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Best-run cities in America

  • Best-run cities in America
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    Best-run cities in America

    Cities and towns throughout the United States vary drastically in terms of how well they are managed and operated on a daily and yearly basis. Cities that work efficiently and effectively usually have stronger economies, lower crime rates, and higher median annual incomes.

    Some of the best-run American cities, such as Boston or Huntington Beach, offer opportunities for economic growth and education, which in turn increases the quality of services and quality of life for their residents. These best-run cities also tend to attract young professionals and older, more experienced professionals looking to start or advance their careers.

    Stacker's list of the top 50 best-run U.S. cities uses data from WalletHub's Best- and Worst-Run Cities in America, published on July 1, 2019. Factors used to determine the overall quality of city services rank and score consist of weighted average scores in six key categories, including financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, as well as infrastructure and pollution. Scores for each of the six categories were evaluated based on 37 relevant metrics like average life expectancy, violent crime rate, quality of roads, and Moody's city credit rating, and each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 points representing the highest quality of service for each metric. The final score was also out of 100 points.

    This gallery ranks each city by their total quality of city service score and excludes total budget per capita data. A deeper dive into WalletHub's full methodology can be found here. While no city reached 100 points, the #1 city on Stacker's list received a score of 71.19 and #50 city received 56.95 points.

    Click through to learn more about America's best-run cities.

    You may also like: Major cities with the easiest and worst commutes

  • #50. Manchester, NH
    2/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. Manchester, NH

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.40
    - Financial stability rank: #101
    - Education rank: #126
    - Health rank: #62
    - Safety rank: #27
    - Economy rank: #69
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #17

    The city of Manchester, known as New Hampshire's business capital, is led by Manchester native Mayor Joyce Craig. This city ranks relatively high in health and safety and also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

  • #49. Yonkers, NY
    3/ June Marie Sobrito // Shutterstock

    #49. Yonkers, NY

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.55
    - Financial stability rank: #135
    - Education rank: #87
    - Health rank: #6
    - Safety rank: #3
    - Economy rank: #120
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #111

    Yonkers, N.Y., ranks highly in safety; the police department is reportedly diligent, which has contributed to the city's decreasing crime rate. The council consists of six district members and the council president.

  • #48. Nampa, ID
    4/ Tamanoeconomico // Wikimedia Commons

    #48. Nampa, ID

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.59
    - Financial stability rank: #82
    - Education rank: #123
    - Health rank: #68
    - Safety rank: #32
    - Economy rank: #20
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #51

    While Nampa, Idaho, ranks #1 in total budget per capita, its overall ranking is brought down by its quality of services, ranked #48. The Idaho Statesman reports that government employees receive an average hourly wage of $24.15, which is just under the average for government employees across the nation.

  • #47. Las Vegas, NV
    5/ Dietmar Rabich // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. Las Vegas, NV

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.64
    - Financial stability rank: #96
    - Education rank: #68
    - Health rank: #80
    - Safety rank: #65
    - Economy rank: #44
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #14

    The Las Vegas City Council has come up with a unique way to help provide school supplies for public schools: allowing traffic offenders to pay their ticket by donating new, unopened school supplies to the Parking Service Office, for a limited time (until July 19, 2019). The City Council is notable for being both fully staffed and mostly women; in July, the group brought on its first openly gay council member as well as its first two Latina council members.

  • #46. Washington, DC
    6/ Pxhere

    #46. Washington, DC

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.67
    - Financial stability rank: #45
    - Education rank: #83
    - Health rank: #118
    - Safety rank: #66
    - Economy rank: #93
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #4

    Washington D.C.'s City Council has recently made headlines for its longest-serving council member, Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), whose ethics have been called into question. In June 2019, the Washington Post published an internal memo from the city after Evans was found using his influence on the Metro board when courting prospective employers. The council is requesting Evan's removal as chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, as well as calling for further investigation into possible conflicts of interest.

  • #45. Aurora, CO
    7/ Jeffrey Beale // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Aurora, CO

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.81
    - Financial stability rank: #44
    - Education rank: #117
    - Health rank: #28
    - Safety rank: #50
    - Economy rank: #23
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #125

    The city council of Aurora, Colo., operates under a council and manager form of government, which combines elected officials and professionally trained government managers to run the city. Aurora ranks high in economy, and this city continues to invest in and develop its community.

  • #44. Denver, CO
    8/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #44. Denver, CO

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.95
    - Financial stability rank: #40
    - Education rank: #143
    - Health rank: #29
    - Safety rank: #51
    - Economy rank: #32
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #86

    Like so many boom-and-bust Western towns, Denver has seen its highs and lows. Its current high, driven by rapid population growth and a bulletproof job market, has lasted well over a decade, and its high ranking on this list is a testament to continued opportunities luring jobseekers from across the U.S. A diverse economy and tax base with highly skilled workers and a well-managed city budget, led by Mayor Michael Hancock and a 13-member city council, help keep the city in solid financial standing. With an abysmal 80% high-school graduation rate, however, education funding lags in Denver and across Colorado with per-pupil spending of $9,575 well below the national average of $11,762.

  • #43. Arlington, TX
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    #43. Arlington, TX

    - Overall quality of city services score: 55.96
    - Financial stability rank: #56
    - Education rank: #16
    - Health rank: #85
    - Safety rank: #44
    - Economy rank: #27
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #130

    An integral part of the booming “Mid-Cities” region comprising the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, Arlington hosts a diverse economy of oil and gas, retail, health care, and agriculture that keeps the unemployment rate at 3.5%, almost a half-point below the national average. Mayor Jeff Williams and eight city council members preside over a balanced city budget, a low crime rate, and an excellent school system. The city's growing pollution problem, however, has garnered unfavorable comparisons to Los Angeles for thick smog emanating from tailpipe emissions and nearby oil refineries.

  • #42. Burlington, VT
    10/ Erika J Mitchell // Shutterstock

    #42. Burlington, VT

    - Overall quality of city services score: 56.00
    - Financial stability rank: #132
    - Education rank: #20
    - Health rank: #39
    - Safety rank: #9
    - Economy rank: #106
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #11

    The city council of Burlington, Vt., consists of eight ward members and four district members as well as a finance board. This city also has a health board that's responsible for educating the city citizens; the health board promotes, improves, and protects residents' health and well-being and actively contributes to building a healthy community and environment. 

  • #41. El Paso, TX
    11/ Frontpage // Shutterstock

    #41. El Paso, TX

    - Overall quality of city services score: 56.73
    - Financial stability rank: #86
    - Education rank: #19
    - Health rank: #38
    - Safety rank: #11
    - Economy rank: #77
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #123

    The council of El Paso, Texas, consists of eight district members and one mayor. Despite its proximity to the Mexican border, El Paso has lower violent crime and property crime rates than similarly sized metropolitan areas, which explains why this city ranks highly in safety.

  • #40. Minneapolis, MN
    12/ melissamn // Shutterstock

    #40. Minneapolis, MN

    - Overall quality of city services score: 56.97
    - Financial stability rank: #52
    - Education rank: #144
    - Health rank: #18
    - Safety rank: #82
    - Economy rank: #42
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #9

    The city council of Minneapolis, Minn., is comprised of 13 council members and one mayor, and operates as an open government. This city's infrastructure has steadily increased over the years, with marked improvements in transit and ports, contributing to this city's high ranking in terms of infrastructure and pollution.

  • #39. Des Moines, IA
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    #39. Des Moines, IA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 57.10
    - Financial stability rank: #67
    - Education rank: #82
    - Health rank: #51
    - Safety rank: #58
    - Economy rank: #34
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #37

    Des Moines, Ill., has a strong job market and low cost of living, which attracts many young professionals to this area and contributes to the city's high ratings in education and economy. The city council consists of four ward members—two at-large members and one mayor.

  • #38. Santa Ana, CA
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    #38. Santa Ana, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 57.16
    - Financial stability rank: #112
    - Education rank: #35
    - Health rank: #4
    - Safety rank: #22
    - Economy rank: #52
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #140

    The Santa Ana City Council consists of one mayor and six council members, and one councilmember who is elected from the seated council mayor pro tem. The community development agency focuses on housing authority, which assists low-income families and individuals in finding healthy and safe homes. This initiative makes Santa Ana one of the safest and healthiest cities in the U.S. This city also has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the country.

  • #37. St. Paul, MN
    15/ Photo Image // Shutterstock

    #37. St. Paul, MN

    - Overall quality of city services score: 57.36
    - Financial stability rank: #27
    - Education rank: #142
    - Health rank: #71
    - Safety rank: #29
    - Economy rank: #88
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #31

    St. Paul is named the most livable city in America, and its rankings in almost all categories support that statement. With programs such as Human Resources and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO), which focuses on justice and equity in economic opportunities, and a nationally accredited public works department, St. Paul is a robust and healthy place to live and work.

  • #36. Charlotte, NC
    16/ digidreamgraphix // Shutterstock

    #36. Charlotte, NC

    - Overall quality of city services score: 57.53
    - Financial stability rank: #15
    - Education rank: #41
    - Health rank: #41
    - Safety rank: #83
    - Economy rank: #41
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #119

    Charlotte, N.C., has seen a recent increase in violent crime and homicide, with 60 murders in 2019 as of July 8. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney and district attorney Spencer Merriweather spoke at council meeting, calling on the community to teach young people to deal with conflict in a nonviolent way.

  • #35. Durham, NC
    17/ Selena N. B. H. // Flickr

    #35. Durham, NC

    - Overall quality of city services score: 57.91
    - Financial stability rank: #5
    - Education rank: #86
    - Health rank: #27
    - Safety rank: #70
    - Economy rank: #82
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #118

    The city council of Durham, N.C., comprises of three elected ward members, three at large members, and a mayor. Durham is very invested in its future and has many strategic plans to support the city in continuously developing and improving, such as its Capital Improvement Plan. The city focuses on shared economic prosperity, which reflects its #5 ranking for financial stability.

  • #34. Long Beach, CA
    18/ Don Ramey Logan // Wikimedia Commons

    #34. Long Beach, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 57.96
    - Financial stability rank: #83
    - Education rank: #12
    - Health rank: #12
    - Safety rank: #38
    - Economy rank: #80
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #124

    In June 2019, the Long Beach City Council unanimously voted to ban travel for official city business to Alabama and Georgia, until the cities revoke their abortion bans. Leading the agenda item, Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce said: “When we have states like these that have decided to try and roll back the efforts of so many before us, I felt, and I believe my colleagues felt, that it was necessary for Long Beach to take a stand and say that ‘We are a pro-choice city' and that we will send our resources where we see fit.”

  • #33. Tampa, FL
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    #33. Tampa, FL

    - Overall quality of city services score: 57.98
    - Financial stability rank: #38
    - Education rank: #77
    - Health rank: #77
    - Safety rank: #45
    - Economy rank: #31
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #47

    The council of the city of Tampa consists of seven members from the seven districts of Tampa and is a combination of at-large elections and individual elections. This city experienced a spike in young professionals living in the area, which contributes to its relatively high ranking for financial stability and economy.

  • #32. Miami, FL
    20/ James Willamor // Flickr

    #32. Miami, FL

    - Overall quality of city services score: 58.01
    - Financial stability rank: #93
    - Education rank: #13
    - Health rank: #16
    - Safety rank: #87
    - Economy rank: #102
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #10

    Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is part of the World Resources Institute's Global Commission on Adaptation, a group of 28 leaders representing 17 countries that face the highest risk of being forced to relocate due to rising sea-levels. The commission, which includes Bill Gates and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, aims to proactively prepare for climate change effects.

  • #31. Grand Rapids, MI
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    #31. Grand Rapids, MI

    - Overall quality of city services score: 58.11
    - Financial stability rank: #73
    - Education rank: #50
    - Health rank: #50
    - Safety rank: #39
    - Economy rank: #39
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #34

    The Grand Rapids council consists of seven elected officials, including the city's first female mayor as of 2016. This city has a lower than average crime rate, which reflects in its relatively high ranking in safety. While this city hasn't always been safe, over the years the strengthening police department has been able to decrease crime rates significantly.

  • #30. Eugene, OR
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    #30. Eugene, OR

    - Overall quality of city services score: 58.34
    - Financial stability rank: #28
    - Education rank: #89
    - Health rank: #91
    - Safety rank: #52
    - Economy rank: #76
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #2

    The council of the city of Eugene consists of a mayor and eight elected council members from each of the city's eight wards. City council meetings include a public forum for residents to express concerns they'd like to council to address. The median age of this city is 34, which may contribute to the high rank of financial stability within this city.

  • #29. Hialeah, FL
    23/ Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. Hialeah, FL

    - Overall quality of city services score: 58.59
    - Financial stability rank: #128
    - Education rank: #4
    - Health rank: #21
    - Safety rank: #24
    - Economy rank: #78
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #89

    A city suburb northwest of Miami, seven elected city council members and a mayor set the legislative agenda and manage the city budget. Hialeah enjoys a low crime rate and a healthy population, yet a median income lower than the rest of the state and low consumer savings drags down the financial stability and economy rankings. Home to an excellent school system, both of the city's high schools routinely appear on “best of” lists, including the U.S. News & World Report's Best Public High Schools.

  • #28. Chesapeake, VA
    24/ Nicole R Young // Shutterstock

    #28. Chesapeake, VA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 58.65
    - Financial stability rank: #21
    - Education rank: #22
    - Health rank: #117
    - Safety rank: #19
    - Economy rank: #33
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #116

    Chesapeake focuses significant attention on economic development and is a stable location to open and develop a business, making this city ranked #19 and #15 in financial stability and economy, respectively.

  • #27. Anaheim, CA
    25/ Kit Leong // Shutterstock

    #27. Anaheim, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 58.69
    - Financial stability rank: #97
    - Education rank: #32
    - Health rank: #3
    - Safety rank: #23
    - Economy rank: #64
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #138

    The city council of Anaheim, Calif., comprises six council members and a mayor. This city implements an active park capital improvements branch as part of the Anaheim Outdoors Connectivity Plan to encourage the development of parks and trails, as well as gyms and community centers.

  • #26. Aurora, IL
    26/ Eddie J. Rodriquez // Shutterstock

    #26. Aurora, IL

    - Overall quality of city services score: 59.19
    - Financial stability rank: #57
    - Education rank: #34
    - Health rank: #23
    - Safety rank: #4
    - Economy rank: #110
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #91

    The city council of Aurora comprises 12 officials, 10 elected ward members, two at-large members, and a mayor. This city ranks high in the education category due to accessibility to many distinguished educational institutions within Aurora.

  • #25. Frederick, MD
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    #25. Frederick, MD

    - Overall quality of city services score: 59.22
    - Financial stability rank: #41
    - Education rank: #7
    - Health rank: #75
    - Safety rank: #37
    - Economy rank: #72
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #97

    Frederick, Md., is in the process of implementing a 2030 Strategic Plan, that will establish future improvements to the city, determine budgeting and priorities for the government, and assign specific actions to city departments. The city council actively worked with the public to establish this strategic plan, and the mayor and council members strongly believe in creating a plan that reflects public priorities.

  • #24. Salt Lake City, UT
    28/ photo.ua // Shutterstock

    #24. Salt Lake City, UT

    - Overall quality of city services score: 59.41
    - Financial stability rank: #10
    - Education rank: #147
    - Health rank: #73
    - Safety rank: #96
    - Economy rank: #3
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #6

    Salt Lake City's city council consists of seven council members and Mayor Jackie Biskupski. Salt Lake City has established itself as a secure center for building and growing businesses locally, nationally, and globally. This focus on business development and economic growth helps set Salt Lake City at #10 for financial stability.

  • #23. Cedar Rapids, IA
    29/ Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

    #23. Cedar Rapids, IA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 59.88
    - Financial stability rank: #30
    - Education rank: #100
    - Health rank: #34
    - Safety rank: #34
    - Economy rank: #12
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #82

    Cedar Rapids operates under a council-manager government with a nine-member part-time city council. Cedar Rapids has one of the most economically diverse cities in the Midwest with affordable land and low business costs. 

  • #22. Charleston, SC
    30/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    #22. Charleston, SC

    - Overall quality of city services score: 60.63
    - Financial stability rank: #16
    - Education rank: #58
    - Health rank: #32
    - Safety rank: #64
    - Economy rank: #56
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #28

    Charleston, S.C., has an active planning, preservation, and sustainability department within its city government. The city has many initiatives involving renewable energy, compost projects, and opposition to offshore drilling to help Charleston become sustainable and resilient.

  • #21. Raleigh, NC
    31/ ESBprofessional // Shutterstock

    #21. Raleigh, NC

    - Overall quality of city services score: 61.15
    - Financial stability rank: #13
    - Education rank: #61
    - Health rank: #33
    - Safety rank: #20
    - Economy rank: #68
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #66

    The city council of Raleigh consists of seven council members and one mayor, Nancy McFarlane. Raleigh's Strategic Plan focuses on improving everything from arts and cultural resources to economic development and transportation.

  • #20. Portland, OR
    32/ tusharkoley // Shutterstock

    #20. Portland, OR

    - Overall quality of city services score: 61.22
    - Financial stability rank: #18
    - Education rank: #37
    - Health rank: #36
    - Safety rank: #80
    - Economy rank: #70
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #5

    The City of Portland Oregon consists of many different bureaus and offices, most notably its environmental services bureau. This bureau aims to clean rivers surrounding this city as well as provide access and means to create environmentally conscious building initiatives and structures. 

  • #19. San Francisco, CA
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    #19. San Francisco, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 61.50
    - Financial stability rank: #45
    - Education rank: #63
    - Health rank: #1
    - Safety rank: #84
    - Economy rank: #15
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #38

    San Francisco has the lowest infant mortality rate in the United States and has many programs through its public health department that puts this city at #1 for health. From mental health to physical therapy to emergency services, San Francisco is actively pursuing new technologies to keep both its residents and the environment healthy. This city also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States.

  • #18. Nashua, NH
    34/ John Bilous // Shutterstock

    #18. Nashua, NH

    - Overall quality of city services score: 61.85
    - Financial stability rank: #51
    - Education rank: #113
    - Health rank: #69
    - Safety rank: #1
    - Economy rank: #28
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #39

    Nashua has an extremely active and strong police department that prioritizes community-oriented policing by working with the city's residents. The Nashua Police Department incorporates the use of its crime line, drug line, and citizen surveys to make this city one of the safest places to live.

  • #17. Sioux Falls, SD
    35/ Lost_in_the_Midwest // Shutterstock

    #17. Sioux Falls, SD

    - Overall quality of city services score: 61.95
    - Financial stability rank: #26
    - Education rank: #54
    - Health rank: #53
    - Safety rank: #30
    - Economy rank: #4
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #69

    Sioux Falls has a robust financial mission statement based on the principle of wise investment of tax dollars. The city focuses its investments on improving its community by actively looking for talented individuals to recruit to their financial services, building infrastructure to enhance its residents' quality of life, and enhancing its financial position.

  • #16. New York, NY
    36/ Jörg Schubert // Flickr

    #16. New York, NY

    - Overall quality of city services score: 62.07
    - Financial stability rank: #80
    - Education rank: #60
    - Health rank: #15
    - Safety rank: #5
    - Economy rank: #114
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #26

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is one of the most well-known mayors in the United States because of his strong stances and directives over this bustling city. With a mighty police department and strict rules and regulations regarding public and private safety, this city ranks #5 in terms of safety.

  • #15. Seattle, WA
    37/ emperorcosar // Shutterstock

    #15. Seattle, WA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 62.14
    - Financial stability rank: #31
    - Education rank: #30
    - Health rank: #7
    - Safety rank: #74
    - Economy rank: #29
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #36

    The city council of Seattle comprises of nine elected officials and one mayor. Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment is very active in promoting healthy individuals for a healthy community and environment. From buildings and energy to trees and green spaces, Seattle is helping to pave the path for environmental and social justice.

  • #14. Lincoln, NE
    38/ Danita Delmont // Shutterstock

    #14. Lincoln, NE

    - Overall quality of city services score: 62.41
    - Financial stability rank: #12
    - Education rank: #47
    - Health rank: #42
    - Safety rank: #18
    - Economy rank: #49
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #76

    Lincoln, Neb., has an active and public police department, with open access to city-wide data and statistics. From daily call summaries to crime alerts to a crime mapping website, the Lincoln Police Department is one of the strongest in the nation, putting this city at #18 in its safety ranking.

  • #13. Portland, ME
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    #13. Portland, ME

    - Overall quality of city services score: 62.46
    - Financial stability rank: #39
    - Education rank: #21
    - Health rank: #30
    - Safety rank: #26
    - Economy rank: #75
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #29

    Portland has established a smart cities initiative to make its community an innovation center, improve people's lives, and build a more efficient communication platform between the government its people. Several infrastructures were enhanced through this initiative, including implementing LED streetlights, smart traffic signals, and public Wi-Fi.

  • #12. Madison, WI
    40/ Joe Ferer // Shutterstock

    #12. Madison, WI

    - Overall quality of city services score: 63.66
    - Financial stability rank: #7
    - Education rank: #92
    - Health rank: #10
    - Safety rank: #16
    - Economy rank: #61
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #81

    Madison ranks highly in the financial stability category and is a sizeable city with a great deal of opportunity for business development, through sustainability and economic development projects. The city council consists of 20 district council members and one mayor that oversees many different aspects of this vast and influential city.

  • #11. San Jose, CA
    41/ Sundry Photography // Shutterstock

    #11. San Jose, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 64.03
    - Financial stability rank: #59
    - Education rank: #11
    - Health rank: #2
    - Safety rank: #25
    - Economy rank: #9
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #120

    San Jose has a solid economic development program that promotes competition to increase prosperity and quality of life for its residents and businesses. These actions have led this city to be ranked #9 in the economy category. Similarly, San Jose's environmental service department is leading the city in becoming more 'climate-smart' by providing green tips and resources to its community, resulting in a high score in the health category.

  • #10. Austin, TX
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    #10. Austin, TX

    - Overall quality of city services score: 64.10
    - Financial stability rank: #23
    - Education rank: #6
    - Health rank: #17
    - Safety rank: #42
    - Economy rank: #19
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #57

    Austin, Texas, has one of the highest median annual household incomes in the United States, putting this city at #19 in economy rankings and #6 in education rankings. Many new and established businesses have flocked to this city for its affordable living and quality of life. Austin is known for its quality education, with over 200 public and private schools and a few highly regarded universities.

  • #9. Boston, MA
    43/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    #9. Boston, MA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 64.21
    - Financial stability rank: #3
    - Education rank: #149
    - Health rank: #19
    - Safety rank: #10
    - Economy rank: #60
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #3

    The city council of Boston comprises of 13 councilors and one mayor. Many programs through the city's economic development department have been established to increase opportunities for innovation, growth, and prosperity. Many new and old businesses have established themselves in Boston, a city regarded as a place with strong financial ties and numerous national and global headquarters.

  • #8. San Diego, CA
    44/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    #8. San Diego, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 64.25
    - Financial stability rank: #90
    - Education rank: #8
    - Health rank: #13
    - Safety rank: #17
    - Economy rank: #45
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #16

    San Diego ranks fairly high in the education category and has proven to be open to its communities and their needs. The San Diego County Office of Education runs a diverse set of educational programs and schools with specific needs, such as schools serving children impacted by homelessness and schools tailored to students with multiple medical or learning disabilities.

  • #7. Bismarck, ND
    45/ Ace Diamond // Shutterstock

    #7. Bismarck, ND

    - Overall quality of city services score: 64.27
    - Financial stability rank: #29
    - Education rank: #42
    - Health rank: #25
    - Safety rank: #15
    - Economy rank: #26
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #59

    Bismarck, N.D., received the All-America City Award in 1997, which recognizes civic excellence in which citizens, government, businesses, and organizations work together to address critical local issues. Council and department members focus on issues surrounding health, both within the community population and the community environment, to improve the quality of life for residents.

  • #6. Fargo, ND
    46/ Guy RD // Shutterstock

    #6. Fargo, ND

    - Overall quality of city services score: 65.10
    - Financial stability rank: #47
    - Education rank: #9
    - Health rank: #26
    - Safety rank: #21
    - Economy rank: #10
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #21

    The City of Fargo, N.D., has one of the best elementary and secondary education systems in the United States, putting this city at #11 in the education category. The percentage of people living in Fargo who have more than a high school education is above the national average, and the city places a significant emphasis on its educational services.

  • #5. Fremont, CA
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    #5. Fremont, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 65.27
    - Financial stability rank: #108
    - Education rank: #2
    - Health rank: #11
    - Safety rank: #14
    - Economy rank: #1
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #127

    The city council of Fremont, Calif., comprises of six council members and a mayor. The city council focuses specifically on budgeting and economic prosperity for this city, which relates to Fremont's ranking of #1 in the economy category. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, this city is the spot to start and grow a company.

  • #4. Boise, ID
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    #4. Boise, ID

    - Overall quality of city services score: 65.34
    - Financial stability rank: #17
    - Education rank: #43
    - Health rank: #24
    - Safety rank: #12
    - Economy rank: #8
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #52

    Boise has a mayor-council form of government, in which the mayor works full-time and only votes in case of a tie and six council members who work part-time. This council has established many initiatives, such as Boise's Energy Future, which states that the city is committed to having all city-owned properties be net-zero energy efficient by 2040.

  • #3. Virginia Beach, VA
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    #3. Virginia Beach, VA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 68.60
    - Financial stability rank: #8
    - Education rank: #3
    - Health rank: #43
    - Safety rank: #6
    - Economy rank: #46
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #74

    Virginia Beach has one of the lowest poverty and violent crime rates in the nation. The city is also ranked in the top five for highest median annual household income, specifically with its multiple committees to create and develop economic and business opportunity locally, nationally, and globally.

  • #2. Provo, UT
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    #2. Provo, UT

    - Overall quality of city services score: 69.23
    - Financial stability rank: #20
    - Education rank: #145
    - Health rank: #44
    - Safety rank: #2
    - Economy rank: #2
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #7

    Provo, Utah, has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the United States, placing this city at #2 in the safety rankings. This city offers numerous opportunities for the police department, both for new and veteran officers, to grow and to serve. Provo is also known for its location to start a business and raise a family; thus, safety is a strong focus for this community.

  • #1. Huntington Beach, CA
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    #1. Huntington Beach, CA

    - Overall quality of city services score: 71.07
    - Financial stability rank: #36
    - Education rank: #1
    - Health rank: #5
    - Safety rank: #7
    - Economy rank: #16
    - Infrastructure and pollution rank: #132

    Huntington Beach, Calif., known for its surf beaches, is ranked the best-run city in America. With its fresh air and active community, this city ranks #5 in health. It also has an engaging business development office that focuses on promoting the city's economic and business environment. The city ranks #1 in education and has over 50 private and public schools.

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