Chicago tops list of men's favourite cities

NEW YORK, March 31 Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:00am EDT

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NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters Life!) - Chicago has come top of a global list of 29 cities where men would most like to live, boosted by Barack Obama's presidential victory.

The inaugural list by men's website AskMen.com put Chicago on top when comparing eight rating categories -- 2009 livability, sports and entertainment, culture, fashion, sex and dating, health, power and money and the good life.

Ratings took into account a list of factors including the rate of unemployment, income growth, ratios of single women to men, the cost of a pint of beer and the rate of male heart disease. An initial list of 60 was cut to 29, led by Chicago.

"Chicago in recent years has really emerged as a favorite city among men due to its good neighborhood scene, a beautiful lake and backdrop, and the balance between fine arts and sport," said AskMen.com's editor-in-chief James Bassil.

"The city also now has a renewed sense of civil pride because of Obama and its association with him and they are also having a great sports year. The city is at an intersection of all these positive things."

Bassil said the recession may have had a negative impact on some of the cities on the list, such as London, New York and Paris, but they were still among the favored cities, coming fourth, sixth and tenth respectively.

Barcelona took second place in the list having always been high in the popularity stakes due its food and beaches while San Francisco came third, praised for its vibrant restaurant scene, arts festivals and continuing urban development.

"But then you see dark horses like Santiago and Panama City in the list too as there the cost of living is low and there is cool development and suddenly they are appropriate places to live in 2009," said Bassil.

Rounding out the top 10 were Sydney, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Copenhagen .

Other to make the list, in numerical order, were Vancouver (11), Rome, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Toronto, Miami, Madrid, Vienna, Los Angeles, Montreal, Panama City, Portland, Lyon, Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Santiago, Cape Town, Hamburg and Edinburgh.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Patricia Reaney)

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