Zillow is back with its 2014 rankings of “Best Cities for Trick or Treating.” San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago round out the top three. The methodology has not changed much compared to 2013:
We take data seriously here at Zillow, even when it comes to trick or treating. While wealthier neighborhoods are often known for their frightfully sweet harvest on Halloween night, we calculate the Trick-or-Treat Index using a holistic approach with four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score® and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on these variables, the index represents cities that will provide the most candy, in the least amount of time, with the fewest safety risks.
In the era of Internet lists, this is a potentially catchy list. The factor of housing values filters out a lot of places with the top 10 dominated by coastal cities with Chicago as the only Midwestern or Southern entry.
Yet, it also seems limited to major cities, not even metropolitan regions, so its scope is limited. Many Americans live in suburbs or smaller big cities and those don’t seem to make the cut here. Perhaps Zillow doesn’t have the same availability of data in these places.
I suspect that people within these cities would not all appreciate it if people took these rankings seriously and in large numbers flocked to the highest-rated neighborhoods just to get better candy more quickly. But, it would certainly be interesting if large numbers did show up…