WalletHub has released its list of 2017's Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America. Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Richmond, and Norfolk are included. Let's see how they rank.It's certainly not easy to run a large city, but some governments manage to do it better and more efficiently and effectively than others. WalletHub set out to see how 150 of the U.S.'s most populated cities are doing, ranking the best-run and worst-run cities based on their overall performance in six areas: financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure & pollution. Each one of those categories included multiple factors, such as unemployment rate, quality of roads, hospital beds per capita, etc. On the list of Best- & Worst-Run Cities, Virginia Beach did very well, coming in with an overall ranking of No. 17. Chesapeake came in at No. 38, Norfolk at No. 109, and Richmond at No. 125.
There are many factors that influence how well a city is run," said Terry Clower, the Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy & Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. "More importantly, it matters which type of activity you are considering in judging how well a city is run. For example, a city can be run very well administratively, but fall short in economic development planning. A city could be very efficient at addressing business issues, while maybe not being as effective for neighborhoods. The key factor in all of this is leadership: having the right kind of leaders in place when needed."Kudos to Virginia Beach -- the city has the third-lowest violent crime rate, the second-highest median annual household income, and the fourth-lowest percentage of population living in poverty. It ranked an astounding No. 4 for quality of city services, No. 8 for financial stability, No. 11 for education, No. 61 for health, No. 3 for safety, No. 20 for economy, and No. 62 for infrastructure and pollution. Likewise, Chesapeake also did very well overall, with the highest median annual household income of the 150 cities on the list. It came in at No. 31 for quality of city services, No. 21 for financial stability, No. 28 for education, No. 118 for health, No. 24 for safety, No. 29 for economy, and No. 103 for infrastructure and pollution.
Norfolk, on the other hand, came in at No. 112 for city services, No. 89 for financial stability, No. 129 for education, No. 132 for health, No. 46 for safety, No. 111 for economy, and No. 96 for infrastructure and pollution. And Richmond, which came in with the very highest infant mortality rate, ranked No. 131 in city services, No. 75 for financial stability, No. 143 for education, No. 149 for health, No. 48 for safety, No. 112 for economy, and No. 107 for infrastructure and pollution.
How do we measure the effectiveness of local leadership?" the WalletHub report asks. "One way is by determining 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."Nampa, Idaho, is the best-run city, according to the study, while Washington, D.C., is the worst-run overall, at No. 150. Click here to read the full report. What do you think of the rankings? We're pretty proud of Virginia Beach! Let's get the conversation started in the comments section!