[Baltimore Sun] FOX45: WalletHub study ranks Baltimore 126th best U.S. city out of 148

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FOX45// A new WalletHub study ranking American cities from best to worst put Baltimore in 126th place out of 148 of the largest U.S. cities.

Cassandra Happe, WalletHub Analyst, said, “The best-run cities in America use their budgets most effectively to provide high-quality financial security, education, health, safety and transportation to their residents. Many of the top cities also have a very low amount of outstanding government debt per capita, which can prevent financial troubles in the future.”

WalletHub compared the operating efficiency of 148 of the largest U.S. cities to reveal which among them are managed best.

They constructed a “Quality of Services” score made up of 36 metrics grouped into six categories, which they then measured against the city’s per-capita budget. The categories:

Financial stability — Total points: 16.67; rank: 48

Financial Stability looked at Moody’s City Credit Rating and Outstanding Long-Term Debt per Capita.

Education — Total points: 16.67; rank: 144

Education looked at K-12 school system quality and high school graduation rate.

Health — Total points: 16.67; 146

Health looked at infant mortality rate, average life expectancy in years, hospital beds per capita and quality of public hospital system.

Safety — Total points: 16.67; 105

Safety looked at violent crime rate, property crime rate, motor vehicle fatalities per capita, share of sheltered homeless persons and perception of safety.

Economy — Total points: 16.67; 124

Economy looked at the unemployment rate, underemployment rate, median annual household income, median annual income growth rate, annual job growth rate, share of population living in poverty, growth in number of businesses, change in housing prices, Zillow home value 1-year forecast and building-permit growth.

Infrastructure and pollution — Total points: 16.67; 82

Infrastructure and pollution looked at quality of roads, average commute time, transit access shed, traffic congestion, walk score, bike score, transit score, recreation-friendliness, share of residents with access to internet, water quality, air pollution, greenhouse-gas emissions per capita and share of parkland.

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