Have you ever wondered what the best state capital in the country was? Boise, Idaho? Honolulu, Hawaii? Concord, New Hampshire?
We might be biased, but we've always believed that Austin, the capital city of Texas was a superior city. Now we have proof to back it up. WalletHub did a study to answer this question and out of all 50 state capitals, Austin came in at number one.
There were a lot of determining factors that went into this study. WalletHub analyzed affordability, economic well-being, quality of education and health, quality of life, cost of living, school-system quality and the number of attractions to determine the ranking of each city.
Top 5 State Capitals
Raleigh, North Carolina
Bottom 5 State Capitals
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Carson City, Nevada
Charleston, West Virginia
Trenton, New Jersey
See Wallet Hub's full list here.
Let's dive into each category to see where Austin stands, starting with affordability. A few things were taken into account -- Cost of living, median household income and housing costs. Austin was placed 12 out of 50. Honestly, not too shabby considering the rising housing costs as people continue moving to this funky town.
There were significantly more factors taken into account to calculate economic wellbeing -- population growth, income growth, median credit score, income inequality, debt as a share of median income, share of population living in poverty, unemployment rate, underemployment rate, growth in number of businesses (2017 vs 2016), foreclosure Rate, bankruptcy rate, building-permit activity, and share of state, and local & federal government employees.
That's a lot to digest. But, I'll make it simple. It comes as no surprise that Austin ranked number one on this list because it is growing like crazy. It's become a booming tech town with a ton of new companies opening with constant construction downtown to make more room. More companies mean more jobs, so you do the math. There's a ton of opportunity in Austin!
Quality of Education and Health
There were a lot of factors considered for this category as well -- K-12 school-system quality, high school graduation rate, average university score, number of universities in top 1,003, share of adults with at least a Bachelor's Degree, share of population with health insurance coverage, quality of public hospital system, hospital beds per capita, premature-death rate, infant-mortality rate, share of adults in good health, adult obesity rate, and physical inactivity.
Austin ranks number three for education and health. It's the home of the University of Texas, which is an incredibly strong school, has a pretty great public school system and just opened a new medical school which might have helped boost the health rating. 3 out of 50 ain't too shabby.
Quality of Life
This means something different for everyone, so the factors that were considered were pretty interesting -- share of millennial newcomers, number of attractions, nightlife options per capita, restaurants per capita, affordable restaurants with ratings of 4.5+ stars, bars per capita, coffee shops per capita, movie theaters per capita, fitness centers per capita, walkability, access to public transportation, average commute time, driving fatalities per capita, average weekly work hours, mildness of weather, air quality, sports fan-friendliness, violent-crime rate, property crime rate and perception of safety.
Ranking number 4 in this category seems pretty accurate for Austin. While there are some awesome restaurants, bars, live music, minimal crime, and amazing weather, the city has terrible traffic and very limited public transportation. Lots of traffic leads to terrible commute times. But hey, at least the sun is out most of the year!
And there you have it! Everything is bigger and better in Texas, especially our beloved capital.