WalletHub has released its list of 2017’s Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America. Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs are included. Let’s see how they rank.

It’s certainly not easy to run a large city, but some governments manage to do it better and more efficiently and effectively than others. WalletHub set out to see how 150 of the U.S.’s most populated cities are doing, ranking the best-run and worst-run cities based on their overall performance in six areas: financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure & pollution. Each one of those categories included multiple factors, such as unemployment rate, quality of roads, hospital beds per capita, etc.

On the list of Best- & Worst-Run Cities, Aurora came in with an overall ranking of No. 48, Colorado Springs at No. 91, and Denver at No. 133.

There are many factors that influence how well a city is run,” said Terry Clower, the Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy & Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. “More importantly, it matters which type of activity you are considering in judging how well a city is run. For example, a city can be run very well administratively, but fall short in economic development planning. A city could be very efficient at addressing business issues, while maybe not being as effective for neighborhoods. The key factor in all of this is leadership: having the right kind of leaders in place when needed.”

Denver specifically scored pretty low; it had the second-lowest high school graduation rate and tied with five other cities as having the highest long-term outstanding debt per capita. It ranked No. 82 for quality of city services, No. 67 for financial stability, No. 147 for education, No. 81 for health, No. 66 for safety, No 18 for economy, and No. 85 for infrastructure and pollution.

Aurora, on the other hand, came in at No. 47 for city services, No. 80 for financial stability, No. 87 for education, No. 22 for health, No. 30 for safety, No 25 for economy, and No. 134 for infrastructure and pollution.

Colorado Springs ranked No. 53 in city services, No. 73 for financial stability, No. 82 for education, No. 40 for health, No. 41 for safety, No 12 for economy, and No. 131 for infrastructure and pollution.

How do we measure the effectiveness of local leadership?” the WalletHub report asks. “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.”

Nampa, Idaho, is the best-run city, according to the study, while Washington, D.C., is the worst-run. Click here to read the full report.

What do you think of the rankings? Do you agree that Denver is among the worst-run cities in America? What do you think about Aurora and Colorado Springs? Tell us in the comments!

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