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CareerBuilder Lists Best Cities To Live In If Zombie Apocalypse Happens
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The Walking Dead Zombie Circle

Ever wondered if where you live would increase or decrease your chances of survival if the inevitable zombie apocalypse finally arrived?

CareerBuilder has put together an index of which of the biggest metropolitan areas (with over one million residents) are best prepared for such a disaster based on things like occupational skills, prominent industries, and more. They also list some of the worst places to live.

You can find out if the city you live in is one of the best places to be if the zombie apocalypse happens below.

First, here’s how CareerBuilder came to their conclusions:

The CareerBuilder study is comprised of a weighted index ranking the 53 largest U.S. metropolitan areas (with more than 1 million residents) based on their occupational skills and industry characteristics. A standard, flesh-eating virus transmitted via biting or contact with infected blood is assumed. The index is scored on eight different factors in four categories: ability to defend against the virus, ability to contain the virus, ability to find a cure and ability to outlast the epidemic with an ample food supply. The study is based on data from Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI), which analyzes labor market data from more than 90 national, state and local employment resources.

The first category looked at is defense:

While STEM-related skills may be the most in-demand right now, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, demand would shift toward more survival-related skills. Cities with a high percentage of their population in military and protective services (e.g. law enforcement, firefighting and security) jobs stand a better chance of holding off the zombie assault.

To account for the availability of firearms, this score also takes the percentage of total exports coming from the metro’s small arms manufacturing industries.


1. Virginia Beach, VA (22.7 points)
2. Atlanta (20.4 points)
3. Baltimore (17.3 points)
4. Washington, D.C. (16.6 points)
5. Kansas City (14.9 points)

Next up, containment:

Once the undead horde is fought back, the next order of business would be to keep the zombies at bay and begin rebuilding. This score is based on availability of skilled engineers and construction workers. Population weight density was also factored in – if the walls are breached, the infection will spread faster in cities with a high PWD.


1. Denver (22.7 points)
2. Houston (19.2 points)
3. Salt Lake City (18.9 points)
4. Seattle-Tacoma (18.3 points)
5. Detroit (16.2 points)

After that, they look at cure:

Guns and walls can help keep the zombies at bay, but the zombies are really just a symptom of the real problem. The best bet for long-term survival is learning what is causing the zombie outbreak and developing a cure or inoculation. For that, metros would turn to the biomedical research and development industries.


1. Boston (20 points)
2. San Francisco (12.5 points)
3. San Diego (12.2 points)
4. Indianapolis (11.6 points)
5. Baltimore (11.4 points)

Then the best places to stock up on food:

In a full-blown zombie crisis, you can’t rely on imported food to survive. That’s why the local food industry in each city is another major factor in odds of survival. To determine each city’s ability to feed it’s population, CareerBuilder looked at exports of non-perishable food manufacturing or wholesale goods industries. These include rice milling, breakfast cereal manufacturing, fruit and vegetable canning, roasted nuts and peanut butter manufacturing.

Availability of clean/fresh water, however, presented numerous additional variables, and therefore was held constant across all cities.


1. Grand Rapids, MI (20 points)
2. Columbus, OH (19.2 points)
3. Rochester, NY (9.5 points)
4. Memphis, TN (8.7 points)
5. Buffalo, NY (7.8 points)

After all of that, CareerBuilder listed the cities where survival would be most likely:

Representing America’s best hope for finding a zombie cure, and boasting considerable scores in both Defense and Containment, Boston tops the list of the cities most likely to survive the zombie apocalypse, with a total score of 43.99 out of 100 possible points.

1. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH (43.99 points)
2. Salt Lake City, UT (39.49 points)
3. Columbus, OH (39.31 points)
4. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD (39.29 points)
5. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport New, VA-NC (38.55 points)
6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (37.49 points)
7. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (36.96 points)
8. Kansas City, MO-KS (35.03 points)
9. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (34.66 points)
10. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN (33.91 points)

But if these are the ten best places to live, there’s also going to be places to avoid. Here’s the ten least likely to survive:

Where some see a problem, others see opportunity. And while these cities currently stand the worst chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse, a boost in certain industries could go a long way toward evening those odds.

1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (5.64 points)
2. Tampa-St. Petersberg-Clearwater, FL (11.03 points)
3. Los Angeles-LongBeach-Anaheim, CA (12.98 points)
4. Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, CA (13.34 points)
5. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (16.38 points)
6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL (16.78 points)
7. Jacksonville, FL (17.21 points)
8. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI (18.31 points)
9. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA (19.24 points)
10. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (19.41 points)

By kick-starting food production or engineering industries in any of these metros, you could save a lot of lives and make a killing at the same time. That is, assuming the entire population hasn’t been turned into zombies before you get there.

As someone who lives fairly close to Boston, but in a place with much less people, I’m feeling pretty good right now. Just need to work on my cardio.

Did your city make one of these lists? If not, should it have and why?

If you missed it, you can also read Geeks of Doom’s survival tips for the zombie apocalypse from a handful of years back! Clearly our own Obvious Zombie’s people are taking their sweet time.

[Source: CareerBuilder]

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