BALTIMORE, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Baltimore has edged Indianapolis for a first-place ranking for lowest cost of living among 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas, a report revealed.
The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday that news of the top ranking was released by the Greater Baltimore Committee.
The Baltimore metropolitan area ranked among the five best in 18 benchmark economic measurements, including health care cost, research and development funding, and growth in median home prices, according to the report, based on statistics gathered in early 2003 by the GBC, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council.
But the report and others like it indicate Baltimore continues to have significant social and economic problems, including crime, air quality and traffic congestion.
The report "confirms that the Baltimore region, as a whole, is still a strong economic engine for the state of Maryland," said Donald C. Fry, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, who also noted that it "helps us highlight some areas that may need some attention focused on them over time."
The report ranks the region for more than 90 benchmark measurements within categories including demographics, economy, education, transportation and quality of life.