RewardExpert Studies and Reports

REPORT

The Best Public School Systems in the U.S. by County and Region

RewardExpert analyzed Department of Education data for every public school in the United States to determine which counties in each region have the highest quality public education systems.

What parent or prospective parent doesn't want the best education possible for their children? Unless you're relatively wealthy, where you live is a decision that determines which schools your children will attend. In light of this, the already complex set of choices involved in purchasing a home gains another layer of complexity.

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REPORT

The Best States for High-Earners and Affluent Families

RewardExpert analyzed a set of 20 data points regarding taxation, property values, school quality, and overall quality of living in order to determine which states are most hospitable and attractive to higher earning individuals and affluent families. Ask the question, "which state is best for high-earners and affluent families?", and you will receive many, often contradictory answers. In the first place, the answer depends upon how the question is posed. That is, how are the terms “high-earners” and “affluent families” understood or defined? In the second, the answer depends upon the ...

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REPORT

2018 Labor Day Air Travel Forecast

RewardExpert examined airline on-time performance statistics over the five-year period from 2012 to 2017 to determine the best and worst days to travel and the airports and airlines to avoid over the Labor Day travel period.

Delayed flights, cancelled flights, flights that wind up being diverted: these are but a few of the everyday travel hassles that can become so much worse during peak holiday travel periods. While most of us experience congestion on highways during Labor Day, those flying have it no better. For those taking to the skies for Labor Day this year, this forecast examines the track record of airlines and airports over the past five years to see which days and places, and on whose planes, you’re most likely to get to your destination without undue delays.

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REPORT

Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day is just around the corner. But how much do you really know about this holiday, other than the fact that one is not supposed to wear white after it has come and gone, and that it marks the unofficial end of summer?

Did you know that, like most national holidays, Labor Day was recognized by a majority of the states before its national recognition? Or how about the fact that in some states, laws exist that prohibit schools from opening before Labor Day? Do you know how many people travel, how much they spend, and how many stay home during the Labor Day travel and shopping season?

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REPORT

The Top Ten Places in the U.S. for Craft Beer

RewardExpert analyzed over 4.5 million consumer reviews of over 50,000 beers produced by almost 6,000 breweries across the U.S. to definitively determine where the best brews and breweries are located.

The current state of beer and craft brewing in the United States is a far cry from what once was the case none too long ago: craft beer is decidedly in. Even the corporations that produce them on an industrial scale have quietly got into the craft beer game by acquiring smaller, craft breweries. Without knowing it, you could be buying a so-called craft beer owned and distributed by a corporate giant.

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REPORT

Ten Places Where it is Better to Rent than Buy a Home, and Vice Versa

RewardExpert analyzed average rents and home prices to find the relative costs of buying and renting in 281 metropolitan areas in the U.S. The analysis determined the best places to rent and own.

Conventional wisdom dictates that it is always better to own your home than to rent it. It’s commonly said that rent is merely money spent, while a mortgage payment builds equity, however slowly, and is almost always the better of the two options. It has recently come to light that this truism is now less true than ever, at least under certain circumstances and in certain places around the country.

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REPORT

Destinations Where Your Dollar Takes You Further in 2018

RewardExpert compared current exchange rates to exchange rates as of summer 2017 to determine in which countries your dollar has become more valuable, and in which countries it has become less valuable. Local prices of goods and services were included in order to determine which destinations are, on the whole, the most affordable.

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REPORT

U.S. Cities Where People Work the Most for the Least Pay

RewardExpert analyzed data on average wages, weekly earnings, and working hours for 387 cities and metropolitan areas in the U.S. to determine in which places people work the longest hours for the least pay.

It is mere common knowledge that workers in some places earn more per hour than in others. Likewise, it is also common knowledge that, in spite of regulations capping the number of hours worked before overtime pay rules kick in, that workers in some places spend more hours at work each week. And this is not yet to point an accusing finger at employers in various locales for violating workplace overtime regulations! Where, these two factors coincide, low wages and long hours, is not common knowledge. And this is the question we set out to answer; where do people work the most for the least pay?

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REPORT

Top Places Where You Get the Most Bang For Your Paycheck

RewardExpert analyzed data on average hours worked per week, wages, and weekly earnings, to determine which U.S. cities and metropolitan areas have the best compensated workers working relatively shorter workweeks.

It is a well-known fact that workplace norms and expectations vary greatly from place to place. The question comes up frequently: where do people work the hardest? This may not be an immediately obvious fact, but it is still a relatively straightforward matter to measure. We found it more interesting to ask a somewhat different question: where in the U.S. do workers earn the largest paychecks relative to the number of hours in their average workweek. To wit: where do people work the least and earn the most?

We set out to determine, by the numbers, the cities and metropolitan areas where people work fewer, better-compensated hours per week. We analyzed the March 2018 numbers in State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, and Earnings data set from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine which U.S. metropolitan areas have the best-paid workers with the shortest average workweeks.

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REPORT

The World’s Grumpiest and Happiest Travelers

RewardExpert analyzed 3.5 million hotel reviews from 70+ countries to determine from where the world’s grumpiest and happiest travelers hail.

We’ve all been there. Through our experiences and through various stories we’ve heard, we develop—correctly or not—a sense of which countries are home to the most foul and fair tempered tourists. But before we set off, what do we have to go on but hearsay and opinion?

RewardExpert set out to answer both questions: which countries do the world’s grumpiest travelers call home, and which countries are home to the happiest? And we did so on the soundest and surest footing as possible: numbers.

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REPORT

The Best and Worst States for Low-Income Individuals and Families

RewardExpert analyzed 22 key data metrics to determine which states are the most and least hospitable to low-income individuals and families.

Living in poverty is never easy, whether you have a family to support or not. But the experience is not the same everywhere: state-level political and policy decisions make life particularly difficult for low-income individuals and families in some states and work to ameliorate the worst impacts of poverty in others. Likewise, there is significant variability in housing prices and overall cost of living across state lines. The end result is that families and individuals of comparable means face very different challenges, under different conditions, from state to state.

The upshot of all of this is that, should the opportunity present itself, low-income citizens who are seeking better opportunities can make an informed decision on moving to a state where wages, prices, and policies make it easier to get by and, potentially, to get out of poverty.

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REPORT

2018’s Top U.S. Wine Destinations

RewardExpert analyzed over two million wine reviews to determine the best locations in the United States for wine, both in terms of quantity and quality, and some of them may surprise you!

Wine quality is notoriously difficult to gauge, at least objectively speaking. As often as not, rankings of top wine destinations rely solely on the quantity of wine produced, or the total number of wineries found within a given region. When this is the case, we see the same places come up time and time again.

RewardExpert set out to do things differently. We wanted to produce a ranking that accounts for both wine production volume and, more importantly, wine quality on an objective, data-driven basis. We wanted to know what regular folks felt about wines available from American vineyards and wineries.

To do this, we analyzed a data set containing over two million wine reviews and ratings from CellarTracker and matched reviewed bottles of wine to specific wineries registered with and permitted by the U.S. Treasury Department Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau (TTB). With this data, we could produce this ranking of the best wine producing areas of the U.S. down to the three-digit zip code level.

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REPORT

2018’s Property Taxes by Counties and States

RewardExpert analyzed property tax rates, assessment ratios, and exemptions to determine which counties across the country have the lowest property tax burden relative to home prices and incomes.

Every homeowner has to deal with the yearly hassle of paying property taxes. While it may seem unfair that one must pay for a house and land that has already been bought and paid for, property taxes are an important source of revenue for local governments. Revenue from property taxes is most consistently used to fund local public school systems, as well as other important county and municipal services. Nevertheless, no one wants to pay more in taxes if they can help it, and where you choose to purchase a home can make all the difference.

RewardExpert analyzed data from federal, state, and institutional sources to determine which U.S. counties with populations over 25,000 have the lowest, most affordable property taxes. In addition to county-specific property tax (millage) rates, we took into consideration home prices, average incomes, and state- and county-level policies concerning assessment or equalization ratios. Assessment or equalization ratios define the percentage of the market value of a property that is subject to taxation. See below for more information on this topic.

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REPORT

Happy Mother’s Day!

The one thing that all people have in common is a mother. As Sigmund Freud taught us, every child’s first love is for his or her mother. So we celebrate Mother’s Day not only as a national holiday, but around the globe. These Mother’s Day facts and stats are our gift of knowledge to mothers everywhere, regardless of nationality.

Do you know how many countries recognize Mother’s Day? Or, how many countries recognize International Women’s Day instead? (And once you know, of course you’ll wonder why).

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REPORT

Top States Where Cryptocurrency Is Catching On

RewardExpert analyzed search traffic and geographical data to see which states’ residents are most interested in cryptocurrencies, and where you can most easily use them for purposes other than investment.

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REPORT

Best and Worst Places to Start a Small Business in 2018

RewardExpert compiled and analyzed 30 data metrics to determine the best and worst cities, metropolitan areas, and regions for startups and small businesses.

If you’re thinking of founding a small business, location is everything. You don’t need to relocate to Silicon Valley or Seattle to create a successful startup company. In fact, that ship has sailed — soaring real estate prices and sky-high rents in the region make it yesterday’s news. The question on everybody’s mind is: where is the next Silicon Valley going to be?

RewardExpert endeavored to answer this question by analyzing all of the relevant data we could get our hands on. We compared 177 metropolitan areas with more than 250,000 residents, using 30 data points in nine categories to determine which metropolitan areas will give your small business or tech startup the best chance to survive and succeed, and which ones will present you with the most daunting of challenges.

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REPORT

The Best and Worst States to Live in with Bad Credit

Having poor credit isn’t great anywhere, but there are states where it’s not as bad… and some where it’s much worse.

Introduction:

We’ve all heard the credit horror stories. If you don’t know how to manage your credit or find yourself the victim of a credit-damaging fraud, you can find your credit scores plummeting. And plenty of people are going to be looking at those credit scores, especially when considering your loan worthiness. Chances are, if your scores are low, your interest will be high. A 0.5% rise in a mortgage rate might not seem like a lot, but with 30 years to accrue interest and tens of thousands in principle, that rise is going to cost you.

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REPORT

2018’s Best Midsized Cities for Business Meetings

RewardExpert identifies the top 30 midsize U.S. cities for meetings and conventions that won’t break your business budget, and also provide the same level of enjoyment that more expensive cities offer.

Introduction:

For a  company or small business  working within a limited budget, it can be a challenge  to choose attractive and exciting cities in which to hold meetings and other corporate events without breaking the bank. Not every company can afford a fancy meeting in New York, San Francisco or Chicago. Limited financial resources, however, shouldn’t necessarily damper  the quality of the business trip experience, or the activities and amenities available once the meeting is over for the day. There are, in fact, more than a few exciting options for you to hold affordable, yet memorable business meetings.

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REPORT

2018’s Best & Worst Cities for Millennials with Student Debt

RewardExpert analyzed 207 cities and metropolitan areas based on 23 data indicators to determine which locations are best for debt-saddled college graduates to start their careers.

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REPORT

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

You don’t need to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. After all, St. Patrick himself wasn’t Irish. He didn’t drive the snakes out of Ireland, either (there weren’t any to begin with). So, let’s leave behind the myths and take a look at the hard numbers behind St. Patrick’s Day and some of its best traditions.

Did you know that Irish-Americans outnumber the entire population of Ireland? Or that the Windy City dumps 45 pounds of green dye into the Chicago River every year? How about the fact that there are 15 U.S. cities and towns named Dublin?

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