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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Study: Rochester residents among the most financially responsible in U.S.

Study: Rochester residents among the most financially responsible in U.S.

Rochester residents are getting high marks for financial responsibility.

A new report from credit tracker Experian ranks the Med City's populace second among U.S. cities for managing their credit. The mean credit score in Rochester was 708 in 2017, compared to the national average of 675.

Minnesota — and really the entire Upper Midwest — fared particularly well in the study. Minneapolis topped the list, with an average score of 709; Mankato and Duluth finished at 3 and 6, respectively. San Francisco, at No. 9, was the only city outside the region to crack the top 10.

As for the lowest credit scores, those belonged predominantly to cities in the South. Greenwood, Miss. had the worst score, 624.

Livability rankings

Rochester again finished in the top 10 on Livability's annual "Best Places to Live" list. However, it did drop eight spots down in the rankings.

It does not appear that anything happened locally to affect Rochester's position. Instead, Livablity — which is constantly tweaking its methodology — gave greater weight to booming college towns. For instance, Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, received top honors for 2018, followed by Manhattan, Kan., home to Kansas State University.  

"It's always tough to pinpoint exactly what causes a city to move up or down the list, usually because it's a combination of things," said Livability editor Winona Dimeo-Ediger. "This year we changed up some of our data sources for universities and natural amenities, added in new climate measures, and data points for natural disaster risk and regional airport access."

Livability also puts out a fresh survey every year to determine what people value most in a city, and weighs the data accordingly. That means a small shift in the results can have a big impact on rankings.

"At the end of the day, these are the top 100 out of 2,300 cities so they're all the cream of the crop, and the rankings at the very top are so close," Dimeo-Ediger said by email. "Rochester staying in the top 10 this year is proof that it's a truly exceptional city and continues to be a Best Place to Live."

Rochester had finished first on Livability's list the previous two years.

Cover graphic: Creative Commons

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