With all of the negative press about State College and Penn State these days, it is nice to receive some good news about our town. In a recent study, an insurance company ranked State College as the second most secure small town in the United States.
In its eighth annual study of small towns, the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies examined crime statistics, car accidents, terrorist threats, job loss, mortality rates from diseases such as cancer, housing depreciation, life expectantly, and similar factors. In sum, the insurance company looked at 138 U.S. cities, each with a population of less than 150,000 people.
Researchers used data from all of Centre County, which makes up the State College metropolitan area. The city ranked second only to Ithaca, New York. This was State College's seventh consecutive appearance on the top 20 list, and the fourth overall time it has come in second place. Two other Pennsylvania cities also made the top 20, with Altoona ranking 11th and Johnstown ranking 16th.
According to State College Borough Manager Tom Fountaine, most people familiar with the city are not surprised that it ranked so high on the 'most secure' list. "State College residents consistently rank this as a very safe community," he said, "with all the neighborhoods in the borough reporting that the residents feel very safe both during the daytime and the dark."
With this confirmation, it appears that the nickname 'Happy Valley' may be a highly appropriate way to describe State College, regardless of the other events that may be taking place in the town.
Source: Centre Daily Times, "Study: State College No. 2 secure small town," Jessica VanderKolk, Dec. 16, 2011
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