Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Johnson City is a Top Retirement Destination for African-Americans

Johnson City has been ranked as one of the "20 Best Places to Retire" by Black Enterprise magazine. Themonthly publication in its October issue ranked Johnson City eighth among larger metropolitan areas such as Durham, N.C., and Lexington, Ky. The ranking including a scoring system that was based on the following criteria: Quality of Life, Healthcare, Taxes, Leisure, Arts and Culture, and Climate. The only other Tennessee city mentioned was Nashville (which ranked fourth), and the city nearest to Johnson City was Asheville, N.C., which ranked 11th.


"We are very excited," said Ralph Davis, president of the Johnson City branch of the NAACP. "Black Enterprise contacted our branch to verify information related to quality of life and arts and culture. We were pleased to give them a positive recommendation, because we believe that this area is excellent for people of all walks of life to live, work, and play."

The ranking also included each city's population percentage of African-Americans according to data fromthe Census Bureau. Johnson City's black population rate was the lowest of 6.4 percent, which was in line with Portland, OR (6.6 percent) and Ithaca, NY (6.7 percent). The city with the highest population of blacks was Durham, NC (41.6 percent). Neighboring Asheville's black population was 14.8 percent.

Davis continued, 'This recognition is an indicator of the great work performed by economic development professionals in Johnson City and Washington County. But this recognition also gives legitimacy to the economic benefit of embracing cultural and ethnic diversity in Johnson City and the Tri-Cities region. African-Americans have $900 billion dollars in buying power, and that influence and economic clout could come to Johnson City. "

Whereas Johnson City received an overall score of 74.5 and a score of 80 in the category "Quality of Life," the city's score in the area of healthcare was the highest at 99 percent, tied with Charlottesville, Virginia. The winning cities, listed in order were: Durham, North Carolina; Charlottesville, Virginia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Nashville, Tennessee; Lexington, Kentucky; Roswell, Georgia; Columbia, Missouri; Johnson City, Tennessee; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Asheville, North Carolina; Gahanna, Ohio; Gainesville, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Austin, Texas; Ithaca, New York; Madison, Wisconsin; Kent, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Black Enterprise researchers used urban researcher Bert Sperling and his consulting firm along withother sources to develop their Retirement Guide. For example, the "Quality of Life" category (40% of overall score) was determined through the use of Expansion Management magazine, a publication that advises company executives looking to expand or relocate their businesses. The healthcare category (20% of overall score) was based on two factors: hazards that reveal health problems and top-notch healthcare facilities and their costs.

Black Enterprise is the premier business, investing, wealth-building resource for African-Americans. With a readership of 3.9 million, the magazine provides information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management.

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