Durham, North Carolina might be most well-known as the home of Duke University, but it's also drawing attention to itself for being such a well-run city. It comes in at number 10 on the list for best-run cities. While they only ranked 51 (out of 150) for quality of services, they did much better with a ranking of 11th for money spent per citizen.
More specifically, Durham did great when it comes to financial stability with a ranking in the top three, and they also did decently in the economy category, where they came in at number 31. Their other categories weren't the worst, but they also were nothing to write home about.
Missoula, Montana might not be a huge, bustling metropolis, but it's still a decent place to live, considering they came in 9th for the best-run cities in America. Their quality of city services was middling with a rank of 50, but what really sets the place apart is its number 12 ranking for budget per capita.
When it comes to specific services, Missoula did best in terms of healthcare, coming in at number 13 on that list. Their rankings in the other service categories were much more middle-of-the-road, but the city's good budgeting practices helped bump them into the top 10 for the overall rankings.
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City did more than just "ok" when it comes to city management. Overall, they came in at number eight in the nation! However, their scores run the gamut—when it comes to city budget per capita, they did great with a ranking of number eight. On the other hand, their quality of services ranking was much lower at number 65.
In the more detailed breakdown of services, Oklahoma City had one great score, along with quite a few others that weren't as great. They broke into the top 10 for financial stability (#8), but their next-best score was for education, with a ranking of number 46. Everything else was downhill from there.
Las Cruces, NM
Las Cruces, New Mexico did great in the overall rankings by taking the number seven spot. However, like several others on this list, their individual scores varied wildly. The city is number five in the nation for spending per citizen, but they're also ranked 69th for their quality of services.
In the breakdown of services, Las Cruces doesn't have any particularly bright spots—their highest ranking was for financial stability, but they still were only 44th in the category. Despite the poor showing in service quality, they still rose to the top 10 thanks to that great budgeting score.
Lincoln, NE made it to number six in the overall rankings, and they did pretty darn well for both quality of services (#11) and spending per capita (#5). This makes them the first city in the overall top 10 to have rankings that don't diverge wildly.
When it comes to service specifics, Lincoln did best for financial stability with a ranking of number 14. However, their rankings for healthcare and education were also in the low 20s. Overall, it seems like the folks running this Nebraska town know what they're doing!
Lexington, KY made it into the top five for the overall city rankings, but that's a bit of a surprise when you look at the specifics. They came in at number six for budget per capita and 34th for quality of city services.
When it comes to specific services, Lexington did best for education, coming in at 25th. On the other hand, their worst score was for infrastructure and pollution, where they ranked number 125. These numbers aren't great, and the city was definitely saved thanks to its great budget per capita number.
Nashua, New Hampshire made it to number four in the overall rankings, and they have pretty consistent scores across the board. For both quality of services and budget per capita, the city ranked at number nine. It's a rarity on this list for a city to have such similar numbers for both categories.
In terms of service specifics, the city's numbers still look great. They actually took the number one spot for safety and also ranked highly for infrastructure and pollution, where they ranked number 15. Their weakest area was healthcare, where the city ranked number 74.
Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne, Indiana made it all the way to 3rd place in the overall city rankings. But, like many other cities on this list, their individual scores couldn't be much further apart! They did amazingly for budget per capita with a number two ranking, but for quality of services, they were all the way down at 62nd.
None of the city's specific services broke into the top 20, with their highest ranking being 28th place for safety. When it comes to infrastructure and pollution, Fort Wayne couldn't have done much worse since they ranked number 148 of 150.
Boise was so close to the top, but they didn't quite make it. The Idaho city ended up at number two in the nation in the overall rankings. They had fantastic scores in both categories, which makes them an outlier on this list. They came in at number three for both quality of services and spending per capita.
When it comes to specific services, Boise had three that broke into the top ten. They ranked 10th for healthcare, 8th for safety services, and 4th for economic services. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, and the city should be proud of what they have accomplished!
Nampa, Idaho is the best of the best when it comes to well-run American cities—even if you've never heard of this place! This small Idaho locale only has a little over 100,00 citizens and came in at number one in the overall rankings. Despite being number one overall, the city only ranked 21st for quality of services.
The service sector score that hurt the city the most was education, where they only ranked at number 87. However, they did much better in other areas like safety and economic services, placing 6th and 13th respectively.
Gulfport, Mississippi opens up the bottom ten as the 10th worst-run city in America. In neither of the two main categories for ranking did the city break the top 100—they ranked 101st for quality of city services and 145th for budget per capita.
In the breakdown of city services, Gulfport did pretty poorly. Their worst ranking came from financial stability, where they came in at number 127. However, the city did have one bright spot in the rankings—educational services. For that, they ranked 9th in the nation.
Hartford, Connecticut has the unfortunate distinction of being the 9th worst-run city in the United States. For both of the primary ranking categories, this New England town ranked at nearly the bottom of the list. They came in at number 144 for quality of city services and 131 for spending per capita.
When you look at the breakdown of Hartford's services, things don't get any better for the city. With rankings of 148th and 146th for financial stability and infrastructure and pollution, you can't do much worse than Hartford. Their best ranking came from healthcare services, but, even then, they only came in at number 52.
Regardless of this study, Oakland, California has never had a great reputation. So, it should come as no surprise that they ranked 8th worst in the nation when it comes to city government. They ranked 96th in terms of service quality and 147th for budget spending per capita.
However, the quality of specific services is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to Oakland. While they ranked poorly for educational services (86th) and safety services (135th), they did okay in others. For example, they ranked 17th in the nation when it comes to healthcare services.
It doesn't seem like Flint, Michigan can catch a break these days, and that goes for this list too. Probably surprising no one, they ranked as the seventh-worst run city in the United States. Neither of their main rankings looked good, with Flint coming in 146th for quality of services and 134th for budget per capita.
When it comes to the quality of specific services, they came in last in the nation for infrastructure and pollution, and most of their numbers are similarly low. However, in a surprising turn of events, they actually ranked 18th in the nation when it comes to financial stability.
Detroit may be the biggest city in Michigan but it's also one of the worst-run cities in the country. It comes in as the sixth-worst run city in the US. For quality of city services, Detroit comes in dead last at 150, while budget spending per capita is slightly better at number 99.
When it comes to quality of specific services, Detroit is ranked in the 140s for almost all of them. However, their worst score comes from financial stability, for which the city ranks 149th. Its "highest" ranking came from educational services, which come in at number 129.
Cleveland, Ohio opens up the bottom five, and things don't look good for this midwest metropolis. The city had a poor showing in both categories—with a rank of 145th for quality of city services and 137th for budget per capita.
When it comes to the quality of specific services, Cleveland has some of the worst numbers in the nation. The biggest disappointment comes from infrastructure and pollution, where the city ranks 148th. Their best rank came from healthcare services, but even then, they just placed 124th.
The views may be great from Chattanooga, Tennessee, but the view is much more grim from city hall! This southern city ranks as the fourth-worst run city in the United States. Chattanooga did poorly in both of the main ranking categories, placing 133rd for quality of city services and 146th for spending per capita.
When it comes to the quality of specific city services, Chattanooga has a bit of a spread. Their worst ranking was thanks to economic services, where they ranked 146th. However, their highest ranking, educational services, was a much more respectable 49th.
New York, NY
New York City has been known to have some pretty shady politicians and public servants, but it's still a bit shocking that the Big Apple ranks as the third-worst run city in the entire United States. Their rankings in the two primary categories couldn't be more different—they ranked 148th for budget per capita, but they also ranked 35th for quality of city services.
Despite that high ranking for quality of service, the rankings for specific services vary wildly. On the one hand, they ranked very highly for economic services, coming in at number 12. However, all their numbers aren't as rosy. Their worst ranking came from infrastructure and pollution, where they came in 135th.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is a beautiful city, but there's no denying that it's basically been run into the ground thanks to corruption and incompetence. It's not really surprising at all that they ranked as the second-worst run city in the nation. Their quality of services ranking (16th) is decent, but they also rank 149th for spending per capita.
When it comes to the quality of specific services, San Francisco does downright well in some categories. Their rankings in educational and healthcare services are 11th and 16th respectively, which isn't half bad. Their worst ranking comes from economic services, where they ranked 64th.
It's pretty disappointing (but not really surprising) that our nation's capital ranked as the number one worst-run city in America. When it comes to budget per capita, they ranked dead last at number 150. The quality of services ranking was slightly better at number 55.
When it comes to financial stability, Washington, DC does pretty well with a ranking of 41st. However, not all their numbers were that impressive. The city's worst category was pollution and infrastructure, where they ranked 131st. Overall, their numbers were bad enough to land them in last place!