- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 30, 2022

A recent study determined that D.C. is the worst-run city in the country.

WalletHub looked at the 150 most populous cities in the U.S. to evaluate how efficiently city leaders manage public funds.

The finance website compared the quality of services its residents receive against the city’s total budget per capita.

At the other extreme, Nampa, Idaho, received the highest score for total budget per capita and was named the survey’s best-run city. 

Some of the other best-run cities, according to WalletHub, were neighboring Boise (2nd), Fort Wayne, Indiana (3rd), Nashua, New Hampshire (4th) and Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky (5th).

Joining D.C. in the bottom five were San Francisco (149th), New York City (148th), Chattanooga, Tennessee (147th) and Cleveland (146th).

While D.C.’s services landed at a respectable score of 55th, how it managed its total budget ranked dead last at 150th. 

The District was a mixed bag in terms of the six main categories that WalletHub’s team looked at — financial stability (41st), education (84th), health (57th), safety (73rd), economy (131st) and infrastructure and pollution (20th). 

The study also took into account 38 metrics with various weights spread across those six key categories, but the report didn’t specify what about D.C.’s handling of its budget caused it to have a particularly low score. 

“The metrics used do not create a disadvantage for DC, despite its unusual status as a city/state, with the exception of the Outstanding Long-Term Debt per Capita metric,” the team wrote, referencing one metric that D.C. was tied for last in, along with San Francisco, New York City, Atlanta and Nashville. “However, even with that metric removed, DC still ranks last.”

D.C. was also in the bottom five for high school graduation rate, ranking 145th overall — but again, graduation rate didn’t receive any added weight in the study.

Some of the metrics that received greater weight in the study were the violent and property crime rates, the unemployment rate, the annual job growth rate, median annual household income and K-12 school system quality.

The release of this study comes nearly four years after WalletHub, which itself is based in the District, declared D.C. was the worst-run city in the U.S., according to WJLA-TV, D.C.’s local ABC affiliate.

Back then, WalletHub ranked D.C.’s quality of services far lower — ending up at 90th overall — with education earning a 136th ranking and health a 124th ranking, to name its two lowest.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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