Two of Connecticut’s major cities are among the worst run in the nation and are the worst run in New England according to a recently released survey from WalletHub.

Of 149 cities rated in the survey, New Haven was rated 126 and Hartford was rated 142. No other city in New England was rated lower, with Burlington, Vermont ranked the next lowest, at 97. Warwick, Rhode Island, rated the twelfth best run city, received the highest score in New England.

New Haven received a score of 34 for the quality of its city services and a score of 103 for its total budget per capita. Hartford received a score of 145 for the quality of its city services and a score of 119 for its total budget per capita.

Of the cities included in the survey, Bridgeport also had the fourth lowest infant mortality rate, falling below Spokane, Washington; San Diego, California; and top-rated Yonkers, New York.

Hartford also had the fifth highest unemployment rate of the cities included in the survey. By contrast, Burlington, the next lowest ranking city in New England, was tied with four other cities for the lowest unemployment rate.

Hartford’s cost of living adjusted median annual household income also scored towards the lowest, with only Detroit, Michigan and Gary, Indiana falling lower.

The survey also included a more detailed breakdown of the scores received by each city, ranking financial stability, education, health, safety, the economy, and infrastructure and pollution. The survey used 36 metrics across the six categories and graded them on a 100-point scale, with 100 points representing the highest quality services a city could offer.  A weighted score based on the average each city received in all six categories was used to determine an overall “Quality of City Services” score, and this was then divided by the total budget per capita of each city in order to construct a “score per dollar spent” index, which was used to rank order the cities.

For the financial stability category, each city’s Moody’s credit rating was the most important factor. For education, the quality of a city’s K-12 school system was given double the weight of its high school graduation rate. In the health category, infant mortality and average life expectancy carried the most weight. Violent and property crime rates, as well as motor vehicle fatalities per capita, carried the most weight in determining a city’s safety score. The unemployment rate received the most weight in determining a city’s economic score. And the quality of roads and a city’s friendliness to recreation carried the most weight in determining infrastructure and pollution scores.

New Haven’s best ranking was in the infrastructure and pollution category, where it ranked 13 out of 149. Its next highest score was in health, where it ranked 58. Its other scores ranked lower, with its financial stability score falling at 144 out of 149 cities surveyed, education ranking 126, safety ranking 103, and economy ranking 136.

Hartford’s best ranking was in infrastructure and pollution, receiving the fifth best ranking. Its next highest ranking was 49 out of 149 for the quality of health services. The city’s economy ranked last out of all cities surveyed, and its financial stability was rated 147, third lowest. It also ranked 132 for education and 106 for safety.

By contrast, Warwick, which received the best overall rating of surveyed cities in New England, had the second-best safety score of all the cities ranked. It was ranked 42 for its education, and 54 for its safety. The city also was ranked 82 for health, 98 for infrastructure and pollution, and 101 for its financial stability.

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An advocate for transparency and accountability, Katherine has over a decade of experience covering government. She has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Maine and her...

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