You Better Watch Out! Zillow Names Santa’s Top 10 Favorite Cities
Christmas is just around the corner, and that means little girls and boys everywhere are counting down the days until they receive a visit from jolly ol’ Saint Nick. While Santa is double-checking his “nice” list and his little helpers are starting to load up the sleigh, the data elves at Zillow have been hard at work crunching numbers to mathematically calculate Santa’s favorite cities to visit on Christmas Eve.
According to Zillow’s analysis, Santa’s favorite city is Colorado Springs, CO followed by Wichita, KS and Los Angeles, CA. Regionally, five of the top 10 cities are located in the West and three are in the South. Due to heavy precipitation and a scarcity of fireplaces in high-density cities such as New York and Boston, none of Santa’s favorite cities are located east of the Mississippi.
Zillow’s analysis used six data variables to determine which cities with a population over 350,000 would provide Santa with the safest working conditions, most optimal sleigh-flying weather, and the ability to deliver the most presents in the least amount of time.
Specific criteria included:
- Percentage of homes with a fireplace (fireplaces were used as a proxy for the existence of a chimney).
- Percentage of single-story homes (hypothesizing that Santa would prefer single-story homes so there’s less likelihood of a workplace injury).
- Weather (snow and clear days are desirable, and rainy days are undesirable).
- Percent of homes with children (Santa enjoys spreading cheer to all the good girls and boys).
- Walk Score (neighborhoods with a higher Walk Score indicate they have a dense population concentration, thus more efficient work for Santa).
- Lot size (presuming that a bigger lot often means a bigger roof and more room for Santa to land all those reindeer).
City Level Analysis of Santa’s Top 5 Favorite Cities
- Colorado Springs, CO: Colorado scored high in every category deemed important to Santa. In addition to having many single-story homes with fireplaces and large lots, the city is crawling with kiddos. Santa will also like the weather — snowy, with lots of clear days.
- Wichita, KS: Wichita ranked high for single-story houses, snow, and a decent number of clear days.
- Los Angeles, CA: While densely populated LA certainly does not receive a lot of snow; the city traditionally has rain-free weather for much of December. It also ranks just behind snowy Wichita in the fireplace ranking, and has a high percentage of single-story homes.
- Dallas, TX: With the exception of snow, Dallas ranked high across all categories.
- Oklahoma City, OK: Santa-friendly weather and an above average percentage of households with children helped Oklahoma round out Santa’s top 5 list.
For deeper insight into how we geeked out on this analysis, check out Zillow’s Real Estate Research blog.
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