BusinessWeek has named Jacksonville as the number 1 city in North Carolina to raise kids. Greenville and Wilmington were runners up to our great eastern North Carolina city. The publication makes their selection based on towns with at least 50,000 residents and a median family income between $40,000 and $100,000. They analyze statistical information using weighted criteria of school performance, number of schools, household expenditures, crime rates, air quality, job growth, family income, museums, parks, theaters, other amenities, and diversity. School performance and safety are most heavily weighted.
The City of Jacksonville Communication Officer Glenn Hargett said in response to the article, "It is believed that the highly ranked Onslow school system and the high performance of Onslow students helped to advance the Jacksonville score." Mr. Hargett went on to say, "The Jacksonville Police Department's work at reducing the crime rate and the participation in the Weed and Seed program were likely accelerants in the crime and livability index. Job growth has been good for Jacksonville compared to the other two cities that were beat out by Jacksonville. Jacksonville continues to be listed as one of the most diverse communities in all of the United States as a result of our wide variety of cultural, racial and ethnic individuals in the area."