State capitals aren’t just for lawmaking. Often, they’re thriving cities with a lot of economic and cultural value. In fact, they can be some of the best places to live in America. But not all state capitals are created equal. And though 17 of them are the largest cities in their states, the biggest population doesn’t always represent the best quality of life. Some have rampant poverty problems. For example, more than 30 percent of the population of Harford, Conn., lives in poverty, compared to 12.7 percent of the entire U.S.
In order to determine which state capitals make the best homes, WalletHub compared all 50 across 51 key indicators of affordability, economic strength, quality of education and health, and overall living standards. Our data set ranges from cost of living to K–12 school-system quality to number of attractions. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.
For a full explanation of the methodology, go here.