Choosing a place to live is always full of trade-offs, but it’d be nice if there was a way to minimize those trade-offs. For NYT Opinion, Gus Wezerek and Yaryna Serkez, made a calculator that lets you weight your priorities to find the city that fits best with how you want to live:
Places can score zero to 10 points for each metric. To calculate each place’s match percentage, we add up its scores across metrics that a reader has selected and divide by the total number of possible points. If a reader selects the checkboxes for trees and mountains, a place with a score of 6 for trees and 8 for mountains will be a 70 percent match.
Places with no data for a metric receive zero points. For starred metrics, we double the number of points scored and available to make them count twice as much toward the match percentage.
Read more on their methodology here. The interactive is based on data from the Census Bureau, Realtor.com, AccuWeather, and Yelp.
After checking the boxes that are important to you, you get a list of cities that best fit the criteria, based on an aggregated match percentage.
I found this is also an excellent way to feel less sure about your current residence and to wonder why areas that you thought would strongly dislike appear at the top of the list.