www.bestplaces.net

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If you've ever wondered how two cities stack up against one another, there's now an easy way to find out. At the site for Fast Forward, developer of "Places U.S.A." software, users can compare any two U.S. cities alongside the national averages on nearly 30 variables, such as climate, crime, economy, education, housing, and health. There is also an expanded section on crime for 2,500 U.S. cities that uses data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. And if you like to talk about the weather, there are three more sections on climate, including one with information on 1,700 cities worldwide. We're not just talking average daily temperatures, either - the site tells you how many days a year a city experiences a thunderstorm and what the average wind speed is each month. The site also offers reviews of published "best places" lists as well as articles discussing the validity of such rankings.

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