Is your city back on the mend from the lockdowns? Keep reading.

With local governments helping their cities transition back to normalcy as COVID-19 cases decline, the personal-finance website WalletHub recently released its 2021’s Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America

To determine the effectiveness of local leadership, WalletHub compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities based on their operating efficiency. For each city, WalletHub constructed a “Quality of City Services” score – comprising 38 key performance indicators grouped into six service categories – that was then measured against the city’s total per-capita budget.

Top 20 Best-Run Cities in America
1. Nampa, ID 11. Raleigh, NC
2. Boise, ID 12. Missoula, MT
3. Fort Wayne, IN 13. Oklahoma City, OK
4. Nashua, NH 14. Manchester, NH
5. Lexington-Fayette, KY 15. Provo, UT
6. Lincoln, NE 16. Sioux Falls, SD
7. Durham, NC 17. Billings, MT
8. Rapid City, SD 18. Madison, WI
9. Las Cruces, NM 19. Chesapeake, VA
10. Virginia Beach, VA 20. Huntington Beach, CA

Best vs. Worst

  • Nampa, Idaho, has the lowest long-term debt outstanding per capita, $607, which is 36.5 times lower than in Washington, the city with the highest at $22,178.
  • Warwick, Rhode Island, has the fewest violent crimes (per 1,000 residents), 0.94, which is 20.9 times fewer than in Detroit, the city with the most at 19.65.
  • Provo, Utah, has the lowest unemployment rate, 2.10 percent, which is 6.6 times lower than in Hartford, Connecticut, the city with the highest at 13.90 percent.
  • Fremont, California, has the lowest share of the population living in poverty, 4.30 percent, which is nine times lower than in Flint, Michigan, the city with the highest at 38.80 percent.

Here’s more from the study:

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing U.S. cities today?

“The most important issues facing cities today are COVID-19, housing affordability, and crime. COVID-19 is still a major problem, but vaccinations are the clear solution. Cities need to continue encouraging vaccinations, including among hard-to-reach and otherwise reluctant populations,” according to John Winters, associate professor, Iowa State University.

What can citizens do to increase the transparency and accountability of local government?

“Public access channels on television contribute to transparency and accountability, well-advertised public meetings and hearings, and the revival of local newspapers with reporters who report on the day-to-day activity of local government would go a long way to increasing transparency and accountability. It is so unfortunate that so many local newspapers have gone out of business. And I do realize restoring local newspapers to a prominent role as local government watchdogs is unlikely. But I believe strongly in the printed press,” said Gary L. Rose, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of government, Sacred Heart University.

How can local policymakers reduce racial tensions in the wake of recent movements?

“The single most important factor for improving race relations is police reform. There is no magic formula, but there are some common-sense reforms that should be considered and rigorously evaluated. First, police forces are still unrepresentative of the populations they serve in many cities. Overall, that means many cities need more Black and Hispanic police officers. Second, there needs to be more transparency and oversight about police forces and police behavior,” Winters said.

“Sponsored public events such as fairs, public concerts, and other community-wide activities that bring whites and persons of color together as a community would be one way of reducing the tension. Racially diverse police forces would also be beneficial in many cities along with more persons of color elected to public office, particularly in urban areas,” Rose added.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit here.

Source: WalletHub