Eau Claire ranked 59th most livable city in the United States

Mike Paulus |

Image: Market & Johnson
Image: Market & Johnson

In their second annual ranking of small to mid-sized cities in the United States, website Livability.com has ranked little ol' Eau Claire as the 59th most "livable city" in the United States. Their  Top 100 Best Places to Live list was published Monday, with Eau Claire being one of only three Sconnie cities to make the cut.

The online publication, which "explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live" through proprietary research studies* looked at over 2,000 cities (population 20,000–350,000) across 30 states. Cities were scored on eight different criteria (see below). Those scores are aggregated into a final score for each city. Eau Claire scored a total of 628 based on these individual numbers:

Eau Claire's "Livability" Scores

Economics: 71
Health Care: 75
Housing: 82
Social/Civic capital: 67
Education: 61
Amenities: 56
Demographics: 43
Infrastructure: 49
Livability Score: 628

See ranking scores on all cities

Other Wisconsin cities Livability.com ranked in its top 100 included Madison, gobbling up the whole livability enchilada in first place (score: 705). La Crosse came in at 95th (score: 607). Eau Claire appears smack dab between Honolulu, Hawaii and Ashland, Oregon. Here's their little blurb for Eau Claire:

Meaning “clear waters” in French, Eau Claire is situated along the scenic Eau Claire River and bills itself as the Horseradish Capital of the World. The city enjoys a thriving music scene while four colleges serve the community, and its main employment sectors are in health care, retail and education.

 – Livability.com

Hey, it's always fun when people mention the horseradish thing, but since it's a fairly small part of the overall Eau Claire Equation, it would have been nice to see a different nugget of "livable" information crammed in there. That said, ranking in the top 100 on any kind of positive nation-wide survey is always feels good. After all, Livability.com claims that "every city on this list is in the top 5 percent of livable communities in the U.S."

*… of what they call "the best public and private data sources."