Andy Cole detail

Looking for “great schools, low crime and a desirable cost of living,” Forbes magazine has named “America’s Best Places to Raise a Family.” And the top five counties are (polite applause, since anything louder might be criminal)…Hamilton Co., IN; Ozaukee Co., WI; Johnson Co., KS; Geauga and Delaware Co.’s, OH; and Chester Co., PA.

Alright! And how many of these are rural places? None. All, actually, are suburban/metro counties in the environs of Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Columbus, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.

We’re sure these all are indeed, terrific, family-friendly communities, but, geez, it seems as if there would be ONE rural place in the mix, since much of Yonder takes deserved pride in good local schools, low rates of crime, and affordability.

There was a hitch. On down in the story, reporter Zack O’Malley tells us, “We started with a list of the nation’s counties with populations over 65,000.”

So using the Office of Management and Budget’s definition, not one rural county was even considered in the Forbes report.

Rural areas are never going to come out on top for high-tech jobs or great art museums, but why disqualify them from this assessment where they plainly stand a well-earned chance of distinction? How about it, Zack?

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