Study ranks best, worst-run cities in U.S.

Study ranks best, worst-run cities in U.S.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently facing criticism for using a beach closed to the public amid the statewide government shutdown, and other states' budget impasses threatening city governments with financial uncertainty, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017's Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America.

To determine the effectiveness of local leadership, WalletHub's analysts compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities based on their operating efficiency. For each city, the analysts constructed a "Quality of City Services" score – comprising 33 key performance indicators grouped into six service categories – that was then measured against the city's total per-capita budget.

Memphis ranked near the bottom at 141st overall.  Chattanooga ranked 142nd, St. Louis was 135th, Knoxville 127th, Birmingham 121st, Nashville 112th, Jackson, MS 74th, and Little Rock was ranked 66th.

Top 10 Best-Run Cities in America:

  1. Nampa, ID
  2. Provo, UT
  3. Boise, ID
  4. Missoula, MT
  5. Lexington, KY
  6. Las Cruces, NM
  7. Billings, MT
  8. Bismarck, ND
  9. Fort Wayne, IN
  10. Louisville, KY

Best vs. Worst:

Casper, Wyoming, has the lowest long-term debt outstanding per capita, $331, which is 63.1 times lower than in Washington, the city with the highest at $20,892.

Fort Worth, Texas, has the highest high school graduation rate, 94.2 percent, which is 1.6 times higher than in Toledo, Ohio, the city with the lowest at 60.0 percent.

Warwick, Rhode Island, has the fewest violent crimes (per 1,000 residents), 0.81, which is 22.4 times fewer than in St. Louis, the city with the most at 18.17.

Fargo, North Dakota, has the lowest unemployment rate, 2.2 percent, which is five times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 10.9 percent.

Chesapeake, Virginia, has the highest average annual household income (adjusted for cost of living), $70,235, which is three times higher than in Gary, Indiana, the city with the lowest at $23,646.

Fremont, California, has the lowest share of the population living below the poverty level, 6.1 percent, which is 6.8 times lower than in Flint, Michigan, the city with the highest at 41.2 percent.

Tallahassee, Florida, has the lowest share of pavements in poor condition, 2 percent, which is 36 times lower than in San Francisco, Fremont, and Oakland, California, the cities with the highest at 71 percent.

To view the full report and your city's rank, click here.

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