The ranking is based on seven criteria:
- Stress factors (including unemployment, commutes, and cost of living)
- Personal safety (violent crimes per 100,000 people)
- Percent of residents making greater than $25,000/year
- Percent of married residents
- Home ownership
- Percent of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher
The ranking is one of many the town and university have received in recent years that speak to the quality of life in Blacksburg, all of which strengthen the university's ability to recruit and retain high caliber faculty and staff. Virginia Tech is a family-friendly employer, enhancing the work-life experience of its employees through the Hokie Wellness program, which provides programming and information to boost employee health, well-being, and productivity.
In 2014, for the fifth consecutive year, Virginia Tech received a gold award for its commuter program from the Best Workplaces for Commuters.
In 2013, Virginia Tech landed the top spot in The Active Times list of the "50 Fittest Colleges in America."
In September 2012, www.homes.com, a popular real estate site, ranked Blacksburg No. 1 on its “Top 10 Cities to Raise a Family” listing, citing the presence of Virginia Tech and numerous economic opportunities as reasons for the top designation.
Blacksburg has also been recognized by national publications like Bloomberg's Businessweek, who ranked Blacksburg the “Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids,” in 2012, and Forbes.com, who named the “Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford” area one of the best small cities to find employment in 2012, based on statistical data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The university consistently ranks among the best colleges and universities in the nation when it comes to the academic and dining programs as well. And, in September 2012, the university was named to list of top military-friendly schools. In 2011, Southern Living listed Blacksburg among its Best College Towns in the South and, for the last three years, Virginia Tech has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA from the Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.