Best State Capitals To Live In

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Best State Capitals To Live In –

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2018’s Best State Capitals to Live in

Feb 20, 2018  |  Adam McCann, Financial Writer

State capitals aren’t just for lawmaking. Often, they’re thriving cities with a lot of economic and cultural value. In fact, they can be some of the best places to live in America. But not all state capitals are created equal. And though 17 of them are the largest cities in their states, the biggest population doesn’t always represent the best quality of life. Some have rampant poverty problems. For example, over 30% of the population of Harford, CT lives in poverty, compared to 12.7% of the entire United States.

In order to determine which state capitals make the best homes, WalletHub compared all 50 across 51 key indicators of affordability, economic strength, quality of education and health, and overall living standards. Our data set ranges from cost of living to K–12 school-system quality to number of attractions. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.

Source: WalletHub
3METHODOLOGY

Main Findings

Best State Capitals

Overall Rank
(1=Best)
City State Capital Index ‘Affordability’ Rank ‘Economic Well-Being’ Rank ‘Quality of Education & Health’ Rank ‘Quality of Life’ Rank
1 Austin, TX 67.73 7 3 2 4
2 Madison, WI 64.67 26 6 1 5
3 Boise, ID 63.15 8 11 8 9
4 Lincoln, NE 63.03 9 8 4 18
5 Bismarck, ND 61.63 3 1 21 36
6 Raleigh, NC 60.89 4 10 16 23
7 Denver, CO 60.53 41 7 12 3
8 Salt Lake City, UT 60.47 16 12 11 11
9 Juneau, AK 58.27 15 2 17 37
10 Concord, NH 58.25 6 13 22 31
11 Columbus, OH 58.19 12 30 23 10
12 Helena, MT 58.06 19 9 10 33
13 Olympia, WA 57.10 25 22 7 21
14 Oklahoma City, OK 56.48 2 14 36 24
15 St. Paul, MN 55.83 34 24 9 20
16 Cheyenne, WY 55.82 1 4 39 43
17 Montpelier, VT 55.76 30 20 3 28
18 Pierre, SD 55.39 13 17 19 34
19 Des Moines, IA 55.33 11 36 20 29
20 Phoenix, AZ 55.16 22 25 25 15
21 Atlanta, GA 55.11 29 42 15 7
22 Nashville, TN 54.56 20 15 33 16
23 Annapolis, MD 53.34 31 32 18 22
24 Jefferson City, MO 53.31 10 16 38 41
25 Salem, OR 53.28 38 18 13 27
26 Santa Fe, NM 53.27 31 21 30 17
27 Sacramento, CA 53.00 43 26 26 8
28 Honolulu, HI 53.00 50 5 5 1
29 Springfield, IL 52.90 5 23 37 40
30 Boston, MA 51.33 49 29 6 2
31 Albany, NY 51.21 45 39 14 12
32 Columbia, SC 49.97 33 43 27 19
33 Tallahassee, FL 49.95 37 40 24 26
34 Topeka, KS 49.61 17 28 34 46
35 Lansing, MI 49.41 21 34 32 39
36 Richmond, VA 48.07 42 41 44 6
37 Augusta, ME 47.91 40 27 28 42
38 Indianapolis, IN 45.66 27 46 42 30
39 Frankfort, KY 44.75 14 37 48 45
40 Harrisburg, PA 44.68 39 48 40 14
41 Dover, DE 44.49 28 38 43 48
42 Little Rock, AR 44.28 23 33 45 47
43 Charleston, WV 43.94 18 31 46 50
44 Baton Rouge, LA 43.15 36 35 49 32
45 Carson City, NV 43.08 46 19 41 49
46 Providence, RI 42.17 47 47 29 13
47 Montgomery, AL 40.52 24 44 50 38
48 Jackson, MS 40.43 35 45 47 44
49 Hartford, CT 38.72 48 49 31 25
50 Trenton, NJ 38.70 44 50 35 35

Artwork-2018-Best-and-Worst-State-Capitals-v1

https://wallethub.com/edu/best-state-capitals/19030/?utm_source=RECON&utm_campaign=49665e2a7f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b815716265-49665e2a7f-67126061

Ask the Experts

Living in a state capital offers many perks, but there are tradeoffs as well. For more insight, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks to living in a state’s capital city?
  2. In evaluating the best state capitals to live in, what are the top five indicators?
  3. How does exempting government buildings from local property taxes affect the fiscal well-being of capital cities?
  4. Are residents of capital cities more likely to be politically engaged, all else equal?

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