WalletHub evaluated all 50 state capitals across 49 key measures of affordability, economic well-being, education and health, and quality of life to see which ones make the greatest homes.

It is not only about establishing laws in state capitals. They are frequently bustling metropolises with significant economic and cultural significance. They may even be among the best places to live in the United States. However, not every state’s capital is the same. Although 17 of them are the most populated cities in their respective states, the largest population does not usually imply the best quality of life. Poverty is rife in some areas. “For example, in Hartford, CT, more than 28% of the population lives in poverty, compared to 11.4 percent nationwide”, according to a report from WalletHub that was published Monday.

Because state capitals are the seat of authority for each state, they can be frantic and politically heated places. Accordingly, WalletHub used data from numerous sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Opinions from the Experts

For more insight, WalletHub had asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks to living in a state’s capital city?
  2. How have the demographics of capital cities changed in recent years?
  3. In evaluating the best state capitals to live in, what are the top five indicators?
  4. How does exempting government buildings from local property taxes affect the fiscal well-being of capital cities?
  5. Are residents of capital cities more likely to be politically engaged, all else equal?

Methodology

To identify the best state capitals to live in, WalletHub compared all 50 across four key dimensions: 

  1. Affordability
  2. Economic Well-Being
  3. Quality of Education & Health
  4. Quality of Life

They assessed those characteristics using a set of 49 relevant metrics. Each metric was given a score out of 100, with 100 representing the most livable state capital.

The “State Capital Index” was then calculated using the weighted average of all criteria for each state capital, and then used the indexes to rank–order the states.

To see which cities made it to the ultimate ranking, WalletHub compiled a list of the top ten state capitals.

1. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is the best state capital to live in this year according to Wallethub (Source: iStock)

2. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina, is the second-best state capital to live in. (Source: iStock)

3. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin, is the third-best state capital, according to WalletHub. (Source: iStock)

4. Boise, Idaho

Boise Idaho

WalletHub found that Boise, Idaho, is the fourth-best state capital this year. (Source: iStock)

5. Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska, is the fifth-best state capital, according to WalletHub.   (Source: iStock)

6. Concord, New Hampshire

Concord, New Hampshire, is the sixth-best state capital to live in this year.   (Source: iStock)

7. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City will be the seventh-best state capital in 2022, according to WalletHub.   (Source: iStock)

Salt Lake City will be the seventh-best state capital in 2022, according to WalletHub.   (Source: iStock)

8. Columbus, Ohio 

Columbus, Ohio, is the eighth-best state capital, according to WalletHub.   (Source: iStock)

9. Bismarck, North Dakota

WalletHub found that Bismark, Salt Lake City is the ninth-best state capital this year. (Source: iStock)

Bismarck, North Dakota, is the ninth-best state capital on WalletHub’s list. (Source: iStock)

10. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City took tenth place in WalletHub’s ranking of best state capitals to live in this year. (Source: iStock)

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