Searching On Line For Livable Cities

The best place to live in North America, according to the Places Rated Almanac, is Cincinnati. And the worst is Yuba City, Calif. But what if you can't get a decent burrito in Cincinnati? Yuba City might be the right locale for you after all.

Now you can custom-tailor a search for the best home sweet home among 343 metropolitan areas. Authors David Savageau and Richard Boyer have developed software from their 13-year-old listing, letting you crunch the data for yourself--putting emphasis on quality of schools, transportation, housing, or whatever turns you on. New York City, for instance, gets a bum rating for its high cost of living, but to gourmands, its great restaurants render Gotham an earthly paradise. The 3 1/2-inch Savageau-Boyer disk costs $34.95 (the Places Rated Almanac book, retailing for $20, comes with the package).

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.