Actually, according to CNNMoney,Columbia, Maryland is the 25th best place to live in the East with a population of under 100,000 (barely) for 2005. I’m not entirely sure when this was released and I, by nature, am always skeptical of these “Best Of” lists only because the whole “your school is ranked whatever in US News and World Reports” soured me to the idea that any sort of subjective ranking system has any merit whatsoever. But these lists are always fun because the will show you some interesting statistical facts you probably would spend hours trying to find otherwise.
In the individual statistic snapshop pages, they break it down into ten categories (most have less than four bullet points underneath though) so you can find out how many libraries or museums are in a thirty mile radius or the number of restaurants and bars are in that same radius. A little warning though, some of the statistics are for the state (like the financial information) and not for the city. Click on the “about [whatever] data” to find out if they mean city or state).
One thing that does help me sleep at night, personal crime risk is a third the national average and property crime risk is less than half the national average.