2012 Manliest Cities

ernest hemingway with a manly beard and sweater

Time flies!  It’s time again for one of our most popular studies, our fourth annual list of America’s Manliest Cities.

It elicits a chuckle from some folks – but not only is Manliness important, it turns out it’s also quite quantifiable.

We look at things like number of major-league sports teams, nearby NASCAR events, steakhouses and BBQ joints. Prevalence of activities like woodworking, fishing, bowling, and home improvement also translated into higher rankings. On the flip side, “unmanly” things like minivans, sushi restaurants and home decor stores hurt cities’ “Manly” score.

Once again the South and the Midwest dominated the top spots. Here’s the full list, along with how each city changed its ranking from last year:

1. Oklahoma City, OK (▲ 2 spots) 26. Salt Lake City, UT (▼ 7 spots)
2. Columbia, SC (▲3 spots) 27. Columbus, OH (▼9 spots)
3. Memphis, TN (▲ 1 spot) 28. Orlando, FL (▲ 2 spots)
4. Nashville, TN (▼ 3 spots) 29. Philadelphia, PA (▼ 9 spots)
5. Birmingham, AL (▲ 2 spots) 30. Grand Rapids, MI (▼ 1 spot)
6. Houston, TX (▲ 3 spots) 31. Detroit, MI (▼ 6 spots)
7. St. Louis, MO (▲ 3 spots) 32. Portland, OR (▲ 5 spots)
8. Toledo, OH (▲ 4 spots) 33. Buffalo, NY (▲ 1 spot)
9. Cleveland, OH (▼ 3 spots) 34. Denver, CO (▼ 3 spots)
10. Charlotte, NC (▼ 8 spots) 35. Baltimore, MD (▼ 7 spots)
11. Louisville, KY (▲ 2 spots) 36. Miami, FL (▲ 8 spots)
12. Cincinnati, OH (▲ 2 spots) 37. Chicago, IL (▼ 13 spots)
13. Indianapolis, IN (▼ 2 spots) 38. Las Vegas, NV (No change)
14. New Orleans, LA (▲ 3 spots) 39. New York, NY (▼ 4 spots)
15. Dallas, TX (▲ 6 spots) 40. Minneapolis, MN (▼ 4 spots)
16. Pittsburgh, PA (No change) 41. Seattle, WA (No change)
17. Atlanta, GA (▲ 6 spots) 42. Harrisburg, PA (▼ 2 spots)
18. Dayton, OH (▲ 8 spots) 43. Washington, DC (▼ 1 spot)
19. Milwaukee, WI (▼ 11 spots) 44. Sacramento, CA (▼ 1 spot)
20. Kansas City, MO (▼ 5 spots) 45. Rochester, NY (▲ 1 spot)
21. Jacksonville, FL (▲ 12 spots) 46. Los Angeles, CA (▲ 4 spots)
22. Richmond, VA (No change) 47. Boston, MA (▼ 2 spots)
23. Tampa, FL (▲ 16 spots) 48. Oakland, CA  (▼ 1 spot)
24. Providence, RI (▲ 3 spots) 49. San Francisco, CA (▼ 1 spot)
25. Phoenix, AZ (▲ 7 spots) 50. San Diego, CA (▼ 1 spot)

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Sexual Health

a trojan brand condom

This year marks the 6th annual Trojan Sexual Health Report Card study that we do, and it’s one of the ongoing projects I’m most proud of.  Each year it garners more attention and continues to gain momentum as a source of positive change.

It’s emerged as the only independent evaluation and comparison of on-campus sexual health info and resources for U.S. universities, covering over 30% of all enrolled undergrads nationwide.

We look at the hours of operation for student health centers, the availability and cost of contraceptives for both sexes, peer groups, STD testing, and how sexual assaults are handled.

One of the greatest strengths of the study is that there’s no endorsement of any particular lifestyle, rather the advocacy and promotion of informing students.  It’s about education, which is fitting at our country’s places of higher learning.

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Most Stressful Cities

a stressed-out woman with a headache

Stress is all around us these days – flip on the news and sometimes the problems seem nonstop. There’s so much political infighting and inaction, unemployment, etc…

© Royalty-Free/Corbis

But are some cities more afflicted than others?  It sure looks that way.

We just completed an in-depth study on the nation’s Most Stressful Cities, and Tampa Bay, Florida came out at the top of the list.  Las Vegas was number two, then Miami and Jacksonville.

Notice a pattern?  Florida, with all it’s sunshine, occupies half of the top ten spots.  I was pretty taken aback.

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Bert on Louisville radio, for an hour

Recently, CBS News Sunday Morning released the results of our Sperling’s study on sleeplessness, naming Louisville, KY as the most sleepless city.  Naturally, this has been the talk of Louisville.

So Bert will be joining host Doug Proffitt this Thursday (Nov 17) from 1-2pm ET on WGTK NewsTalk 970 AM.  We’ll be talking about this and other studies, our Best Places work, and what makes Louisville special.

Click here to listen live.
And here’s the website for WGTK.

I hope you’ll join us!


“Military Retirement” study garners major media coverage

Our Best Cities for Military Retirement and Second Careers study is a making a big splash in the media.  The team at Fleishman-Hillard PR orchestrated a great campaign for our USAA-sponsored study.

A big front-page above-the-fold feature in USA Today:  Job-Seeking Veterans.

Forbes.com featured a two-page story and a slide show, and the American Morning show on CNN spent over four minutes discussing our results.

Articles on news sites across the country:

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Military Retirement – Second Careers

Coinciding with Veteran’s Day, we just completed an interesting study about the best places in the U.S. for military retirees to start a second career.  Since most veterans retire from service in their 30’s or 40’s, they have plenty of time to start a new professional chapter in their lives.

source: allamericanpatriots.com

So what are the best places to enter the civilian job sector?  To help us find out, we partnered with USAA (a financial services provider) and Military.com (the largest military and veteran membership organization).  We looked at factors such as affordability, unemployment rate, prevalence of military skill related jobs, and number of veteran-owned businesses.  But we didn’t stop there.

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Manliest Cities

Where do America’s REAL men live?  “America’s Manliest Cities” is one of most entertaining studies I do, and it always seems to get a big reaction across the nation.  I’m not surprised - having one’s manhood appraised is definitely bound to start some spirited discussion!

This is the third year we’ve done the study, partnering with the good folks at Combos, the “official cheese-filled snack of NASCAR.”  (I’m not kidding.)

This year good ole’ Nashville, TN grabbed the top spot, and Charlotte, NC was runner-up.  In fact, all of the top 10 Manliest Cities were in the South or Midwest.  Must be all that macho stuff like country music, huntin’, and grillin’.

Actually, we did consider things like number of BBQ restaurants, as well as rodeos, sports events, and manly occupations.  Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg… there’s a lot more to the study.

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Sleepless Cities

The results of our newest study were released today on the CBS show, Sunday Morning.  Louisville, KY earned the top spot of Most Sleepless City, and Honolulu residents got the best rest in our study of insomnia.
(see the video clip on CBS)

Our new study ranks the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, home to fully half of the U.S. population.  The Sperling study analyzes over 400,000 responses from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (the world’s largest telephone survey, conducted annually by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and also considers factors contributing to poor sleep,
such as joblessness, divorce, and lengthy commuting.

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Best Cities for Seniors

I just completed a really in-depth study on the best metro areas for seniors to live in.  Minneapolis came in first, with Boston and Pittsburgh rounding out the top three.  There’s an overview of the study here, with the top 25 cities:

2011 Best Cities for Seniors

We considered nine broad categories, each consisting of several specific measures:  Healthcare, Economy, Health & Longevity, Social Life, Environment, Spiritual Life, Housing, Transportation, and Crime.

Here you can download a PDF of the entire study, with all 50 cities ranked, as well as full methodology and detailed city writeups:

Best Cities for Seniors Full Study

In the PDF, we’ve even broken how cities scored in each of the individual categories.  For example, the #1 city for Environment was San Francisco, whereas the #1 city for Housing was Oklahoma City.