Buoyed by a good education system, low costs and a falling crime rate, Pittsburgh has placed fourth on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the nation’s best cities for working mothers.
The rankings were based on a survey that weighed women’s income, cost of living, availability of pediatricians, safety, employment and spending on education. The magazine rated the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.
Pittsburgh ranked ninth in spending per pupil, 10th in cost of living and 11th in violent crime rate. The Steel City finished 20th in women’s income, unemployment and pediatrician availability.
Compared with Philadelphia, the survey results were definitely a tale of two cities.
Philadelphia finished 36th in the nation; its only top-10 showing was sixth place on spending per pupil. Philadelphia tied Pittsburgh for 20th in women’s income. However, it ranked 29th in unemployment, 41st in pediatrician availability, 42nd in violent crime rate and 44th in cost of living.
The top spot nationally belonged to Minneapolis-St. Paul, an urban center whose low crime and unemployment rates nudged it past Washington, D.C., and Boston. Baltimore finished just behind Pittsburgh to round out the top five cities.
New York, last year’s winner, fell to eighth this year.
Sun Belt cities languished near the bottom of the survey, perhaps because they’ve been hard hit by the recession. Las Vegas finished last for the second straight year because of the city’s collapsed housing market and high unemployment and crime rates.
Florida metropolitan areas along with Memphis, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C., floundered near the bottom of the Forbes list.
Final note: Pittsburgh employers should consider using the survey as a powerful recruiting tool.