Billings made the list of some of hte best-run cities in America, coming in at number 14, according to a report by Wallethub.
Scholars of the report compared the efficiency of the 150 largest US cities to determine which city was managed best. They created a “Quality of Services” score using 28 metrics and divided them into six categories. Financial stability measured outstanding long-term debt and the city’s credit rating.
Scholars measured health by examining things like the number of hospital beds per capita, infant mortality rates, daily covid deaths and cases, and the quality of the public hospital system. High school graduation rates were measured for education as well as the quality of school systems for grades K-12.
Safety was measured by analyzing violent and property crime rates, vehicle fatalities, and the share of sheltered homeless people. Scholars measured multiple areas of economy for each city, including the unemployment rate, housing prices, and annual income growth. Pollution and infrastructure measured traffic congestion, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and average commute times for residents.
Researchers then graded the metrics on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the highest. Each city was then categorized into quality services by total budget per capita to create a store of dollars spent. Those numbers were used to rank the order of cities in the study.
Billings scored a 77 for overall quality city services and a 13 for the total budget per capita. For financial stability, Billings received a 50 and a 116 in health. The city also scored an 89 in safety, a 44 in economy, and a 74 in pollution and infrastructure.
Billings also came in at number one for the least amount of air pollution, with the worse pollution in Phoenix, Arizona.