Atlanta ranks 31 out of 50 for working mothers

Forbes has released its list of the top 50 cities for working mothers and Atlanta ranks 31.

The list examined things like: Income, Unemployment, Living, Cost for Health Care, Pediatricians, School Quality, Per-Pupil Spending, Child care, Violent Crimes, and Property Crimes.

Heidi Brown writes in Forbes magazine:

“So while it’s safe to say that all moms want a secure and protected place for their children to live in, first-rate medical care and excellent schools, if they’re running a business or earning a paycheck, there are other important considerations.”

“The potential for a relatively high income, job opportunities and family-friend cost of living are obvious ones. But childcare is way up there too. Some big cities that seem like choice places to raise a family, such as Salt Lake City, Utah, and Orlando, Fla., offer comparatively fewer childcare options–including daycare centers and pre-K–for moms who work.”

New York was No. 1 and Austin was No. 2 on the list.

Here’s the full story.

Here’s the full list with how each city ranked in each category.

Here’s a slide show of the Top 20 with explanations by each.

What do you think of the list? Do you agree with where they ranked Atlanta? Do you agree with New York being No. 1? Do you agree with their top 20? Do you agree with the categories they used to evaluate the cities? (I particularly liked the knowing the online resources they used to evaluate these items. I will be bookmarking for my reference later if we ever have to move!)

70 comments Add your comment

Grammar Police

August 5th, 2009
11:18 am

its list, not it’s list.

it’s = contraction – meaning it is
its = possessive – meaning belonging to it

Forbes has released its list.

Really?

August 5th, 2009
11:43 am

GP — seriously? It’s called a typo.

Andrea

August 5th, 2009
11:53 am

No, I don’t agree with the list (on face value). I can only fathom it being listed if it factors in the entire metro community (surrounding counties) and not just the city of Atlanta. While I enjoy the urban conveniences of Atlanta, the city is definitely not conducive to families. The very things I would look for as a parent are not prevalent in the city of Atlanta; specifically – good schools, low crime rates (violent & property), good health care, etc.

LiasMom

August 5th, 2009
12:05 pm

No, it’s a lack of people understanding the correct use of its/it’s. This is rampant in today’s society, even among more and more ‘trained’ writers who really just do not know (or do not bother with) the rules. Similarly, every day I see more people who think that one makes a word plural by adding an ’s to it, rather than just an s, thus making the word possessive and not plural. (I blame it on the use of phrases such as CD’s, when really, CDs would suffice.) Whatever happened to the rule of thumb that one simply does not use contractions in formal writing? I miss those days.

Even if it is just a “typo”, people with journalistic blogs should check their posts before submitting. For me, personally, seeing such a blatant error instantly destroys any credibility for the writer or the message. The proliferation of Blog/Email typos and Texting shorthand is killing our language and seems to make typos and mis-spellings acceptable, even among media professionals — as here, “GP – seriously? It’s called a typo”. That is no excuse!

Strunk & White surely are churning in their graves. Thank goodness there are some people — such as GP — who continue to embrace correct grammar and usage.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 5th, 2009
12:11 pm

Dear GP — I was writing this while a mom was picking up the two extra 6 year olds I had in my house. So with five children in the house trying to find their sleeping bags, clothes and pillows and another mother yapping I did good to write a spot story — including the typo.

Beck

August 5th, 2009
12:14 pm

Amen Lias Mom! I’ve been wondering what happened to proof-readers for online copy at the AJC.com site. There are either an extraordinary number of typos or a general lack of understanding of common rules of grammar and punctuation on this site. And it does take away from one’s credibility when the mistakes are frequent.

Beck

August 5th, 2009
12:15 pm

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 5th, 2009
12:18 pm

Yup I’m from Georgia so I did good!

A

August 5th, 2009
12:18 pm

I read this blog on occassionm, rarely post anything for a multitude of reasons–have to laugh at the turn it has taken with GP. I agree, it is important to use correct grammar in a business situation, no matter what is going on in your household. If your children or their friend or another “mother yapping” is distracting to you, take a break, resolve the issue, and return to your work. It shows dedication and professionalism when your work is perfect.
It sounds like a great topic for another day though-Typos in business writing

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 5th, 2009
12:25 pm

Well in the online news business another day or even 30 minutes later won’t do. That is the nature of the news business today. It needs to be up as soon as possible. I was sent an email asking if I could do it. At the time when I agreed to do it I had three 6 year-old-boys building Legos in the basement and my two girls watching TV and playing dress up. The mother arrived 30 minutes early to pick up the two children and then things got crazy. I promised to get the story done so I sat there and wrote it while the mother yapped at me sitting on the couch. I got the story published and got the other children on their way. Now we’re getting ready to go to the dentist. I didn’t have time later to write the story and my editors wanted it then not later. So you get an it’s instead of an its every once in a while.

Jeff

August 5th, 2009
12:30 pm

To stay on topic…………..

This list is just as important to us single fathers. It is NOT a mom thing. It is a parent thing.

pd

August 5th, 2009
12:35 pm

Theresa, stop making excuses. Just write “My bad” and let it go. Everyone makes mistakes.

Anyway, this city is full of crime and underperforming schools.

If this includes the god awful suburban sprawl that is now classified as part of the city, then I guess they do have less crime and better schools. However, they have to live among the characterless strip malls and souless office parks.

Photius

August 5th, 2009
12:37 pm

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

JJ

August 5th, 2009
12:43 pm

If any of you can do any better, given the circumstances, have at it!!!

JJ

August 5th, 2009
12:43 pm

Or as we say here where I work, if you don’t like the way I do it, feel free to do it yourself. That usually shuts people up!!!!

Becky

August 5th, 2009
12:56 pm

Amen JJ..Being on the outside looking in, people can always do “it” better, but they never do..Theresa is the one that gets paid to do this blog, so right or wrong, take her as she is or leave..Life is just to darn short to stress out over the smallest things..

David S

August 5th, 2009
12:57 pm

Personally I think that a better list would be of cities that have low enough costs of living so that mom doesn’t have to leave the house everyday for work. Things like low income taxes, low property taxes, low school taxes, affordable housing, larger property lots for the money, home gardening resources, home schooling resources, and the like would make for a far better place for families to live than one that both forces the issue and makes it easier to work outside the home.

You can call me a chauvinist if you want, but I think that kids do a lot better when they have a parent who stays home during the day and educates them and keeps the house. It doesn’t have to be mom, but that is typical of the scenario.

Frankly, Atlanta with its lower cost of housing already provides a good opportunity for only one spouse to work. More should take advantage of this for their kids’ sake.

And yes, I agree that its and it’s are poorly used. But to the defense of many, its totally backwards from the apostrophe use in virtually every other word in the english language.

ayoungmom

August 5th, 2009
1:05 pm

Wow. Be back tomorrow.

anonymous

August 5th, 2009
1:08 pm

Some folks should learn to take constructive criticism, rather than making excuses about “yapping mothers”. (Sure hope that mom doesn’t read this blog). No one was “stressing out” over small things ( at least not from my perspective) -merely pointing out a way that the author could make an improvement. An “oops, I goofed” from the author would have been sufficient rather than the multiple posts with excuses. Yes, mistakes happen–we all make them. Some folks have pet peeves with grammar, other people have other pet peeves. Point is–if some one corrects you (or tries to, even if they are wrong) what’s the harm in saying ” Thanks for your opinion” or “thanks, I messed up”? Which really wasnt what happened on this blog today.

Shay

August 5th, 2009
1:12 pm

damn, T…it’s ugly out here in blog world today, huh? must be the full moon. thinking about you.

YUKI

August 5th, 2009
1:12 pm

Theresa do not let these people bother you. Who cares if you write it’s or its or ITS or i-t-s. This is an online blog, not a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. These people need to find something better to do, like voice their opinions on if Atlanta is a good city for working moms or not. Or is it working mom’s? ha
I am a working mom in Alpharetta, and I’m pretty happy. I work for a large employer who is sensitive to the issues I have- being that I have a toddler. I can’t really speak for the “city of Atlanta”, though.

Shay

August 5th, 2009
1:18 pm

If I wasn’t too scared to make a comment on here, I’d say that NYC is a great, great place to have kids and work. But there are unforeseen headaches that you must work around (no cars, getting strollers around, grocery shopping, tourists, your budget, small apartments, NY-ers attitudes sometimes) But when it isn’t 90 degrees and you aren’t lugging kids and groceries 17 blocks it is absolutely wonderful. The parks, restaurants, museums, diversity, grocery stores on every corner, a good trip on the subway or bus, (did I mention good food?) really make it all worth it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 5th, 2009
1:23 pm

anonymous — I am usually the first to say my bad, sorry — but I felt very attacked over a very small typographical error! I’ve been doing this blog for 5 years and have never had a factual correction and don’t often make grammar mistakes. The correction didn’t feel constructive. It felt mean.

JJ

August 5th, 2009
1:31 pm

If you want to police grammer, please go to the MIA blog…..you need an interpreter over there…….

Go ahead on Grammer Police & LiasMom……see what you can stir up over there. THEN come back on read Theresa’s blog……..

Geez…….some people have nothing better to do…….

Becky

August 5th, 2009
1:32 pm

If it really had of been constructive criticism, why didn’t the person give their name?

anonymous

August 5th, 2009
1:35 pm

I understand that it felt mean. It was obvious from your responses that you felt it was mean. I was trying to point out that even though that’s how if felt to you, that maybe an alternative response would have been more appropriate, given that you are the author on this blog. My personal opinion, which I don’t expect any one to share or agree with, is that in the interest of keeping your blog on topic and presenting a prefessional image for the AJC, a different response would have been more appropriate. But then again, maybe I don’t really understand how blogs work or maybe my expectations aren’t appropriate. If that’s the case, then “my bad”.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 5th, 2009
1:45 pm

JJ

August 5th, 2009
1:45 pm

Anonymous – I found two typos in your post……would you like me to attack you and insult your spelling/grammer?

anonymous

August 5th, 2009
1:53 pm

Feel free to correct my grammar and spelling. I’ll consider it a learning experience.

lynn

August 5th, 2009
2:02 pm

LOL JJ….you definately need an interpertor on the MIA blog. I think it’s ebonics but who knows, they’ve been creating their own language since it started. I don’t even bother trying to read it any more, even if I’m interested in the topic for the day. Theresa, I edit formal documents every day and let me tell you, there is not one high paid manager in this office that I don’t have to go behind and fix the errors for. And as much as I edit, I still tend to make little errors myself. I think it has a lot to do these days with typing and not writing what you have to say. We tend to get ahead of ourselves with the keyboard instead of doing things the old fashioned way with a pen. I realize you can’t do that with an online blog but the majority of us didn’t even pay it any attention when you made the error so don’t stress it. There’s a lot of anal people in this world and it makes them feel better to put someone else down so just keep that thought when you get those type of responses.

Becky

August 5th, 2009
2:19 pm

LOL..I have visited over at MIA and I always thought I miised the space ship out..

lynn

August 5th, 2009
2:26 pm

In my opinion, the MIA blog should have one of those warning signs that you have to be 18 to enter. Those guys/gals get pretty nasty over there….at least I think that’s what they’re saying LOL. On topic, It’s pretty common in this day that it takes two incomes to earn a decent living unless your willing to sacrifice. Whether it’s Atlanta or any other place, unless you live on a farm, raise your own livestock etc., it takes two able bodied people working and putting food on the table to survive.

Jeff

August 5th, 2009
2:29 pm

And we have another example of why readership of the AJC is dropping.

Becky

August 5th, 2009
2:45 pm

OOPS..”missed”

Andrea

August 5th, 2009
2:45 pm

@Lynn: I tend to disagree. There are plenty of single parents that make more than enough to live above a decent living. This sounds totally cliche but some of my very best friends are single parents that are living quite well. What I mean is that they are within the upper income range and can take care of their children without much sacrifice or assistance from state agencies. They tend not to make for interesting fodder, so they are often overlooked for the woe-is-me single parent story.

FCM

August 5th, 2009
3:13 pm

I am just thankful to be employed.

Becky

August 5th, 2009
3:16 pm

Lynn, I agree with you that it pretty much takes two working people to survive nowadays. I know that there are plenty out there that do make enough as a single parent to make it..Those are few and far between…IMO..My hat is off to all single parents..

JJ

August 5th, 2009
3:18 pm

Andrea, I have been a single parent for over 18 years, and I have yet to meet a single mom who is “living quite well”. Most of the single Dads I meet are doing better, because they don’t pay their child support, nor do they have the day to day financial responsibility that single Moms do. So I guess I need to travel in your social circle. The majority of single moms I know are just barely have their noses above the water line (myself included).

lynn

August 5th, 2009
3:37 pm

Andrea, like JJ and Becky said, those are few and far between. Although I make a very good income, there is no way that we could live the lifestyle that we are if my husband weren’t working. Prior to meeting my husband, I was able to afford a nice apartment and cover all the living expenses but feared buying a house because I knew if anything major happened, like the a/c going out or the transmission on the car, that I would be in financial trouble. Now he makes enough to cover all the house expenses and we don’t have to sweat those things happening quite as much had I been on my own with one income.

QQ

August 5th, 2009
5:09 pm

JJ – dads pay child support and alimony plus buy items for kids. Now from what i understand this may not apply for you, but think about it before saying that single dads live better.

fk

August 5th, 2009
6:05 pm

I am laughing at the comments regarding grammatical errors, especially those with spelling mistakes. It’s so much easier to catch another’s mistake than it is to catch one’s own. We’re all human.

Having lived in NY, in my line of work, Atlanta is far more affordable than NYC. However, I feel safer in NYC than in Atlanta (and we go down to Atlanta often). NYC has a strong police presence. Commuting in NYC is much easier, too.

DB

August 6th, 2009
12:31 am

Oh, interesting — We just came back from three days in NYC, and we were commenting on how odd it would be to raise a child in a sea of concrete, with worn playgrounds constantly mobbed with children, teeming with a constant influx of people that you have never seen before and will never see again, dogs who are admonished to stay off the grass, and $2.00 bottles of Diet Coke. Yes, the cultural opportunities are first-rate — but a three-bedroom apartment (forget a house) is a minimum of $4-5K a month, and that’s TINY. We were continually wondering how on earth people afford to EXIST there, much less LIVE.

I find it interesting that Atlanta only ranks 10 spaces above Detroit, and only 12 points above Miami, both cities I would to be marginal metropolitan areas at best.

And as far as the typos go — people, GET OVER IT. Mistakes happen. We have ALL made mistakes, and I’m sure not going to be throwing stones at anyone, especially in THIS blog — good lord, those people at MIA are barely speaking English, much less typing it correctly! It would be nice if this blog engine had a spell-check — but it doesn’t, so we muddle through, somehow. But if we are listing our pet typo peeves, one of mine is “their” and “they’re”, but the one that always sets my teeth on edge is “affect” and “effect”. Two TOTALLY different words, but people seem prone to using them interchangeably.

Paul LeRoy

August 6th, 2009
7:29 am

If you are looking for the areas of Atlanta that have the best performing schools (CRCT results) there is a great heat map available at http://www.localetrends.com/metro/atlanta_georgia_home.php?MAP_TYPE=sc_q

There is also info on Metro atlanta public school demographics

jack5656

August 6th, 2009
2:32 pm

WOW….didn’t I just blog a couple days ago that some bloggers in this group are VICIOUS? It’s like freaking groundhog day here!

On one hand I think hammering the grammar error was a little nitpicky and anal by GP…but on the other hand Theresa, no on likes to hear excuses from a (presumably) paid professional about why they made the mistake. I work in finance and if I made the tiny, yet understandable, mistake of placing the decimal of the bank balance to the left or right of where it should be and then blamed it on my kid puking on my tie, I would expect some grief over it.

So Theresa, I think the moral of the story is this, when you’re in a position where you put yourself in the public eye, share your sometimes unpopular opinions, and very often promote hostile discussion about subjects (which is what this blog has evolve into), it might behoove you to just roll with the punches and let it go. Making the “I’m to busy in my personal life to watch my grammar, even though my work IS the conveyance of my thoughts through the written word” just rings unprofessional.

And Grammar Police….you need to get out more.

jack5656

August 6th, 2009
2:34 pm

OMG…did I say “to busy” instead of “too busy”? Go ahead GP…LET ME HAVE IT! It’s not my fault…I got a phone call right in the middle of my re-blog!!!

fk

August 6th, 2009
8:59 pm

DB, did you venture out of midtown? New York has awesome beaches on both the North Shore and South Shore of LI, not to mention the Jersey shore, although most of the nicest ones are private and available only to residents of specific townships. The whole purpose of living in NYC is to be in the thick of things. You don’t spend a lot of time inside, at home, if you live in “The City”. NYC consists of five boroughs, it’s not just Manhattan. If you want the palatial estate, you live in the suburbs, although there are neighborhoods of single family homes in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx…yes, the Bronx. A short car trip will take you to either the beach (less than an hour to the state park beaches (no high rises or tacky shops) or the mountains…and you can get to some of these places via public transportation, shock of all shocks. You don’t need a car in NY. The pay scale in NY is better, and believe it or not, a lot of those people renting apts. in the city probably own a house elsewhere. My cousin and her husband raised two kids in NYC and they summered at their house in the Hamptons. She’s a public school teacher and her husband a retired fireman. The East End of LI (you’ve heard of the Hamptons & Montauk?) are favs among city dwellers…and not a 4-5 hour car trip. Some own homes there, other rent, and the younger crowd rents shares of houses. CT is another popular place for the weekend home. I think the crime rate in Atlanta is why this city is ranked where it is.

DB

August 7th, 2009
12:22 am

fk, after I married, we lived in Fairfield County, Connecticut and I commuted to work in The City daily before we moved to South Florida for a few years. We lived about three blocks from a nice beach on the Sound, which was usable for about two months out of the year :-). At that time, the cost of living was so incredible that a studio condo in Fairfield County (we’re not talking “one bedroom”, we’re talking NO bedroom) was running between $130,000 and $160,000. The company I worked for dealt with real estate in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, so I had a pretty good overview of what was out there and who was buying it. The pay scale is not proportionally better, compared to how much of your salary is having to go towards basic cost of living. To live in Fairfield County and to commute two hours a day by train into the city (assuming no train strikes) is about $260 a month – and you STILL need a car in Connecticut. (But it was easy to pop up to Boston or Maine or even over to Newport for a quick weekend getaway . . . we did that a lot.) Private school in NYC runs around $30K a year. Ouch!

I love Montauk — We have a couple of friends who are writers that live out there, and we visit every few years, when they aren’t off teaching or traveling. This last visit to NYC, my husband was at a conference in Midtown and my daughter wanted to do some shopping before heading off to college — She and I spent a lot of time down by NYU and the Washington Square area in the little college-area stores poking around, and loved a cool afternoon in The Strand bookstore. Basically, we tried our best to stay away from the rest of the tourists in Midtown — too crowded! The last time we were there, we rented an apartment from a couple on the Upper East Side and had a lot of fun trying out neighborhood restaurants and strolling over to Central Park and the museums.

I’m still pretty sure, though, that it would be a LOT of work to raise a child in NYC!

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2009
8:25 am

jack5656….loved your points. I HATE to make mistakes in print but sometimes I do.
We all do. Some bloggers here would not recognize their mistake if it bit them on the nose. I cringe when I read some posts but others probably cringe when they read mine too LOL. I have made typos in presentations and I just apologize to the group.

DB…I took my daughter to NYC in April ( my third trip) and you could NEVER pay me enough to live there. I personally do not care if I ever go back. Obviously, that is not the general consensus and so be it! Last week, in Wyoming, I was thinking about those in NYC and wondering what their reaction would be to the WIDE open spaces!

fk

August 8th, 2009
10:07 am

DB, you’re missing the point. It’s not about living elsewhere and commuting to NYC, it’s about living in NYC and working there. I know Fairfield County, CT. I have extended family there, and my niece went to Fairfield U. Why on earth would you choose to live so far away if you worked in NYC? And, although the LI Sound is beautiful, nothing compares to the ocean beaches.

There are four other boroughs outside of Manhattan…all part of NYC. And, you can get to Manhattan from all of them, via public transportation. Take out the cost of owning a car, i.e., loan or lease payment, insurance and parking, and you’ve saved yourself somen serious money, b/c you don’t need a car in The City. You want to take a road trip, you rent a car. I commuted to NY in the late 80s, the cost of my train ticket was $102/month. That meant zero wear and tear on the car, zero gas. Others, who needed a car to get to the station, had a “station car”, i.e., not a new car with a loan/lease payment. The typical commuter from the suburbs prefers to live within walking distance of the train station…walking distance to the RR adds value to your home, so unlike the suburbs of Atlanta.

Seriously, anyone I’ve ever known, in an executive level position, has gotten a cost of living raise for moving to NY. I worked in the mortgage banking field then. Back then, prior to the creative financing phase that has brought this country to its knees, people submitted tax returns, proof of savings and pay stubs. Those coming from other areas of the country received enormous pay increases…they had to, otherwise, they could never afford to live there. The pay is higher for certain jobs in certain industries. I even think gov’t jobs have COLA, too. I don’t think things have changed all that much since. If the company wants a particular person for a particular job, they’ll pay whatever it takes. Everyone has a price.

DB

August 8th, 2009
12:04 pm

fk, my husband lived in Fairfield County when we were first married, and I moved there after the wedding. I had one job that was supposed to have moved their offices to Greenwich, but at the last minute, their home office in Europe changed their mind, so I ended up commuting in to the city for a few months, while they made up their mind where they wanted to relocate. I usually walked to the station in Darien on nice days.

I’m not missing the point, hon — I freely concede that there are lots of advantages to living in NYC — but I notice that most of your arguments are on how nice it is to get OUT of the city and into the surrounding areas! I suspect that, while lots of people in NYC have the means to freely move about, there are probably a lot more who never step foot off the island — kinda like ITP people, with a bigger perimeter :-)

I spent about 12 years in the mortgage business after an interesting segue with a developer who formed his own mortgage company, first in New York, and then with a large bank in South Florida. When I “retired” when the first baby was born, I was doing a lot of interface with FNMA, FHA, VA, overseeing the bank’s guidelines, training, and supervising the underwriters for the secondary market loans as well as deciding what went into the bank’s portfolio. God, do I remember those tax returns, pay stubs, all those lovely forms you sent to banks to confirm account balances, and credit reports with no stupid credit score! Verifying the source of down payments in an environment with a high immigrant population that didn’t trust banks was challenging :-), Honestly, I wonder sometimes if the dependence on the stupid credit score numbers have robbed people of their ability to actually use their brains to evaluate an application. I’ve got some wild stories of people who tried to commit mortgage fraud, as I’m sure you do, too!