Westerville News & Public Opinion

Westerville named America's fifth-friendliest town


Westerville is one of the friendliest towns in America, according to a new report by Forbes and Nextdoor.com, a social-networking site for neighborhoods.

The two groups assessed 500 towns nationwide and named Westerville fifth friendliest. It was the only town in Ohio to make the top-25 list.

Some of the features that make Westerville one of the friendliest towns are the high number of parks and the Westerville Community Center, 4th Friday celebrations, the activeness of Otterbein University in the community and the Westerville Are Resource Ministry, the Forbes story stated.

Also a positive for Westerville, according to the survey, was its nearly “nonexistent” crime rate that could be attributed to community engagement in neighborhood block watches and National Night Out, the story stated.

In determining America’s friendliest towns, Nextdoor.com first looked at more than 1,000 towns across the country and narrowed that to 500, based on its own neighborhood engagement index, which considers the number of active website members and the amount of content those members post.

The list was narrowed further to towns with populations of less than 150,000 and a point-system based on percentage of college graduates, percentage of owner-occupied homes and charitable contributions.

Nextdoor.com conducted qualitative research on the top 50 cities, considering community-centric activities, availability of parks, volunteer groups, community events, parades, holiday activities and other neighborly activities.