The City of Tempe has been named the “Best College Town” in the country by Livability.com. As a long time Tempe resident, I am not at all surprised.
Tempe was given the award based on many different criteria ranging from sports and entertainment to restaurants and shopping to diverse housing options, a growing job base, and an excellent place for overall quality of life.
Of course, being called the best college town in America has a LOT to do with Arizona State University, the home of the Sun Devils!
Tempe benefits from ASU bringing and retaining qualified, educated workers into the workforce, which has allowed the area to create more and better jobs in a huge range of industries, including financial, aerospace, technology and more—sectors that rely on infrastructure and a workforce that can supply the kind of employees that can make their businesses successful.
One of the many employers that has recently made a huge investment in Tempe is State Farm Insurance. State Farm is in the process of finishing their massive Marina Heights development on the south side of Tempe Town Lake, which is just north of Sun Devil Stadium. Currently, Sun Devil Stadium is in the middle of a massive upgrade.
Between Marina Heights and Sun Devil Stadium, we’ll see a billion dollars in investment along with thousands of jobs coming to the area. I’ve heard many people say that State Farm chose Tempe because of the transit system, proximity to ASU, proximity to Sky Harbor International Airport and the overall great location and quality of life.
Best College Town!
The Livability.com study also chose Tempe because of it’s youthful population, career options, large range of dining and shopping options, close proximity to many athletic events, diverse housing choices and large range of great things to do. They also mentioned its proximity to Phoenix and Scottsdale, but mostly focused on “the star” of Tempe’s “cultural and business growth,” Arizona State University.
“An educated workforce brings in industry and employment opportunities,” Livability wrote. “Successful universities are always huge employers in communities, too. That’s why just to get on our 2016 list, towns had to have more than three colleges, and a high percentage of jobs in the education sector.”
Analysts considered areas with a majority of the population ranging from the age of 25 to 29 as a way to indicate the town’s ability to retain students post-graduation. Towns with Division I athletics teams also had a major impact on the listings. The hiring of Ray Anderson at ASU seems to be paying off really well in that department!
“The thing about college towns is that they aren’t only great places for high school seniors to consider,” Livability managing editor Christopher Pilny said in a statement. “They’re great places for everyone to consider, as many of the best places to live in the U.S. are those that have colleges and, or universities.”
Tempe really is a great college town. It is also a great place to live, to work, to play and to raise a family. The city has a very diverse population and has some amazing neighborhoods where the “college vibe” can barely be felt.
Congrats to the city for being named the “Best College Town” and for winning another livability award!