Salt Lake City falls outside top 10 of best state capitals to live in US

    Scott Taylor submitted this photo of downtown Salt Lake City, from the south, after a Christmas snow. (Photo: Scott Taylor)

    (KUTV) — According to a study, you can probably find a job in Utah's capital city, but it might be more difficult to afford to live here.

    WalletHub compared the 50 capitals from all 50 U.S. states to find which ones were the best ones to live in. Salt Lake City finished outside the top 10 but was ranked best in unemployment rate

    "State capitals aren't just for lawmaking," WalletHub wrote. "Often they're thriving cities with a lot of economic and cultural value. But not all state capitals are created equal."

    In the four main categories, each filled with many categories of relevant metrics, Salt Lake entered the top 10, at number 10, only once in quality of life rank. That category measured data from things where the city likely did well, like movie theaters per capita or bike score and other places it might not have scored as high, perhaps in coffee shops per capita.

    The Beehive State's worst aspect in the rankings was in affordability, despite being number one in unemployment rate.

    In the four categories Salt Lake scored:

    • Quality of Life — 10
    • Quality of Education & Health — 15
    • Economic Well-Being — 20
    • Affordability —25

    Neighboring state capitals did better, including Boise, Idaho, at number two, Denver at number eight and its geographically close neighbor Cheyenne, Wyoming at number nine.

    Source: WalletHub

    Despite the lowest unemployment rank Salt Lake is middle of the pack when it comes to median household income, number 23, adjusted for cost of living. It also didn't score particularly well in the average number of work hours and had a high percentage of the population in poverty, especially considering the low number of people without jobs and top-10 ranking of college educated adults.

    Measured metrics of note for Salt Lake City included:

    • Unemployment rate — 1
    • Percentage of millennial newcomers — 6
    • Percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher — 10
    • Health conditions — 11
    • Number of attractions — 11
    • Median household income (adjusted for cost of living) — 23
    • Percentage of population in poverty — 23
    • Average weekly work hours — 24

    The top 10 cities are:

    1. Austin, Texas
    2. Boise, Idaho
    3. Raleigh, North Carolina
    4. Madison, Wisconsin
    5. Lincoln, Nebraska
    6. Bismarck, North Dakota
    7. Concord, New Hampshire
    8. Denver, Colorado
    9. Cheyenne, Wyoming
    10. Des Moines, Iowa
    11. Salt Lake City, Utah

    WalletHub used 54 relevant metrics, some weighted higher than others. Visit WallHub to see the full list or to read more.

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