Looking for a website with dorky graphics and dubious statistics that purports to rate “cities” (like Westport) based on demographic data?
Click on AreaVibes.
You’ll learn that our population is 25,749 (as of when?), with a population density of 1,287 people per square mile, and a male/female ratio of 0.9:1.
95% of us are white. We’re 2.62% Asian, 0.84% African-American, 0.17% American Indian, 1.01% mixed race, 0.24% “other race,” and exactly 0.00% Native Hawaiian. There is no listing for “Hispanic.” (I know it’s not technically a race, but still…).
Our median household income is $153,436. Per capita income: $94,290.
The cost of living here is 12% higher than the average for the state — and a whopping 43% more than the national average.
Fortunately, our crime index is 51% lower than Connecticut’s average, and 70% below the US as a whole.
70% of us are married, though it’s unclear whether that includes all of Westport or just the adults.
But then things get sketchy.
According to AreaVibes, Westport’s unemployment rate is 3.3%. (According to the Connecticut Department of Labor yesterday, it’s 5.9%.) AreaVibes says the state average is 4.5% — and the national average is 5.9%. President Obama will do cartwheels at that news.
Our student-teacher ratio of 11:1 is lower than the Connecticut (14:1) and national (16:1) averages — but, AreaVibes tells users, there are “2 colleges & universities” in Westport. You learn something new every day.
The median year a home here was built is 1956. Sounds reasonable — but then you read that the median value of a Westport home is $1,729,000 (the state average is $467,885; national, $237,162). Realtors, I’m sure, are frothing at that stat.
Our average 1-way commute is 41 minutes. 19% of us take public transportation to work (trains, presumably), while 2 percent of us supposedly walk to work. Eleven percent work from home.
But wait — according to AreaVibes, there are 5 Amtrak stations in town. Perhaps the ones I have never heard of are located on the campuses of our 2 colleges and universities.
It all works out to an AreaVibe score of 73.
Compared to what? 100? 1,000? What’s Fairfield’s score? Greenwich’s? Palm Beach’s?
Who knows? To get another “city” score, you have to search again. There’s no handy chart.
Maybe that’s a project a student at one of our Westport universities can work on.