They’re not only the seat of power, but the right state capital can also be a great place to live, according to a survey on the Best State Capitals of 2018 by WalletHub. The website compared the capital cities across the country’s 50 states on four key indicators—affordability, economic well-being, quality of health and education, and quality of life.
These four indicators were evaluated using compiled 51 relevant metrics and each metric was graded on a 100-point scale. WalletHub then determined each state capital’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its “State Capital Index.”
With a score of 67.73 on the index, Austin, Texas took the top honors in these rankings, scoring high ranks on all four indicators, especially quality of education and health, economic well-being, and quality of life. Madison, Wisconsin came a close second with a score of 64.63, scoring top marks for quality of education and health as well as the quality of life. However, when it came to affordability, it didn’t score as well and sat in the middle of the rankings at 26.
Boise, Idaho; Lincoln, New England; Bismarck, North Dakota; Raleigh, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah, Juneau Arkansas; and Concord, New Hampshire joined Austin and Madison in the top 10 rankings.
When it came to affordable housing, Pierre, South Dakota; Jefferson City, Montana; Des Moines, Iowa; Springfield Illinois; and Topeka Kansas took the top five spots. However some of the nation’s hottest markets took the bottom five spots in this category with Providence, Rhode Island; Richmond, Virginia; Denver, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Boston Massachusetts scoring very poorly on this count.
Juneau, Arkansas was ranked first on the basis of highest median household income, followed by Austin, Texas; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Bismarck, North Dakota; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Coming in at the bottom with the lowest median household income were Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Trenton, New Jersey; Honolulu, Hawaii; Providence Rhode Island; and Hartford Connecticut.
To view the complete rankings, click here.