Debates about “best” and “worst” cities elicit strong feelings. It’s a tricky issue because such debates are largely subjective.
So Business Insider attempted to use data to definitively prove which are the most exciting and most boring cities in every state across America.
To do that, we took counts of the number of establishments for 66 different types of businesses — like breweries, art dealers, and museums — that can make a city more “interesting.” We sourced data from the Census Bureau’s 2015 County Business Patterns program and picked the metro areas with the highest and lowest count of these businesses for our interesting and boring cities.
For example, the New York City metro area has 62 breweries, 762 art dealers, and 305 museums, based on federal data. That ended up being the “most exciting” city in New York. Elmira, the “most boring” city in New York, has two breweries, zero art dealers, and four museums. Of course, this means that bigger cities tended to rank better as “exciting” cities, but that is a trend for most lists of this nature.
The list below breaks out cities by each of the 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas recognized by the federal government. You will see that some of the metro areas span more than one state (e.g. New York City includes Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey). We have made it clear in the slides below which metro areas span more than one state.
And two states — Rhode Island and Vermont — are not included in the list because they don’t have at least two metro areas as defined by the federal government.
Read below to see the most exciting and most boring city in every state in America.
Birmingham, Hoover, Alabama
Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Arizona
Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona