New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport aren’t necessarily the three most successful cities in Louisiana, but they’re the biggest and most significant the state has to offer. As such, to a large extent Louisiana is only going to do as a state as well as those three cities do.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that the state languishes at the bottom of so many public policy metrics when those three cities operate among the worst-run in America – which is the finding of a new survey by WalletHub ranking the best and worst of some 150 cities in the country.
The survey, out today, doesn’t rank according to metropolitan area – only by municipality. Therefore, some of Louisiana’s other cities which might rank higher – like Lake Charles and Lafayette, for example – don’t appear in it. Just New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport.
And none of the three manage to rank among the top 75.
Baton Rouge ranks highest in the state, checking in at No. 77 nationally. Louisiana’s capitol city ranks No. 38 in “Total Budget Per Capita” – and No. 139 in “Quality of City Services Rank.” It’s fair to say that despite that fair-to-middling city ranking WalletHub sees taxpayers in Baton Rouge as being hideously abused by the local government. Shreveport, checking in at No. 91, ranks 50th in “Total Budget Per Capita” and 143rd in “Quality of City Services Rank,” so that’s also a municipality which badly abuses its taxpayers. As for New Orleans, the Crescent City checks in at No. 113 of 150. New Orleans’ “Total Budget Per Capita” is No. 95, while its “Quality of City Services Rank” is No. 126. That almost looks like efficient government – but what it doesn’t look like is that anybody from WalletHub has driven around in, say, Lakeview.
The top 10-ranked cities surveyed?
- Nampa, Idaho
- Provo, Utah
- Boise, Idaho
- Lexington, Kentucky
- Missoula, Montana
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Durham, North Carolina
- Lewiston, Maine
- Nashua, New Hampshire
- Oklahoma City
Arlington, at No. 25, was the top-rated Texas city. El Paso (No. 40), Ft. Worth (45), Corpus Christi (47), Austin (73), Houston (76), Dallas (95), San Antonio (99), Lubbock (108), Garland (112) were the other Lone Star State cities ranked.
The more detailed rankings within that “Quality of City Services” rating don’t particularly recommend city living in Louisiana…
The two worst cities in the survey for “Quality of City Services” are the ones you probably figured – those would be Jackson, Mississippi and Detroit, Michigan. But Washington, DC was the worst-rated overall.
We could point out that it’s been well over a century since New Orleans had a Republican mayor. Baton Rouge and Shreveport have had Republicans more recently, though in both of those cases it seems a long time ago and the quality of current governance looks a lot more like Jackson or Detroit than Nampa, Provo or Boise.