Prepare to Waste Some Time

Via Hit and Run, this is an incredible site for stat-geeks to fool around.  Top 101 city lists.

#1 Average Sunshine!  I have also lived in the 4th least sunny city.  Sunnier is better.   Seattle is not among the rainiest in terms of total inches, because it never rains very hard.  If you could measure rainy as "number of hours per month that rain is falling", Seattle would be right up there.  In places like Houston, you get a lot more volume of rain, but you get a whole years worth in just a couple of hours.

Other interesting ones:

I just wish they had a better explanation of the metric and the data source for each


  1. Steve:

    RE: the results for counties with the highest percentage of Bush and Kerry voters in 2004.

    I was shocked to see Macomb County, MI listed among the highest concentration of Bush voters. I expected to see small rural counties, mostly in the west. Macomb is a large suburban county in the Midwest. Michigan as a state is fairly evenly split between Dem and Rep, and I think suburbia tends to be the most divided areas in any state, with urban areas trending Dem and rural trending Rep (notice I said tends, I know there are exceptions).

    Secondly, I was shocked how often Michigan counties appeared on both lists. I live in West Michigan, so maybe I'm influenced by the voting patterns I see in this area, but I had no idea that so many areas were politically homogenous.

    Finally, it's sad to see Detroit down to just over 40% of its peak population. I realize that some of this is due to flight to the suburbs, but it's still an astounding decrease. Has there ever been a modern western city, other than a city in a war zone or beset by plague, that lost such a large share of its population?

  2. Steve:

    I should add natural disaster to the list of disqualifying events (New Orleans).

  3. will:

    Another modern western city losing a large share of population is Pittsburgh.

    Peak population in 1950 was 676,806, current 312,819 lost 54% of its population.

  4. Doug:

    "Although Chicago is known as the Windy City, it is not significantly breezier than other American cities. Average wind speeds range from 8 mph (13 km/h) in late summer to 12 mph (19 km/h) in spring months. Until recently, the "windy city" moniker was believed to be a derisive reference to Chicago's politicians, coined in a New York newspaper editorial in 1890. New research by OED consultant Barry Popik has shown that the term actually appeared in print several years before the New York editorial. The phrase may have been created by Chicago tourism boosters attempting to promote the city, cooled by breezes off Lake Michigan, as an ideal summer destination."

    I was born and raised in Chicago, and I knew about the political explanation, but I just heard of this explanation, and it seems to be a good candidate for the actual explanation.

    I can attest to the fact that being on the Lake does make the summers more pleasant; its often 5-10 degrees cooler on the lakefront in the summer compared to suburbs that are only 15 or 20 miles inland. (The air temperature is also usually warmer on the lakefront in the winter, but the aforementioned breeze is a curse in the winter).

  5. Thorgal:

    Where are the fat men statistics?

  6. Andy:

    Steve, in Macomb county, you have Selfridge Air National Guard Base, with tenants from all services including Coast Guard. You also have TACOM, the Army's Tank & Automotive COMmand. Throw in the usual contractors. large & small and you have a hefty conservative and/or hawkish contingent. Don't forget a sizable group of Iraqi Chaldeans and other minority Arabic (non-Muslim) groups to tilt further right.

    Finally, Detroit is the epitome of race-politics writ large. An original Detroiter, I returned there to live/work (suburb) from 2001 to 2005. Needless to say, Detroit can rot for all I care -- I ain't ever going back there.

    The shame of it all is that MI has many beautiful areas, but as long as the politicians remain determined to tax & spend, it's a nice place to visit, but not live.

  7. Tim G.:

    andy, isn't detroit known for the Big3 automakers? The same ones who've had to shift production to Mexico to make bigger corporate profits, and source more parts from China?

    That kind of kills the local economy of manufacturing jobs, and with it, a decent tax base. Of course white flight didn't help either.

    So what you have left are poor people, mostly blacks, and it's the same situation as Richmond or Oakland CA. whee.