Study: Tacoma, Seattle among the nation’s worst run cities
Jun 20, 2023, 4:45 PM
Tacoma and Seattle are among the worst-run cities in the nation, according to WalletHub.
“Income levels, cost of living, health indexes, rates of homelessness, and crime rates are key indicators in how well a city is run,” said Katrina Taylor, a political science professor at Tacoma Community College.
In order to determine the best- and worst-run cities in America, WalletHub compared 149 of the most populated cities across six key categories: Financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution.
In the study of 149 metro areas, Tacoma ranked No. 141 and Seattle was No. 115.
One aspect WalletHub used was to determine a city’s operating efficiency, or how city officials manage and spend public funds by comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget. Tacoma ranked No. 100 when it came to city services. Seattle was ranked a relatively healthy No. 11.
When it came to the financial stability of a city, Tacoma was down around 100, with Seattle earning a relatively strong 25th ranking.
Safety is an area where both cities lagged. Tacoma was ranked 121st out of 149 when it came to crime and safety. Seattle was 83rd.
“Use an Equity Index like Tacoma to understand the community,” Taylor said when asked how local policymakers can reduce racial tensions in a city. “Use a Health Disparities map like the state of WA to determine where to invest so that the most vulnerable communities are getting their fair share of the resources. We can target places to improve using data like this and strategies like the Justice 40 initiative.”
The Federal Government has made it a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.
The top five cities were relatively small metropolitan areas: Nampa, Idaho; Lexington-Fayette, Ky.; Nashua, N.H.; and Boise, Idaho. The bottom five are San Francisco, Calif.; Chatanooga, Tenn.; New York, N.Y.; Cleveland, Ohio; and Flint, Mich.