Best Cities for Trick or Treating This Halloween

There’s a lot to consider when plotting a candy route this Halloween: Which house is known for good treats (and which opts for fruit)? Who has the best decorations, and which family keeps the lights off so your kids won’t ring the bell? It’s all more of an art than a science — or is it?

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The real estate experts at Zillow.com take a number-crunching approach to produce their annual Trick-or-Treat Index, which ranks the top 20 cities for candy collection. 

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To come up with their list, economists weighed four data-variables equally: median home value, housing density, crime rates, and percentage of the population under age 15. Housing density and the under-15 set are new factors this year, aimed at “maximizing candy intake,” Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow, tells Yahoo Parenting. “We are always trying to improve what we’re doing and get to the meat of the matter. Housing density means homes per square mile, so you can hit more doorbells in the same amount of time. And we used the under-15 metric because those are the cities and neighborhoods where people are home, their lights are on, and they are more into the holiday. It provides a more vibrant experience.”

Even with the new metrics, San Francisco came out on top for a fifth year in a row. “San Francisco is a standout place in terms of candy consumption,” Olsen says. “There are 7,400 homes per square mile — that’s a lot of doorbells you can hit in a short amount of time, and it’s incredibly expensive to live there, so people can probably afford king-sized candy bars.” San Jose and Los Angeles took second and third place.

Zillow also ranked the top five neighborhoods in each of the top 20 cities, which will be released over the course of this week (you can check back here). It revealed the most treat-friendly ‘hoods in the top 5 cities on Tuesday — with Presidio Heights topping the charts for San Francisco, making it the country’s best bet for collecting goodies. Cambrian Park was the topper for San Jose, while kids in L.A.’s Pacific Palisades should look forward to the city’s best stash.

And if you live in Sacramento, Charlotte, Albuquerque, Dallas, Nashville, or Jacksonville, get your candy bags ready — these cities are all new additions to the list in 2015. And, while there are surely plenty of Snickers to be had no matter where you live, Honolulu, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Virginia Beach, and Baltimore, all dropped out of the top 2 this year.

(Top photo: Corbis Images)

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