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Jackson No. 2 in the nation

Study says Jackson, Alabama has been ranked second in the nation for cities located in counties of 20,000 to 99,000 population as the best place to call home, according to ePodunk, Inc., an Internet startup company based in Ithaca, N.Y.

Ironically, the No. 1 city selected in Jackson’s size category is Greenville, Ala. with Demopolis in a five-way tie for third, Tuscumbia 9th and Luverne 10th.

Birmingham was ranked third for cities located in counties of 100,000 populations or more.

The company has compiled its first ever “Home Towns Index” to determine which of the country’s 28,000 cities are the best hometowns.

Greenville’s rating of 100 out of 100 possible points edged Jackson by three points. Demopolis was rated 92 and Tuscumbia and Luverne 91 each.

What makes a perfect hometown?

According to ePodunk, it has to do with how long people live in a community and how active they are while living there.

The company, headed by journalists from American Demographics magazine, The New York Times on the Web, Detroit Free Press and Marketing Tools magazine, looked at the proportion of residents who lived in the same place or were born in their respective cities.

Using data dating back to 1975, they measured civic spirit by examining church membership, the number of churches per resident, number of civic organizations, number of small manufacturing companies and the number of meeting places such as restaurants, cafes and community halls in proportion to population.

The number of historic buildings also was considered because it indicates a desire to preserve a city’s past.

“Can you believe it?” Jackson Mayor Richard Long said.

“The first I heard of it was when a Birmingham News reporter called and told me about it,” Long said.

The News’ front-page story about ePodunk’s rating quoted Long as saying, “I moved here with my wife so she could take care of members of her family. I expected to be here a couple of years. That was 21 years ago.”

“A great hometown is a place with deep roots, “ said ePodunk vice president Brad Edmondson. “Great hometowns have well-attended churches, lively places to meet, handsome historic buildings and lots of locally owned businesses. Their residents are devoted to the power of place.”

Number 2 in the nation is not bad.

For a complete study, go to or call 607-272-1832.

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1534 College Avenue
P. O. Box Drawer 1098
Jackson, AL 36545
Telephone 251.246.2487
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