Cedar Rapids ranked among the top 15 best-run cities in the nation, according to a new analysis released by the financial-services website WalletHub.
To rate the cities, WalletHub examined data from 150 of the most populous U.S. cities in key measures such as financial stability, education, health, economic activity, public safety and infrastructure/pollution.
Cedar Rapids finished 15th in the overall ranking and 23rd in the quality of its city services. The city had the 26th smallest budget per capita, according to the WalletHub numbers.
"Overall, Cedar Rapids gets a good amount of bang for its buck,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Center Square. “It has a fairly small budget per capita, but its residents benefit from quality city services, which is why it's the 15th best-run city.”
The city also does well on a number of economic measures. It came in at 14th in terms of the share of residents living in poverty (11.4 percent), its median yearly household income when adjusted for living costs ($60,584) and its Moody’s credit ranking among the cities studied (20th place).
“In particular, the city's economy is among the best performing, and it has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at 3 percent,” Gonzalez said.
The analysis also ranked the city high in terms of economic mobility, finishing at No. 14 in that category.
In addition, Cedar Rapids garnered high ratings on education and public safety. Its high school graduation rate was pegged at 88.5 percent, the 37th best score, and the violent crime rate was the 14th lowest in the WalletHub study.
And the city had the 42nd highest average life expectancy among the cities on the list, with Cedar Rapids residents living 80.26 years on average.
Traffic congestion issues in the municipality also seemed to be rare, according to WalletHub, with Cedar Rapids finishing fourth in that category.
The idea behind the study was to identify those cities that were managed to maximize the value of funds spent on public services, according to the researchers. Cities were graded using weighted metrics and a 100-point scale, with 100 indicating the highest quality of public services.