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Norman's in the Money



Folks down in Norman took great pride when Money magazine came out with its list of the 100 best places to live in America and the suburb south of OKC received a high ranking of No. 6. The ranking made great news for the home of the University of Oklahoma and put the town in the spotlight for a few days.

The magazine cited OU as a major reason for Norman's pride-swelling ranking, as well as relatively affordable housing and a recession-proof economy.

The folks in Edmond had an (albeit smaller) amount of pride as well, making No. 52 on the best 100 list. The suburb on OKC's opposite side was deemed to have an appreciation for the arts " a central factor in making the list. Edmond was also described as "a diverse community."

Let's repeat that. Edmond was described as "a diverse community."

Now let's review some facts. This "diverse" community has a black population of 4 percent, Latino 2.8 percent, Asian 3.3 percent and Native American 2.3 percent. That's according to the last U.S. Census.

Incidentally, the 2000 Census figures for Norman, which was not cited for its "diversity," are: 4.3 percent black, 3.9 percent Latino, 3.5 percent Asian and 4.5 percent Native American.

It seems a bit of stretch to call a community, which is 85 percent white and the largest minority population stands at 4 percent, "diverse."

The magazine did point out Edmond's Jazz Lab at the University of Central Oklahoma and the Chopin Society of Mid-America. But Money also cited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum as an Edmond attraction. That's quite a coup for Edmond since, as far as we know, the museum still rests in Oklahoma City. 

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