Angola gets two top micropolitan ratings

February 28th, 2017

By Jennifer Decker | KPC news - The Herald Republican

The Angola area has been awarded the highest possible grades in two quality of life categories in a book released Sunday.

The ratings are featured in “Micropolitan America: A Statistical Guide to Small Cities Across the Nation,” a 698-page book written by G. Scott Thomas and published by Niawanda Books.

Thomas analyzed current statistics for Angola and the rest of the country’s 551 micropolitan areas. Federal guidelines require a city’s population to be between 10,000-49,999 to earn the micropolitan designation. The book stated Angola’s population at 34,372 in 2015 — which is Steuben County’s population — that is projected to remain stagnant shrinking to 34,236 by 2030.

Thomas’s book profiles Angola in 75 sets of statistics and 10 ratings on a five-star scale. Five is the top score.

Angola received the five-star designation in two categories — housing and seniors.

The following is the breakdown by category and scores:

  • Housing, five stars. Which places have low vacancy percentages, high rates of home ownership and diverse mixes of affordable and sizable houses?
  • Seniors, five stars. Where are senior citizens most likely to be self-sufficient and active in their families and communities?
  • Children, four stars.
  • Diversity/equality, two stars.
  • Education, four stars.
  • Employment, two stars.
  • Growth potential, two stars.
  • Income, four stars.
  • Stability, one star.
  • Transportation, two stars.

Angola Mayor Dick Hickman said it’s always nice to be noted by outsiders.

“We’re really pleased,” he said. “These are outside people looking in.”

Hickman said education’s the key.

“One thing that jumped out is education. We got four stars. I think they were showing bachelor’s degrees and that’s what we’re striving toward,” he said. “We talk to Angola High School, but we need to talk to Prairie Heights, Fremont and Hamilton in the trade areas.”

Hickman said the top rating for seniors isn’t a surprise considering many retirees call the area’s 101 lakes area home.

Thomas said outsiders consider a place like Angola full of opportunity.

“The 10 ratings for the Angola area offer a quick synopsis of its strengths and weaknesses,” said Thomas in a news release. “Anybody who is thinking about relocating to Angola or starting a business there, of course, should do a considerable amount of study. But the five-star ratings in this book are a decent place to start.

A few other facts based on Thomas’ calculations include:

  • The 889 private-sector businesses in the Angola area paid their workers a total of $472.7 million in 2015.
  • One-fifth of all local households have annual incomes higher than $86,983.
  • Bachelor’s degrees are held by 20.7 percent of local working-age adults.
  • Of Angola’s workers, 10.6 percent have jobs in management.
  • A total of 77.5 percent of local homes are occupied by their owners. The remainder are rental units.
  • A minority of Angola’s senior citizens — 20 percent — held a paying job.

More information and sample text of “Micropolitan America: A Statistical Guide to Small Cities Across the Nation,” is available here.

Categories Quality of Life