(The Center Square) – Lincoln, Neb., Scored well in a new study by WalletHub which ranks the best and least managed cities in the country.
The state capital and seat of the University of Nebraska came in at No.6. Two cities in Idaho, Nampa and Boise, took first and second places, respectively, while the other top five are Fort Wayne. , Ind., Nashua. , NH, and Lexington, Ky.
To determine its ranking, WalletHub looked at 150 of the country’s most populous cities in six categories: financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure and pollution.
They then assessed these areas using 38 metrics to calculate an overall âCity Service Qualityâ score based on each city’s weighted score for all metrics. The “quality of municipal services” was then divided by the “total budget per capita” of each city to construct a “score per dollar spent” to determine the final ranking.
Lincoln finished No. 8 overall for its âUrban Service Qualityâ ranking and No. 19 for its âTotal Per Capita Budgetâ.
“This year has been a real test of the effectiveness of local leadership, as city leaders have had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including by enforcing restrictions and helping to facilitate the distribution of the vaccine,” said Adam McCann, author of the study. âAs new cases of COVID-19 continue to decline, these leaders will be tasked with helping the return to normalcy go as smoothly as possible. “
One factor that has helped Lincoln score so well is its low unemployment rate. The city of 284,000 people is tied for first in this category with Provo, Utah, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nebraska’s overall unemployment rate of 2.8% is tied for the nation’s lowest with New Hampshire, South Dakota and Utah.
Lincoln also did well in education, with his high school graduation rate just over 93%.
Other metrics WalletHub looked at included a city’s credit rating, infant mortality rate, average life expectancy, and median annual household income.
Robert Eyler, associate vice president of government and regional relations at Sonoma State University, told WalletHub that there are three issues facing US cities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
âFirst, will business and leisure travelers return to cities? ” he said. âSecond, will major local employers with transferable jobs allow all workers to stay far enough away to change their investments in commercial real estate? And third, what will be the broader impacts on regional transportation, property and sales tax revenues, and rental prices if cities are slow to recover? “