Running a city is a tall order. Not only must government officials navigate local politics, but they also must strive to balance the public’s interests with the city’s responsibilities and resources. And because resources generally grow limited as population sizes increase, especially when such increases occur rapidly, not all individual needs can or will be served.
Consequently, city leaders must choose which services are most essential to provide, which agencies’ budgets to cut, whether and how high to raise taxes, among other important decisions that affect the daily lives of residents. Those decisions, in turn, translate to a city’s operating efficiency and overall quality of life.
With moving season in full swing and nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population residing in cities today, WalletHub’s analysts compared 150 of the largest cities according to how well they are managed by their leaders. In order to make such a comparison, we examined each city’s performance on six key indicators, including financial stability, education, health, safety, economy as well as infrastructure and pollution. We then combined these categories to construct an “Overall City Services” ranking against which we measured the cities’ total per-capita budgets in order to reveal their budgeting efficiency. Continue reading below for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
Boise came in at the top spot this year, with Nampa also taking the second spot.