos, it's hard to get much notice. Henderson did make it into a number of campaign stories as Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain criss-crossed the state.

1 comment:

evision said...

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