Study reveals the best and worst fictional towns on TV

Buffy’s Sunnydale is the worst fictional town, while Pretty Little Liars’s Rosewood is the best

Television has provided much-needed escapism for many of us during the pandemic, allowing us to get lost in the fictional worlds of American dramas, homegrown soaps and nostalgic classics. But if TV land’s best-known towns were real, which would be the best and worst ones to live in?

Entertainment experts MrQ analyzed thousands of television episodes to find the answer. They researched the culture, commerce, average salary and how likely characters are to be killed off in 20 of the most famous fictional towns from Emmerdale to Springfield. 

Midsomer ranks bottom as the worst fictional town with low salaries, little culture and very high death rates

The study reveals that the fictional English county of Midsomer from ITV’s crime drama ‘Midsomer Murders’ is the worst place to live. The picturesque Midsomer is unusually prone to gruesome serial killings, meaning 27.4% of its characters have been killed off across the show’s 128 episodes.

This was not the only reason for Midsomer ranking at the bottom of the study though; it also lacks culture with merely half a dozen shops, hotels and pubs to provide respite from the bloodshed.

The bottom 5 fictional towns are:

 TownCultural spotsAverage salary% of characters killed off
‘Midsomer Murders’
‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’
3Twin Peaks
‘Twin Peaks’
‘The Simpsons’

The best overall TV towns to live:


Rosewood from ‘Pretty Little Liars’ claims top spot for good culture and highest average salaries

Rosewood, the setting of binge-worthy teen drama ‘Pretty Little Liars’, has been revealed as the best fictional town to live in.

An analysis into the average salary of its characters found that Rosewood residents are earning an average of £145,000 per year in this affluent Pennsylvania suburb. Meanwhile, a relatively low 4.2% of its characters were killed off during the show and its cultural spots, such as the Apple Rose Grille and The Radley hotel, make it a perfect place to settle down.

The top 5 fictional towns are:

 TownCultural spotsAverage salary% of characters killed off
‘Pretty Little Liars’
26$199,944.00 4.23%
2South Park
‘South Park’
‘Parks and Recreation’
‘Coronation Street’
5Stars Hollow
‘Gilmore Girls’
The full table can be found here

The quaint English county of Midsomer is also murder capital of TV land, beating out vampire-infested Sunnydale from ‘Buffy’

Midsomer was revealed to be the most dangerous town with its 27.4% murder rate, but not too far behind it is ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Sunnydale. Located on top of a Hellmouth, a gateway between the Earth and various demonic realms, 26.8% of its residents met a grizzly fate during its time on the air.

The safest town in TV land, however, is ‘Gilmore Girls’s Stars Hollow with just 0.5% of residents being killed off in this mother-daughter comedy. It is closely followed by Pawnee, Indiana from the Amy Poehler-starring comedy ‘Parks And Recreation’, which saw just 0.6% of its residents get killed off during the show.

‘Pretty Little Liars’s Rosewood crowned most affluent TV town with $200k average salary, whilst Springfield residents expect to take home just $25k per year.

The upper middle class town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania where ‘Pretty Little Liars’ takes place boasts the highest average salary of the fictional towns studied. If you were to live there, you would be earning approximately $200,000 based on real-world salaries.

At the bottom of the list is Springfield from ‘The Simpsons’. Aside from resident billionaire Mr. Burns, much of Springfield is bringing home a low annual income. The average Springfieldian will earn just $25,000 every year. Interestingly, this makes Homer Simpson one of the town’s highest earners at $60,000 per year.

Titular mountain town South Park is cultural capital of TV land with over 200 significant spots featured

The mountain town of South Park, the titular setting for the animated satirical comedy, has been found to be the most cultured fictional town to live in. Across its 23 seasons, over 200 different establishments have featured in the cartoon including gyms, nightclubs, restaurants, resorts and many others.

“We have all desperately needed a break from reality over the last year, and it is no surprise that many of us found that escape in TV shows,” said Savvas Fellas, managing director of MrQ. “Whether it’s revisiting a familiar favourite or binge watching the latest Netflix series, television has made it a lot easier to cope with pandemic life.”

“This got us wondering though: what would it actually be like to live in many of these fictional places we’ve come to know on TV?” Our fun study found some surprising results that might make some fans reconsider how they feel about their favorite TV towns.”


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