So why do workers in Atlanta struggle with being able to both bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan? The data dinged Atlanta in these areas:
- Work intensity: Atlanta came in 38 of 40 on this measure, which included statistics like hours worked per week (a 28th place finish for the ATL with 42.7). Atlanta also had 14 percent of workers, on average, who toiled in excess of 48 hours each and every week. Only five cities had worse stats on long hours.
- Commute: Commuting one way, in minutes, was also evaluated, and Atlanta (not surprisingly) is awful. The average one-way commute totaled 31.6 minutes. In Wichita, that one-way commute total was a mere 19.5 minutes, giving workers around two hours more per week spent outside a car compared to Atlantans. Only Chicago; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and New York had longer commutes than Atlanta.
- City livability: Atlanta could only amass enough "livability" points to rank 38 among the cities studied. Atlanta did decently on the "city stress" component. It was the 15th best out of 40 in this category, with a score of 57.3. (Detroit was ranked 100 in city stress, Seattle just 21.8.) Air pollution was also an issue: Atlanta had the 12th worst air pollution problem. Atlanta ranked seventh-worst in its number of outdoor spaces.
Atlanta's "Society and Institutions" rating wasn't as bad. It came in 29 of 40 in that area, with statistics like its 5th-best "access to mental health care" ranking balancing out other numbers like a 4th-worst ranking on "access to health care." Of the cities studied, only Memphis, Oklahoma City and Tulsa fared worse in the access to health care tabulation.
Meanwhile, people in Helsinki take 28 days vacation on average
The research also took on the imbalance between American lifestyles and those enjoyed in 23 international cities. In a separate ranking, Kisi data scored 23 international and 17 U.S. cities already known to encourage work-life balance "both directly and indirectly through policies and urban infrastructure." Helsinki came in first on this scale, followed by Munich and Oslo. Just three American cities ranked in the top 20, with San Diego coming in at 17, Portland, Oregon, at 19 and San Francisco at 20.
A few of Helsinki's enviable stats included the minimum of 30 vacation days offered (with 28.7 days taken on average), the three years of paid maternity and parental leave offered and a 91.6 LGBT equality score. On that last metric, only Stockholm scored higher, with 100, while San Francisco had an impressive 94, ahead of all but six other international cities evaluated.
Kisi envisions the data as the first of an ongoing ranking. It plans to expand beyond the initial 40 U.S. cities as more data becomes available.