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Faulty math? W. Lafayette No. 1 on list of exciting Indiana cities, Fort Wayne No. 43

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By the numbers

Movoto Real Estate blog's top 10 most exciting Indiana cities:
1. West Lafayette
2. Valparaiso
3. Crown Point
4. Lafayette
5. Bloomington
6. Mishawaka
7. Warsaw
8. Chesterton
9. Evansville
10. Madison
43. Fort Wayne
63. Indianapolis

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 9:01 am

Surveys ranking cities are a dime a dozen on the Internet, but one recently found Bloomington intriguing enough to include in the top five.

Bloomington, or “Boomington” as the Movoto Real Estate blog suggests the name should become, was ranked No. 5 in a list of the most exciting cities in Indiana while Fort Wayne trailed at No. 43.

West Lafayette, home to Indiana University rival Purdue University, took the top spot as most exciting. Valparaiso, Crown Point and Lafayette rounded out the rest of the top five, respectively.

The blog, oddly enough, has an office in Lafayette, but Movoto employee Patrick Brown said the company is actually based in California, and the blogger who wrote the article is from Cincinnati.

“This is completely based off a data analysis,” Brown said. “It just happened to work out the way it did.”

The list was compiled by starting with cities in the state with a population higher than 10,000. Those 76 towns were evaluated on eight criteria, mostly focused on entertainment. The categories included nightlife per capita, live music venues per capita, bars per capita, active life options per capita, fast food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better), percentage of restaurants that aren't fast food, percentage of young residents ages 18-34 (the higher the better) and crime per 100,000 people.

According to the blog, “Warsaw took home the No. 1 spot for restaurants per people, making it the place to go if you want to push aside those bland pre-packaged meals from some of the chain joints.” However, the city, which ranked No. 7 overall, could improve in fast food restaurants per person and crimes per 100,000 people, according to the blog.

Fort Wayne, with a population listed of 253,691, had a ranking of 32 for crimes per 100,000 and rankings of 34 for music, 43 for nightlife and 54 for bars. Our overall fast-food ranking was 19 while all restaurants was 49.

New Haven ranked No. 20 and Auburn was No. 45 on the list.

Bloomington placed second for number of young residents, third for nightlife establishments, third for live music venues andsixth for bars.

Mayor Mark Kruzan said he thinks Bloomington is more exciting than West Lafayette, but he's glad the city was recognized as a top destination.

“It isn't even a close call,” Kruzan said. “And I think the average West Lafayette resident would agree.”

He said if any tourism is affected by the list, he thinks more people will travel to Bloomington from West Lafayette than Bloomington residents will visit West Lafayette.

“Like all of these kinds of surveys, I never put any kind of stock in them unless Bloomington fares well,” Kruzan said. “In all seriousness, it's all positive attention.”