Connecting state and local government leaders

Best American Cities 2018: Where Does Your City Rank?

New York ranked first on the list of best large cities, defined as having a population of as least 1 million people.

New York ranked first on the list of best large cities, defined as having a population of as least 1 million people. Shutterstock

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Cities are ranked on 28 factors sorted into six categories, including housing affordability, infrastructure, online search results and social media attention.

Honolulu is America’s best small city, while New York ranks as the country’s best large city, according to an annual report released this month.

Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas round out the top 5 large cities in the 2018 America’s Best Cities rankings, while Omaha, Nebraska; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Charleston, South Carolina and El Paso, Texas took top honors for small cities. Large cities are defined as those with a population of at least 1 million people, while small cities are metropolitan areas with populations from 200,000 to 1 million.

The rankings are compiled by Resonance Consultancy, a consulting firm that advises on real estate, tourism, economic development and international destination branding. Cities are ranked on 28 factors sorted into six categories, including housing affordability, infrastructure, online search results and social media attention.

New York CIty, for example, ranked first in a handful of factors, including neighborhoods and landmarks, nightlife, culinary destinations and culture. Honolulu took top honors in Instagram mentions and parks and outdoor activities, the latter category “led by its powdery beaches, some of the best and safest ocean swimming in the state (often with sea turtles and dolphins!) and the option to head for the emerald Koolau Range before or after work,” according to the report.

The user-generated metrics, particularly social media presence, help form a more complete view of a city than relying only on economic factors, Chris Fair, president of Resonance Consultancy, told the Reno Gazette Journal. Reno, Nevada, was named the sixth best small city. 

"You get a holistic view with respect to the performance of a city in all these areas that determine desirability," he said.

Amarillo, Texas, took the last spot on the small cities list, while Memphis, Tennessee finished the list of large cities.

Download the full report here.

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY Maine Voters Overrule Their Leaders