June 10, 1998

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Hails Money Magazine Announcement
-- Hampton Roads, Richmond and Charlottesville named #1 in the South - -

Richmond - When considering the best place to live, look no further than Virginia. Money magazine's 1998 survey of the Best Places to Live has named five Virginia metropolitan regions- Norfolk, Richmond, Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Roanoke - as the best places to live in the South.

"When you look at Virginia's finest qualities - a skilled and dedicated workforce, quality educational institutions, an unsurpassed transportation network, overall affordability and a rich cultural heritage - our state really shines," said Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. "It is these qualities which lead companies to invest in Virginia."

Three regions - Norfolk, Richmond and Charlottesville - were each named number one in the large, medium, and small city category, respectively. As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News metropolitan statistical area, with over one million inhabitants and encompassing 14 Virginia localities, was named the best large city in the South to live. The greater Richmond area, with a population of 900,000, was named the best medium city in the South. And Charlottesville, with just under 150,000 inhabitants, was named the best small city in the South. Lynchburg and Roanoke followed second and third among the South's best small cities.

Virginia has achieved four years of unprecedented economic growth and has welcomed world-class companies including Motorola, Siemens, IBM, Toshiba, Gateway, Ericsson, Nexus Communications, Chaparral Steel, First Data Corporation and Andersen Consulting. In three years, the state has attracted more than $12 billion in new and expanded investments and more than 76,000 net direct new jobs.

"Our success has benefited all regions of Virginia, as this year's Money magazine ranking shows," added Governor Gilmore. "With so many areas of Virginia on this year's list, the hardest part will be choosing where in Virginia to live."

The Money magazine survey, which will appear in the July 1998 issue, is the result of interviews with 512 households across the country that rated 37 livability factors, such as clean water, safe and affordable neighborhoods, plentiful jobs and arts and culture.

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