IN A SIGN THAT METROPOLITAN LIFE DOES indeed have its rewards, recently released data from this year's American Housing Survey show urbanites across the nation are more than satisfied with their living arrangements.

The survey—conducted in 2004 by the U.S. Census Bureau and sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development—focused on housing characteristics for 13 metropolitan areas. Among the most interesting results are the high marks city-slickers offer their neighborhoods across the board.

Residents in Atlanta; Cleveland; Denver; Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis; Memphis, Tenn.; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Pittsburgh; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio; Seattle; and St. Louis were asked to grade their neighborhoods. Given a scale of one to 10, with one representing “worst” neighborhood and 10 representing “best,” most respondents ranked their neighborhoods highly.

Residents in Pittsburgh were the most pleased with their neighborhoods, as 30 percent rated their area a 10. Twelve of the 13 cities polled saw at least 20 percent of its residents rank their respective neighborhoods a 10. While Denver had the lowest percentage of respondents rating their neighborhoods as the “best,” it's 17 percent is still impressive.

The 1,500-question AHS focused on all things domestic, according to Paul Harple of the U.S. Census Bureau. Those surveyed were asked to describe everything about their homes, from air conditioning characteristics to neighborhood crime rates.

The housing survey data will be released in a printed version and available to the public later in the year.