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These U.S. Cities Are Best for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

Boston, affectionately known as America’s Walking City, is the country’s premier destination for
refuge from the walking dead, according to a study released Thursday by employment site CareerBuilder.

With Halloween upon us, the study fittingly ranked 53 of America’s largest metropolitan areas to determine which parts of the country would be best

suited to weather a hypothetical zombie outbreak. Based on factors like population density, industrial resources, skilled labor concentration and medical facilities, the “totally necessary and 100 percent practical” report ultimately determined that Beantown has “the highest chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse.”

Top Five Cities

  1. Boston
  2. Salt Lake City
  3. Columbus, Ohio
  4. Baltimore
  5. Virginia Beach, Virginia

“Salt Lake City, Columbus, Baltimore and Virginia Beach are also well-positioned to win World War Z,”

the release said. “Although it may have survived an alien invasion in the movie ‘Independence Day,’ New York City was found to be least equipped to survive an undead infiltration, ranking at the bottom of the list at 53.”

Bottom Five Cities

  1. New York
  2. Tampa, Florida
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Riverside-San Bernardino, California
  5. Chicago

In the study’s hypothetical zombie outbreak scenario, a “standard, flesh-eating virus” is released into the population and is “transmitted via biting or contact with infected blood.” Cities with particularly high concentrations of military, law enforcement and security personnel – like Virginia Beach,
Baltimore and Kansas City, Missouri

– scored particularly well in the report’s rankings.

Best Equipped for Defense

  1. Virginia Beach
  2. Atlanta
  3. Baltimore
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Kansas City

“Ideally, a city would have a high concentration of occupations that deal in the areas of defense, including military occupations and protective services occupations (including law enforcement, firefighting and security), along with biomedical research and development (the better for its chances of developing a cure), such as microbiologists, biomedical engineers

and biotechnicians,” Mary Lorenz, corporate communications manager at CareerBuilder.com, tells U.S. News in an email. “Engineering prowess and construction trade skills are also crucial to help build reinforcements that keep the zombies out.”

Boston ranked at the top of the pack in terms of cure development, thanks to its high concentration of “biological and medical scientists and professionals,” the release said. San Diego, Indianapolis and Baltimore, all of which made the study’s Top 10 best cities for survival, weren’t far behind.

Most Likely to Find a Cure

  1. Boston
  2. San Francisco
  3. San Diego
  4. Indianapolis
  5. Baltimore

“While all factors did carry relatively equal weight, population density seemed to take one of the biggest tolls on a city’s chances of survival,” Lorenz says.

Indeed, highly populated areas like New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Philadelphia were deemed to be the worst cities for virus containment. More sparsely populated metro areas and cities with high concentrations of engineers and construction workers – like Denver, Houston and Salt Lake City – tended to perform better overall.

Best Equipped for Containment

  1. Denver
  2. Houston
  3. Salt Lake City
  4. Seattle
  5. Detroit

Food exports were also considered in the study, as survivors could be bunkered down for a while. The nation’s capital came in dead last, while Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Columbus were in good shape.

Best Food Supply

  1. Grand Rapids
  2. Columbus
  3. Rochester, New York
  4. Memphis, Tennessee
  5. Buffalo, New York

The final rankings are listed below. Residents of cities at the bottom of the list might want to think about brushing up on their survival skills or binge-watching zombie movies over Halloween weekend to get up to speed.

Full Rankings

  1. Boston
  2. Salt Lake City
  3. Columbus
  4. Baltimore
  5. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  6. Seattle
  7. San Diego
  8. Kansas City, Missouri
  9. Denver
  10. Indianapolis
  11. Washington, D.C.
  12. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  13. Sacramento, California
  14. Richmond, Virginia
  15. Houston
  16. Birmingham, Alabama
  17. Pittsburgh
  18. Atlanta
  19. San Jose, California
  20. Hartford, Connecticut
  21. Memphis, Tennessee
  22. San Francisco
  23. Raleigh, North Carolina
  24. Portland, Oregon
  25. Buffalo, New York
  26. Minneapolis
  27. Orlando, Florida
  28. Oklahoma City
  29. Louisville, Kentucky
  30. San Antonio
  31. New Orleans
  32. Dallas
  33. Nashville, Tennessee
  34. Rochester, New York
  35. St. Louis
  36. Charlotte, North Carolina
  37. Cincinnati
  38. Austin, Texas
  39. Phoenix
  40. Cleveland
  41. Detroit
  42. Tucson, Arizona
  43. Philadelphia
  44. Las Vegas
  45. Providence, Rhode Island
  46. Milwaukee
  47. Jacksonville, Florida
  48. Miami
  49. Chicago
  50. Riverside-San Bernardino, California
  51. Los Angeles
  52. Tampa, Florida
  53. New York City

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