According to the introductory article, "The goal of 'Rating the Towns' is to identify the areas — schools, crime, cost of living, local economy, leisure and cultural opportunities — that most people seem to think most important when they judge the quality of local life."
Authors Andrew Brady and Patricia Grandjean rated Connecticut towns in four categories based on population: 10,000 to 15,000; 15,000 to 25,000; 25,000 to 50,000; and over 50,000.
, Brookfield has 16,452 residents, putting it in the second group. Each of the 32 towns was ranked from one to 32 in each of five categories, with Ridgefield gaining the lowest score, 40, and therefore highest rank.
Brookfield broke into the Top 10 in Economy (8) and Crime (10), but suffered in Cost (26), Leisure (18) and Education (12), for a final score of 74. Brookfield ranks 13th behind Tolland (12th, 68), Guildford (11th, 68) and East Lyme (10th, 67.5).
The last time Connecticut Magazine compiled a list of the top towns, November 2009, Brookfield placed 11th among 29 cities in its population range with a score of 65. By scale, Education and Economy have improved in the ranking since 2009, while Crime and Cost of Living have stayed relatively stable. The Leisure category saw the largest shift, from 13 (of 29) in 2009 to 18 (of 32) in 2011.