People, places, politics, policies … with so many components to manage and mind, running a city is no small feat. And the bigger the town, naturally, the more tricky a task it becomes. But doing it effectively helps keep current residents happy while attracting new ones to the fold.
But how can we measure the effectiveness of local leadership? WalletHub  wondered that very thing and set about finding out. One way, it realized, is by figuring out a city’s operating efficiency. “In other words, we can learn how well city officials manage and spend public funds by comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget,” it said.
To that end, WalletHub examined the operating efficiency of 150 of the nation’s largest cities to sleuth out which ones are managed best (and, alternatively, the worst). The company created a so-called “Quality of City Services” (QCS) score composed of 35 metrics assembled into six service categories (financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and politics), which it then weighed against the city’s per-capita budget.
The best-run city in America, according to the list? Nampa, Idaho, with a QCS score of 70 and a “Total Budget Per Capita” (TBPC) rank of one. Slotting in at No. 2 with a QCS rank of nine and a TBPC rank of two is Provo, Utah. Boise, Idaho, nabbed No. 3, with a QCS score of five and a TBPC score of three. At fourth spot, Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky, raked in a 63 ranking for its QCS and a four for its TBPC. Finishing out the top five, Missoula, Montana, earned an 80 in QCS and a TBPC of five.
As for the worst-run on WalletHub’s ranking, Gulfport, Mississippi, reeled in spot No. 146, with a QCS of 133 and a TBPC of 145. San Francisco is No. 147, with a QCS of 21 and a TBPC of 149. New York, New York, is 148, with a QCS of 36 and a TBPC of 148, while Detroit, Michigan, ranked 149, with a 150 QCS and a 121 TBPC.
Which locale on the list earned the dubious distinction of worst-run? Our nation’s capital, WalletHub reports. Washington, D.C., charted a Quality of City Services rank of 90 and a Total Budget Per Capita rank of 150.