We can all agree, Corvallis has a lot going for it. We’ve got beautiful nature, we’re eco-friendly, we’ve got great beer. Such is the humble excellence of our city that every once in awhile somebody feels like giving Corvallis a shout out. In bleak times, look for the light in the world. In this case, the light shining from all of our awards will work just fine. These are the top eight times Corvallis was in the top ten.
1. America’s Second Most Fitness-Friendly Place
Tied with Ames, Iowa for being full of fit folk, Corvallis is ranked second by Smartasset.com as being fitness-friendly in 2017. Of all commuters, fully 17% find their way to work by walking or biking. That’s almost one in five of us, being super healthy. The next closest city is left in the dust with only 11%. In the past the website has mentioned the expanse of bike lanes as another reason we are geared for fitness success.
2. One of the Best Places to Retire
Forbes didn’t actually rank their 25 picks for the best places to retire in 2016, but judging by the metrics they list, Corvallis is sitting pretty. Although the cost of living is above the national average, so too is our “Doctor Per Capita Index,” which is an important consideration when choosing a retirement location. Not only that, but the good-natured people of Corvallis also commit only a third of the national average of “Serious Crime.” No metric is given for determining the seriousness of crime, but we have the fourth least of all the cities on the list. Hopefully this year, Forbes includes a ranking of “Silly Crime,” which is an important factor in entertaining retirees.
3. Great Online Education
US News & World Report currently has OSU’s online Ecampus ranked as the 8th Best Online Bachelor Program. OSU actually pulls off a higher overall rank than the sum of its parts. While not in the top ten in any of the individual categories being ranked, the program is consistently good at everything, which most other online programs are not. Most notably, Ecampus students feel engaged, and faculty credentials are through the roof.
4. Patent Production
If you come up with a great new idea, you patent it. If your entire city churns out the 4th most patents of any city in the country, you live Corvallis. To be fair, we owe this particular distinction in no small part to Hewlett-Packard. Many of the other top patent producing cities also played host to either a university or a large tech company. Our combination of both promises to keep us patent competitive.
5. Open for Business
Technically, the last time Corvallis was top ten in this category was 2013, so let this not only serve as a point of pride, but also as a call to entrepreneurs. Just four years ago we had twice the national average number of startups, accounting for our population and metro area. According to the Kauffman Index, Corvallis no longer makes the short list of metropolitan startup centers, but Oregon as a state is still noteworthy. Portland does more of the heavy lifting now, but it just takes a few bold business-minded folk to get us back on top.
6. Most Educated
Academics rejoice! Corvallis claims another number 2 slot, this time for being the second most educated city in the nation, though once again, Ames, Iowa is right on our heels. How do we know we’re so smart? Over 23% of Corvallis’ residents hold at least a graduate degree, 53% have at least a bachelor’s, and 94% of our high schoolers end up graduating.
7. Gold Medal Biking
Having already taken top ten for being Fitness-Friendly, Corvallis also takes home the honor of being recognized as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. One of Corvallis’ most time-honored awards, we’ve been on the list since 1999 and taking home the gold rating since 2003. Several factors contribute to our biking excellence, such as number of bike lanes, celebrating Bike Month, and hosting events to promote biking. Back when Corvallis was first recognized as a Gold level community, that was the highest tier available. However, as bike culture has grown, so too have the possible ratings, so hop on your bike and pedal Corvallis’ way to Platinum level.
8. Safety First
Well, not first, but eighth safest place in Oregon isn’t bad. According to a study by Movoto Real Estate, Corvallis ties Albany for our spot on the top ten. According the the data they looked at, which came straight from the FBI’s crime statistics, Corvallis has surprisingly low crime for its size. With only 1485 crimes reported in 2012, most of which were categorized as property crimes, Corvallis stands well below the national average.
By Kyle Bunnell