Seattle, Tacoma rank among worst-run largest cities in U.S., study suggests

Tacoma and Seattle rank among the worst-run large cities in the U.S., according to data from WalletHub.

The finance website assembled a list of the 150 largest cities in the country, then weighed their services against the total budget per capita spent on them.

Tacoma ranked 139th, earning low marks for its apparent low quality of city services with a comparatively high budget per capita. Just a notch higher in city population, Spokane ranked 56th with the 58th best city services against the 68th lowest budget.

Ranking table including only the metrics of Washington's cities on the list. (WalletHub)

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Seattle, on the other hand, ranked 118th—but earned incredibly high marks for its services, which are ranked 18th in the lot. Holding the city back, the data suggests, is its bloated spending, ranked the 140th most expensive budget per capita.

The Emerald City ranks higher than both Tacoma and Spokane for safety, which includes metrics like violent crime, property crime, motor fatalities per capita, homelessness and perception of safety.

WalletHub’s methodology creates scores for "city services" based on a combination of financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, infrastructure and pollution. These criteria are represented by measurements like:

  • Moody’s City Credit Rating
  • K-12 School System Quality (
  • High School Graduation Rate
  • Infant Mortality
  • Average Life Expectancy
  • Violent Crime Rate
  • Share of Sheltered Homeless People
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Median Annual Household Income
  • Housing Prices
  • Quality of roads
  • Walking/biking/transit score
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Park spaces

According to the website, the worst-run city in America is Washington, D.C., with the highest budget spent on city services that only rank 55th. The best-run city is Nampa, Idaho, with city services ranked at an admirable 21st, with the lowest total budget per capital of all 150 cities.

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For a more detailed breakdown of the rankings, visit the WalletHub website.