America's Most Literate Cities - This annual report rates cities around the U.S. for factors relating to literacy such as education, libraries, and newspaper circulation. (Central Connecticut State University)
America's Most Livable Communities - At irregular intervals, this site rates the Most Livable Communities throughout the US, based on their 'innovative approaches to prepare for the New Economy through the creative strategies, actions, and visions of their leadership'. Also describes selected Entrepreneurial Communities which have found success in providing unique solutions to local problems (see 'Past Recipients' on the right for the list of communities), and hosts a Livability blog for the latest news, information, links, and commentary on livability and related subjects (Partners for Livable Communities; non-profit organization). See also Great Places for more about what makes great streets, neighborhoods, and public places (American Planning Association).
Apartment-Hunting Tool : Nestio - 'Looking for a new place to live is stressful and time-consuming. Resources are scattered across numerous sites, false advertisements are frustrating, and dead-ends are common. Nestio simplifies the process by providing an easy way to organize listings, collaborate with roommates, and achieve transparency on all your findings, ensuring you'll make the best and most informed decision on your next home. Sign up, install the bookmarklet, and get started!' Also offers a mobile app (recommended by the Webby Awards). The Place of Mine apartment search engine 'aggregates rental listings from across 10,000 listing sites, forums, newspaper classifieds, and individual property management websites' (Cazoodle search engine developers).
Apartment Ratings - Online apartment listings combined with reviews of apartment communities "in renters' actual (and unfiltered) words," allowing renters to share their rental experiences (anonymously) and giving apartment hunters additional information about listed properties. Ratings are highly subjective, so use with caution. (Site includes advertisements)
Best Performing Cities : Where America's Jobs Are Created and Sustained - Annual ranking of U.S. metropolitan areas, based on how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. (Milken Institute, 'a publicly supported, nonpartisan, independent think tank.')
Career One-Stop Relocation Center - A variety of resources to help you evaluate employment and housing options for a temporary or permanent relocation, plan and finance your move, and settle into your new community. (U.S. Department of Labor)
City / Town Info - Links to government, Chamber of Commerce, and public library websites for towns and cities in every state. (High Cotton Information Systems)
Cleanest & Dirtiest Cities in America - Ranks cities according to environmental factors such as air, water, toxics, hazardous waste, and sanitation; ranking was done in 2005 (Reader's Digest; site includes advertisements). Environmental Health Risk Assessment guides you in the use of online databases and GIS tools to research environmental risks in your neighborhood; designed for academic use (Carleton College et al.).
CNN / Money Magazine Best Places to Live - Annual statistical rankings on housing costs, weather, crime, leisure, culture, environment, and more for over 1,200 towns and cities in the US. Results are sorted by region and population size. You can also search for places with specific characteristics such as low crime and affordable housing. A related site is CNN / Money Magazine's Best Places to Retire (annual; site includes advertisments). For more tools and data to help you choose your best place to live, see Sperling's Best Places (site includes advertisments) and Kiplinger's Best Cities (2012; site includes advertisments).
Community Information by Zip Code - Links to numerous sources of community information, including education, health, environment, and business (California State University).
Cost of Living Calculator - Helps you compare living-cost indexes and salary differentials between any of 300-plus U.S. cities. Also suggests 'the salary adjustment needed to maintain your standard of living, and what salary increase or decrease is likely given local market factors' (Salary.com; site includes advertisements). With Pay Wizard you can compare your earnings against what other people get for the same job in any same state, and share your Salary and Job Information in an anonymous Salary Survey (powered by the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School; site includes advertisements). You can also research salaries in other countries with the international Wage Indicator Network (powered by University of Amsterdam-AIAS; site includes advertisements). Paycheck to Paycheck is a searchable database of wage information for more than 60 occupations and home prices and rents for nearly 200 metropolitan areas (Center for Housing Policy). See also Salary Survey Links for links to more websites that will assist you in researching salaries for different occupations and areas (Morris County Library).
EDUCATION : School Directories & Information - Selected links to information about public, private, military, and boarding schools. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Global Edge - Thinking about moving to another country? This website provides useful background information (history, government, economy, culture, etc.) for countries around the world (Michigan State University). See also Background Notes (U.S. State Department), and Living Abroad (below).
Go City Kids is now ParentsConnect Local, below.
Homes : Buying, Selling, & Renting - Selected links to information and resources for buying, selling, or renting a home. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Housing Rights : New Jersey Law Against Discrimination [UPDATED LINK!] - Explains your rights under state and federal law (N.J. Division on Civil Rights). See also U.S. Fair Housing Laws (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
Kids Count - State- and city-level data for over 100 measures of child well-being (Annie E. Casey Foundation). See also 100 Best Communities for Young People (America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth).
Licensed Occupations - If you're relocating, check this site to find out what the requirements are for obtaining a license to practice your profession in another state. You can search by state, occupation, or licensing agency. (U.S. Department of Labor)
Living Abroad - Links to information about living, studying, and teaching abroad. See also Working Overseas, which is aimed at Foreign Service family members but includes some resources that will be useful for anyone planning to work abroad. Living Abroad and Returning Home provides a list of books and other materials to help families adjust to living in a foreign country. (U.S. State Department)
Military Families : Plan My Move - A collection of useful online tools and resources to help military families plan a successful move. Military Youth on the Move offers advice and support for children of military families to help deal with the difficult time of moving, saying goodbye, and starting over in a new place. Separate sections for elementary, middle, and high school students. (U.S. Department of Defense)
Moving.com - Advice for planning your move, choosing a mover, packing & unpacking, transferring school records, arranging for utilities & other services in your new home, and more (site includes advertisements : Move.com; affiliated with Realtor.com). See also Moving Checklist (site includes advertisements).
ParentsConnect Local - A guide to kid-friendly resources in major U.S. cities. Covers kids' classes, camps, childcare, schools, kid-friendly entertainment, tourist spots, restaurants, sports leagues, party places & entertainers, outdoor fun, indoor fun, and more. NOTE : Site may be slow to load and navigate. (Site includes advertisements)
Relocation Resources - Selected tools for relocation including calculators, city reports, school reports, cost of living information, and more. (site includes advertisements : Move.com; affiliated with Realtor.com)