How does your county rank in quality of life? | Families
When it comes to assessing an entire county's quality of life, researchers must give scores and numbers to often intangible concepts such as security, happiness and success. The team of researchers at Alabama State University chose to focus on four areas of data collection: the economy, health, public safety and education.
The ASU team recently released their study called "Counties in Crisis," which compares all 67 Alabama states in each of those areas. Overall, Shelby County took the number one spot, followed by Madison, Baldwin, Jefferson and Limestone, respectively.
The purpose of the study is to pinpoint areas where Alabama excels, and places it needs to improve, so that the state can move forward in offering a higher quality of life for all its residents.
"Our hope is that this assessment will be read as intended, as a very bright light cast upon issues detrimental to quality of life for all Alabamians. It is a call to every resident of this state—from elected officials to citizenry—to recognize ours as a community with which all have a vested interest and an inherent responsibility to vastly improve the current standard of quality of life."
If you're disappointed with your county's placement in the list (which appears on page 11 of the 94 page document), the researchers say there are other, undocumented resources that can add to a particular place's quality of life:
"In looking at the Counties in Crisis rankings and scores, it is important to remember that those counties not performing well in certain areas have assets that are not overtly addressed by the data in this study. Chief among these are the residents of these counties, their families and deep ties to the community, and the state’s commitment to overcome any obstacle placed before them."