Atlanta ranked No. 62 on Best- and Worst-Run Cities list from WalletHub

Atlanta, Georgia (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

The personal finance website WalletHub has unveiled its rankings of the Best- and Worst-Run Cities in America for 2024.

To assess the effectiveness of local leadership, WalletHub analyzed 148 of the largest U.S. cities based on their operating efficiency. Each city received a "Quality of City Services" score, which was derived from 36 key performance indicators grouped into six service categories. This score was then compared to the city’s total per-capita budget.

Managing a large city presents significant challenges. Local leaders must balance the diverse interests of the public with limited resources. They face tough decisions about which services are most essential, which agencies’ budgets to adjust, and how much to levy in local taxes, among other considerations.

The six categories:

Financial stability - Total points: 16.67

  • Financial Stability looked at Moody's City Credit Rating and Outstanding Long-Term Debt per Capita.

Education - Total points: 16.67

  • Education looked at K-12 School System Quality and High School Graduation Rate.

Health - Total points: 16.67

  • Health looked at Infant Mortality Rate, Average Life Expectancy in Years, Hospital beds per Capita, and Quality of Public Hospital System.

Safety - Total points: 16.67

  • Safety looked at Violent Crime Rate, Property Crime Rate, Motor Vehicle Fatalities per Capita, Share of Sheltered Homeless Persons, and Perception of Safety.

Economy - Total points: 16.67

  • Economy looked at Unemployment Rate, Underemployment Rate, Median Annual Household Income, Median Annual Income Growth Rate, Annual Job Growth Rate, Share of Population Living in Poverty, Growth in Number of Businesses, Change in Housing Prices, Zillow Home Value 1-year Forecast, Building-Permit Growth.

Infrastructure and pollution - Total points: 16.67

  • Infrastructure & Pollution looked at Quality of Roads, Average Commute Time, Transit Access Shed, Traffic Congestion, Walk Score, Bike Score, Transit Score, Recreation-Friendliness, Share of Residents with Access to Internet, Water Quality, Air Pollution, Greenhouse-Gas Emissions per Capita, and Share of Parkland.

Atlanta ranked 62nd overall:

  • Financial Stability Rank: 79
  • Education Rank: 93
  • Health Rank: 85
  • Safety Rank: 119
  • Economy Rank: 3
  • Infrastructure Rank: 32
Source: WalletHub

Top 10 Best-Run Cities

  1. Nampa, Indiana
  2. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  3. Boise, Idaho
  4. Nashua, New Hampshire
  5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  6. Durham, North Carolina
  7. Provo, Utah
  8. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  9. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  10. Wichita, Kansas

Top 10 Worst-Run Cities

  1. Los Angeles, California
  2. Detroit, Michigan
  3. Denver, Colorado
  4. Tacoma, Washington
  5. Cleveland, Ohio
  6. Flint, Michigan
  7. New York, New York
  8. Gulfport, Mississippi
  9. Oakland, California
  10. San Francisco, California

Best vs. Worst

  • Nampa, Idaho: Lowest long-term debt outstanding per capita, 57.5 times lower than San Francisco, California, which has the highest.
  • Warwick, Rhode Island: Fewest violent crimes per 1,000 residents, 31.9 times fewer than Memphis, Tennessee, which has the most.
  • Miami and Hialeah, Florida: Lowest unemployment rate, 6.4 times lower than Flint, Michigan, which has the highest.
  • Fremont, California: Lowest share of the population living in poverty, 6.3 times lower than Flint, Michigan, which has the highest.

Other Georgia ranking stories

These rankings highlight the varying degrees of success cities have in managing their resources and providing services to their residents.