State capitals can be some of the best cities to live in, provided you know which state capital provides the best economic and cultural value.
According to a study by WalletHub that ranked the best capitals to live in, though 17 state capitals in the U.S. are the largest cities within their respective states, the biggest population doesn't necessarily translate to the best quality of life. Perhaps that's the reason that Austin, Texas, was ranked first on this list for its overall livability, earning a score of 67.23 on the state capital index.
For the rankings, WalletHub compared all 50 state capitals across 54 key indicators of affordability, economic well-being, quality of education and health, and quality of life.
While Austin ranked among the top 20 in terms of affordability, it received top marks for economic well being as well as the quality of education and health and quality of life. Boise, Idaho, with an overall score of 64.78, was ranked second, followed by Raleigh, North Carolina (64.52); Madison, Wisconsin (63.57); and Lincoln, Nebraska (62.67). Bismarck, North Dakota; Concord New Hampshire; Denver, Colorado; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Des Moines, Iowa also ranked among the top 10 state capitals.
In fact, Des Moines was the only state capital among the top 10 that also earned a top ranking for affordable housing, coming in fourth after Jefferson City, Missouri; Pierre, South Dakota; and Topeka, Kansas. Springfield, Illinois was ranked fifth for most affordable housing even though it was at the 30th spot in the overall rankings.
Boston, Massachusetts, and Honolulu, Hawaii, tied for a spot for state capitals with the least affordable housing. They were joined by Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; and Richmond, Virginia.
Three of the state capitals that were among the top 10 in the overall rankings were also ranked high for cities with the highest median household income. While Juneau, Alaska, got the top spot in this list, Cheyenne, Wyoming; Raleigh, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Bismarck, North Dakota, were among the top five cities on this list. Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Honolulu, Hawaii; Trenton, New Jersey; and Jackson, Mississippi, were among the cities with the lowest household income.
Click here for the full rankings.