Nampa is the best-run city in America. Boise is third-best.
That’s according to WalletHub, a personal finance website based in Washington, D.C.
Nampa earned its top ranking largely because of a small budget. While WalletHub ranked the city’s quality of services just 70th out of 150 major U.S. cities, it had the smallest budget per capita. Cities in neighboring states earned high marks, too. Provo, Utah was ranked second overall. Missoula was fifth, and and Billings was 15th.
WalletHub’s ranking divides cities’ total services score by the amount of money cities spend per resident to calculate each one’s overall rank. The top five cities in the overall rankings were the lowest five in spending per resident.
Data used in the study is from 2015, WalletHub spokeswoman Diana Polk said in an email Monday. In that fiscal year, Nampa spent $423 per resident from its general fund. In Boise, ranked third overall as well as by spending per resident, that number was more than $866. Last fiscal year, Boise’s per-capita spending topped $1,000, while Nampa’s was $450.
Boise ranked fifth in quality of services. To arrive at the services rankings, WalletHub examines six categories: financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure and pollution. Within these categories, the site ranked metrics such as cities’ credit ratings, long-term debt, high school graduation rates, infant mortality, violent crime, unemployment, median income growth, water quality and access to public transportation.
Mid-size cities like Oklahoma City, Durham, North Carolina, generally ranked higher than large ones, like Washington, D.C., Detroit, New York City, San Francisco and Oakland. High per-capita spending was the main reason large cities found themselves at the bottom of WalletHub’s list.
Education was the lowest-scoring category for both Boise (75) and Nampa (123). Economy was the top category for both cities, with Boise scoring sixth in the nation and Nampa coming in at 43.
Nampa’s financial stability ranking didn’t take into account a $165 million loan voters approved in May to pay for upgrades to the city’s sewer system, Polk said.