State capitals aren’t just for lawmaking. Often, they’re thriving cities with a lot of economic and cultural value. In fact, they can be some of the best places to live in America. But not all state capitals are created equal. And though 17 of them are the largest cities in their states, the biggest population doesn’t always represent the best quality of life. Some have rampant poverty problems.
In order to determine which state capitals make the best place to live, WalletHub compared all 50 across 51 key indicators of affordability, economic strength, quality of education and health, and overall living standards. Our data set ranges from cost of living to K–12 school-system quality to number of attractions.
#6. Raleigh, NC Best State Capital to live in
Among some of the key indicators, Raleigh ranked:
#5. for Highest Median Income
#3. for Highest % of Adults with Bachelor's Degree or Higher
In order 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 and 4) Quality of Life.
We evaluated those dimensions using compiled 51 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most livable state capital.
We then determined each state capital’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its “State Capital Index” and used the resulting indexes to rank-order our sample.