Alhambra was named one of the top 100 best places to live in the United States by Livability.com, a website that ranked quality of life in small and mid-sized cities. Coming in at number 21, Alhambra was also among the top five California cities to rank nationally, behind Palo Alto (1st), Berkeley (3rd), Santa Clara (15th), and Pasadena (20th). Alhambra and Pasadena were the only San Gabriel Valley cities to make the list.
Livibility.com teamed up with think tank Martin Prosperity Institute and market research firm Ipsos Public Affairs to rank cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 based on eight categories: economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education, and health care. The group conducted resident surveys and collected data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Walk Score, GreatSchools, and other sources.
Alhambra received a 619 out of 1,000, scoring particularly high in health care, education, and demographics.
"Alhambra, 'Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley,' is a city whose diversity has given rise to a lively mix of international restaurants and markets, businesses and events. It is also home to a highly successful Asian business district along Valley Boulevard," says the city's Livability page. "Downtown Alhambra – a.k.a. 'Mosaic on Main' – showcases the rich mix of cultures with an array of eateries, entertainment and shopping. Parks and recreation, excellent schools, charming neighborhoods and active nightlife round out Alhambra’s attractions."
The categories used to rank the cities were based on resident surveys that identified issues that affect quality of life. The scores were based on the following factors:
- Economics: Cost of living, income growth, and employment
- Housing: Cost and affordability, age of housing, percentage of housing that was occupied, and ratio of owners to renters
- Amenities: Climate, parks, and arts and culture
- Infrastructure: Walkability, transportation costs and affordability, and access to major airports
- Demographics: Diversity of age, race, income, and education levels
- Social and civic capital: Crime, voter participation, and community activities
- Education: Public schools, colleges and universities, and education levels of adults
- Health care: Hospital presence and amount spent on health care