Tops in Texas

Arlington tops the rest of Texas as one of the best-run cities in America

Arlington tops rest of Texas as one of the best-run cities in America

Globe Life Park in Arlington on opening day 2015
Globe Life Park — and the Texas Rangers are among some of the biggest economic drivers for Arlington. Photo by Kelly Gavin/Texas Rangers

While the spotlight might be on national politics, most people see the work of the government best at the local level. It’s in that spirit that a new study ranks the best- and worst-run cities in the country, and the shining star in Texas is none other than bustling Arlington.

Personal finance website WalletHub compared 150 of the largest cities in the U.S. to determine which are the best and worst managed for 2019, placing Arlington 27th nationally and first in Texas.

The site measured each city’s operating efficiency by looking at its total budget per capita and the quality of its city services (broken down into six categories). Arlington ranks No. 33 for budget and No. 43 for services. 

Among the individual quality of service categories, Arlington ranks an impressive 16th in education and 27th in economy. It's a middle-of-the-road 44th for safety and 56th for financial stability, but near the bottom for health (85th) and infrastructure and pollution (130th). 

Fort Worth is the next North Texas city to appear on the national list, at No. 51, while Dallas follows at No. 93. Texas' other major cities land in between.

Austin ranks 72nd nationwide, immediately followed by Houston at No. 73, while San Antonio comes in at No. 89. When looking only at the quality of city services, however, Austin ranks first in Texas and 10th in the nation. 

The best-run city in the country is Nampa, Idaho. Last on the list, ironically, is Washington, D.C.