ST. JOHN | A family-friendly community, highly rated public schools and an extensive investment in parks put this town of 14,205 at the top of the list for “The Best Place to Raise Kids 2013” in the state of Indiana.
That’s according to Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Rankings. St. John officials were notified Thursday that the town ranked No. 1 among small towns in the Hoosier state and one of only 51 in the entire nation.
“This is a significant honor for our town,” said Steve Kil, town manager. “There was only one place selected from each state.”
Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Rankings evaluated more than 3,200 places nationwide with populations from 5,000 to 50,000. Evaluators looked at such information as public school performance, safety, housing costs, commute time, poverty, adults’ educational attainment, share of households with children, and diversity.
They also gauged the local job market by checking median income and unemployment in the area.
The data came from GreatSchool.org, the FBI, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The list excluded towns where the median family income exceeds $115,866. That’s the lower limit for the wealthiest 20 percent of U.S. families, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/2012-12-17/the-best-places-to-raise-kids-2013#slide1.
According to the town’s profile, the GreatSchools score for the Lake Central School Corp., which serves the town, was 9 out of 10. The median family income is $103,662, while housing costs are 20.8 percent of that income.
The Lake County unemployment rate is listed as 8.7 percent and the proximity of Chicago is listed as one of the major factors.
“St. John has invested a lot in parks and outdoor space, which have a number of playgrounds, soccer fields and ponds,” the listing states.
“The town, close to the Illinois border and Chicago’s endless amenities, maintains a rural feel with activities such as the Community Corn Roast and a Lions Club Candlelight Bowling fundraiser,” the report says.