Selection of Cities for Inclusion

Cities were selected based on their 2008 U.S. Census population figures. The study was limited to those cities with a population of 250,000 or larger as of July 1, 2008. Four new cities were added this year: Greensboro, NC (250,642), Lincoln, NE (251,624), Henderson, NV (252,064), and New Orleans, LA (311,853).

Newspaper Data

For the newspaper database, the Daily and Sunday Circulation figures were obtained from the Audit Bureau of Circulation FAS-FAX Report 3/31/2009. Those numbers were divided by the 2008 U.S. Census population figures for the cities resulting in a ratio, which was then rank ordered. Seven cities (Anaheim, CA, Arlington, TX, Aurora, CO , Glendale, AZ, Henderson, NV, Mesa, AZ, and Plano, TX) had no newspaper published in their city.

Internet Data

Figures for “read a newspaper online” and “purchased a book online” were obtained from Scarborough Research’s February 2008-March 2009 USA+2009 Release. Cities were ranked according to the index figures provided by Scarborough. Please note that Scarborough did not have data for the following cities: Long Beach, CA; Mesa, AZ; Plano, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Aurora, CO; Arlington, TX; New Britain, CT; Anaheim, CA; Omaha, NE; Riverside, CA; Anchorage, AK; Santa Ana, CA; Fort Wayne, IN; Glendale, AZ: and Newark, NJ. Hence, all of those cities were ranked last.

Magazines and Journals Data

Figures for this database were gathered from the web edition of the National Directory of Magazines and the Standard Periodical Directory through the website of Oxbridge Communications from September 30- October 3, 2009. Only those journals with a total circulation of 500 or more were included, and only those magazines with a total circulation of 2,500 or more were included.

Booksellers and Stores Data

For this database, information was gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau website ( (2008 population)), as well as Yellow Pages, Inc. ( (2009)) for information on retail, rare, and used booksellers. Also, the American Booksellers Association site ( (2009)) was used for independent bookseller information. Please note that for figures reported for “retail”, these did not include any “specialty”, “adult”, or “religious” bookstores, and the stores were those listed at these database sites in September of 2009.

Educational Attainment Data

For this database, information was gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “American Factfinder” website (, specifically from the results of the American Community Survey, 2008. The Educational Attainment data were gathered from the geographic subset listed as, “Principal City of a Metropolitan Statistical Area.”

Library Data

a) Information regarding library staff per capita, volumes per capita, circulation per capita, and branches per capita was gleaned from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), specifically the “Library Statistics Program” and its “Public Libraries Survey FY2007”.

Please note that the number of library staff for both Chicago, IL and Memphis, TN was not listed. Therefore the number on staff for the previous year’s iteration of this study was used for both Chicago and Memphis. Also note that the number of library staff listed for Chicago, IL reflects only librarians, as the total library staff figures were not reported.

Additionally, for Washington, DC the number of books/volumes per capita was missing. Therefore, the figures from the previous year’s iteration of this study were used.

b) Information regarding the number of students and media specialists comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, specifically the “Public School District” data for the 2007-2008 school year. For the “Media Specialists” total, the number of “Librarians/Media Specialists” was combined with the number of “Library/Media Support” staff.

School districts labeled as “Regular School Districts” in population centers labeled “City: Large” in a “MSA- Central City” metropolitan status were included.

Several cities had multiple school districts that met the criteria. Here is a list of those cities and the school districts included:

Anaheim, CA

Anaheim City

Anaheim Union

Magnolia Elementary

Savanna Elementary

Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield City

Fruitvale Elementary

Greenfield Union Elementary

Kern Union High

Panama-Buena Vista Union

Rosedale Union Elementary

Colorado Springs, CO

Academy 20

Cheyenne Mountain 12

Colorado Springs 11

Harrison 2

Corpus Christi, TX

Calallen ISD

Corpus Christi ISD

Flour Bluff ISD

West Oso ISD

El Paso, TX

El Paso ISD

Socorro ISD

Ysleta ISD

Fresno, CA

Central Unified

Fresno Unified

West Fresno Elementary

Glendale, AZ

Washington Elementary

Glendale Union High

Houston, TX

Houston ISD

North Forest ISD

Spring Branch ISD

Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis Public

MSD Decatur Township

MSD Perry Township

MSD Pike Township

MSD Warren Township

MSD Washington Township

MSD Wayne Township

Kansas City, MO

Center 58

Hickman Mills C-1

Kansas City 33

North Kansas City 74

Park Hill

New Orleans, LA

Orleans Parish

Recovery School District LDE

Oklahoma City, OK

Crooked Oak

Oklahoma City

Western Heights

Omaha, NE

Omaha Public

Millard Public

Westside Community

Phoenix, AZ

Alhambra Elementary

Balsz Elementary

Cartwright Elementary

Creighton Elementary

Isaac Elementary

Madison Elementary

Murphy Elementary

Osborn Elementary

Paradise Valley Unified

Pendergast Elementary

Phoenix Elementary

Phoenix Union

Roosevelt Elementary

Wilson Elementary

Portland, OR

David Douglas SD40

Parkrose SD3

Portland SD

Riverside, CA

Alvord Unified

Riverside Unified

Sacramento, CA

Del Paso Heights Elementary

North Sacaramento Elementary

Robla Elementary

Sacramento City Unified

San Antonio, TX

Alamo Heights ISD

Edgewood ISD

Fort Sam Houston ISD

Harlandale ISD

North East ISD

Northside ISD

San Antonio ISD

South San Antonio ISD

San Jose, CA

Alum Rock Union Elementary

Berryessa Union Elementary

Cambrian Elementary

Campbell Union High

East Side Union High

Evergreen Elementary

Franklin-McKinley Elementary

Luther Burbank

Moreland Elementary

Mt. Pleasant Elementary

Oak Grove Elementary

Orchard Elementary

San Jose Unified

Union Elementary

Stockton, CA

Lincoln Unified

Stockton City Unified

Tucson, AZ

Sunnyside Unified

Tucson Unified

Tulsa, OK



Additionally, several cities’ information was based on county school district information reported. They included:

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District

Greensboro, NC

Guilford County School District

Henderson, NV

Clark County School District

Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Department of Education

Jacksonville, FL

Duval County School District

Las Vegas, NV

Clark County School District

Lexington, KY

Fayette County School District

Louisville, KY

Jefferson County School District

Miami, FL

Dade County School District

Raleigh, NC

Wake County School District

Tampa, FL

Hillsborough County School District

New York, NY

The figures for New York, NY were derived
from data provided by New York City Geographic Districts 1-32.

John Sietsema, Data Consultant
Common Core of Data on Public El/Sec Education
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street, NW, Wash. DC 20006-5651, Room 9087
Phone 202-502-7425//Fax 202-502-7490
ED web site:

Quality of Life Resources

Quality of life information has gathered from Forbes, Bert Sperling’s BestPlaces, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and American City Business Journals.