Mountain View Voice

News - May 22, 2009

City ranked as 4th-best

Forbes list good to Mountain View, but misses the restaurants

by Daniel DeBolt

Of all the cities and towns in the U.S. with populations under 100,000, Mountain View has been ranked by Forbes magazine as the fourth best to live in and the best in the Bay Area.

A May 4 Forbes story titled "America's Top 25 Towns to Live Well" states that, compared to most cities, Mountain View is more likely to rebound from the economic recession and has the sort of business environment often seen only in large cities.

The top 25 list was created by San Francisco-based, which factored in data such as business environment, cultural attractions, average commute time, entrepreneurs per capita, the number of educated professionals between 25 and 34 years old and median income.

Mountain View topped the list in terms of venture capital activity. The report also says Mountain View residents commute 20 minutes to work on average, which is low for the Bay Area.

The city's drawbacks as cited by Forbes are a lack of cultural attractions and, strangely, a lack of restaurants.

"Imagine how we would be rated if they figured out we did have plenty of restaurants and quite a few performing arts venues," said city manager Kevin Duggan.

Cupertino ranked fifth on the list, while Foster City and Belmont ranked 10th and 11th, respectively.


Population: 70,960

Location: South of Palo Alto on the Bay Area peninsula

Median income: $88,736

Strongest categories: While there's plenty more to Mountain View, the average commute time of 20 minutes is a rarely found pleasure of Bay Area living. Credit Mountain View's standing as our most active venture capital markets, for an abundance of entrepreneurs running their own businesses, which in turn means they don't have to commute to bigger cities like San Jose and San Francisco.

Drawbacks: There aren't a lot of restaurants, music venues, museums or cultural attractions in Mountain View, though it isn't too far for residents to trek 15 miles to San Jose.

Data provided by


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