Johnson County Ranked One Of The 'Easiest' Places To Live In U.S. | KCUR

Johnson County Ranked One Of The 'Easiest' Places To Live In U.S.

Jun 26, 2014

This map from The New York Times ranks counties based on quality of life indicators such as median household income and obesity rate.
Credit The Upshot / The New York Times

Johnson County, Kan., is one of the easiest places to live in the United States, according to a new study by The New York Times

The New York Times ranked counties based on six criteria: education, unemployment rate, median household income, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity rate.

Based on the metrics, Johnson County ranks 11th out of 3,135 counties in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The ranking stands in stark contrast to Wyandotte County, Kan., just north of Johnson County, which ranks in the bottom third at 2,361.

Jackson County, which includes Kansas City, Mo., is smack dab in the middle at 1,570. 

The biggest differences between the neighboring counties are education and median household income. More than 50 percent of Johnson County residents have at least a bachelor's degree and pull in $75,139 annually, while only 15 percent of Wyandotte County residents have a four-year degree and earn $39,163 a year.

Clay County, Ky., the subject of a New York Times profile, comes in last, ostensibly making it the hardest place to live in America. The median household income in the county is a scant $22,296, and 45 percent of the population is obese.

Los Alamos, N.M., is the easiest place to live in America, with an astounding median household income of $106,426. Nearly one out of every five residents of Los Alamos County is employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is responsible for much of the research that fuels America's nuclear arsenal.