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If Top 10 lists are to be believed, Denver is best city to own a house and 2nd best to reside, but the worst to find love

Denver hit the top of the top 10, the mediocre middle and scraped the bottom of many, many lists in 2017.

The Mile High City is the top city to be a homeowner and sell a house. We live in the least-obese state in America. And we’re the No. 2 metro area for beer drinkers, thanks to Coors, 70-plus craft breweries and the Great American Beer Festival. Denver also received a shout-out this year from one of the best of the best lists: U.S. News & World Report named Denver the second best place to live in the United States.

Not all were positive though. Denver is the worst city to find love with the city being “home to the most passive men in America,” says The Great Love Debate podcast. We are ranked 107th out of 125 cities for fastest mobile data speeds (that’s not good).

For better or for worse — or in this case, for data-driven research or publicity hunters — Denver and Colorado are showing up on more and more lists. There are reasons behind the rise. A big one is that there are just more lists period, said the listmeister himself, Bert Sperling, who since the 1980s popularized some of the nation’s most talked about lists. Sperling’s “Best Places to Live”-type lists were featured in Money magazine for years.

“These types of lists fit perfectly with the whole distribution of content on the internet, not only because they’re easy to understand, but you have this voluminous amount of information available,” said Sperling, who has a team at BestPlaces that publishes about six to seven lists a year.

“You can find anything you want,” he said. “But the problem you have is you’re trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose. People are depending on lists and rankings as shortcuts to distill expert knowledge.”

Best cities for people with disabilities? Denver’s at  No. 3, which takes into account the number of doctors per capita and accessible parking spots, according to WalletHub. Top tech markets? Cushman & Wakefield puts Denver at eighth nationwide due to the number of tech jobs, tech leasing and people with college degrees. Healthiest cities? No. 7, says the American Fitness Index, which looked at acres of parks, and farmer’s markets and how many vegetables people ate per day.

Some lists aim to maximize the impact, like Autolist, which ranked of the most affordable cities to buy a used car. Denver ranked at No. 693 nationwide in November. But a different angle? The city ranked No. 5  in Colorado.

There are other lists where Denver was strangely missing. The city failed to break the top 25 of Glassdoor’s annual Best Cities for Jobs. Denver also didn’t make the nation’s top 25 cities for drinking water. We’re OK with being absent from this one: The 30 Most Dangerous Cities in America 2017.

Many lists just don’t get repeated, giving Denver no chance to redeem itself. Last year, RoC Skincare ranked Denver the second most wrinkle-prone city in America citing less protection in the Mile High City from ultraviolet rays. Job site Indeed.com ranked Denver as the “Least Happy Major Metros in the US” for having the nation’s lowest levels of job satisfaction in 2016.

“We can’t offer you any comment about Denver because we did not update the report in 2017,” an Indeed spokeswoman said.

WalletHub, which churns out data-driven research and lists (at a rate of nearly twice a week so far this year0, hasn’t seen a noticeable rise of Denver on its lists. That’s because the company typically tracks the largest 150 cities, so Denver is always included. WalletHub ranked Denver as the eighth best city to start a career and retire — separate lists, of course. But the city also landed in the bottom half for holiday budgets and greenest cities — also separate lists.

“No evidence from our studies suggest that (Denver or Colorado are ranking higher than the past), especially considering the studies we did five years ago and the ones we do now are largely not the same,” said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst.

Sperling says if you’re planning a life decision based on a list, just be wary of where the data comes from.

“What we find is that a lot of places are jumping on it. They’ll get a few indicators, put them together, and it might be a fun one, might even be the worst places to live, or the most drunk, or most miserable cities. Anything to get someone to click on it and get eyeballs,” Sperling said. “They are being overused, misused, abused or however way you want to term it.”

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