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PORTLAND-In Money Magazine’s 14th annual ranking of the best places to live in the nation, this city of 1.76 million people is the overall best, in part due to population, public spending per pupil and small class sizes. The ranking appears in the December issue of the magazine, which hits newsstands and mailboxes this week. The recognition follows The Economist magazine’s description of Portland as, “The nation’s darling of urban correctness” and a trip to the city by National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” in which it lauded the city’s charms.

All of this recognition is in part due to the city’s efforts to control urban sprawl, however, which Oregon voters appear to have thrown out with the bathwater last week in approving ballot Measure 7. The ultimate effects of that measure, which will likely be decided by the courts, requires Oregon governments to compensate landowners when any action by that government lowers their property values. For example, a property inside the region’s urban growth boundary is worth much more than one left outside the boundary. Under Measure 7, the owner left outside could request compensation from the government.

As well, the median price for a single-family home here is $165,700, making it one of the nation’s least-affordable housing markets. Nonetheless, Portland is No. 1. Money magazine credits the city’s transformation from timber dependency to semiconductor dependency, its excellent job market and its job growth, which is projected at 26% over the next decade. Its transit system, its brewpubs and its proximity to Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge and the Pacific Ocean also weighed in the decision, according to the magazine.

By region, Money magazine chose Chicago as the best place to live in the Midwest, Providence, RI, in the East, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, in the South and Salt Lake City in the West. Sarasota, Fla., was named the nation’s most livable small city.

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