Should you buy a home in a state capital? Be choosy if you do

February 22, 2018 - 2 min read

All 50 state capitals ranked

State capitals are some of the nation’s biggest and most bustling cities. But how many are actually good places to put down roots and buy a home? According to a new ranking by WalletHub, only a few.

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Superb state capitals

WalletHub compared all 50 state capitals, taking into account their economies, housing affordability, healthcare quality, educational systems and more, and ranked each based on the quality of life.

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The result? Austin, Texas, came in as the single-best state capital in the entire country.

According to the ranking, the Lone Star State’s capital came highly rated in all categories, even ranking No. 2 for its quality of education and health. The city also claimed the second-highest median household income, tied for first for most local attractions and took second place in the least number of premature deaths.

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Madison, Wisconsin, took the No. 2 spot, while Boise, Idaho, claimed No. 3. Lincoln, Nebraska, and Bismarck, North Dakota, rounded out the top five. Bismarck also claimed the lowest unemployment rate in the country with 1.7 percent, while Madison had the highest share of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree at 56.3 percent.

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The worst capitals to live in

Trenton, New Jersey, ranked dead-last on WalletHub’s list, as well as in the economic health category. Trenton also claimed the lowest share of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree. Only 11.9 percent of adult residents 25 and older hold a college degree.

Also at the bottom were Hartford, Connecticut; Jackson, Mississippi; Montgomery, Alabama; and Providence, Rhode Island. Hartford has the highest unemployment rate of all the state capitals at 7.8 percent, as well as the lowest median household income at $26,264.

Providence also ranked No. 1 for least affordable housing. Richmond, Virginia, and Denver, Colorado, weren’t far behind.

Buy a home in a state capital

Looking to buy in one of the nation’s top capitals? Shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.