Columbus has its share of financial woes, but how does it fare compared to other cities? According to one study, not too shabby.
A new study from financial news website WalletHub places Columbus in the top 50 “Best-Run Cities in America.” It placed at 42, right behind locales like Salt Lake City, Utah and Mobile, Ala. The best-run city was Nampa, Idaho, while the worst-run was Washington, DC.
“In addition to representing the residents they serve, local leaders must balance the public’s diverse interests with the city’s limited resources,” WalletHub says on their introduction to the study.
“But how do we measure the effectiveness of local leadership? 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.”
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Here’s how they did it:
A city’s budget is normally defined in big chunks. When you divide that big chunk by all the people living in the city, you get a per-capita (meaning “by head”) budget. That’s the portion of the city budget that will be spent on one person.
WalletHub’s analysts took this per-capita budget and compared it to a metric they call a “Quality of Services” score. To compute this, they took data from a number of different sources—Census data, crime reports, graduation rates, Walk and Bike Scores, credit ratings and debts—weighted them based on their importance, and then created an overall score based on a combination of all those things.
Columbus’ overall ranking was 42 out of a total of 150 cities measured. A detailed breakdown of the other categories can be found on the study’s main page.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE