WalletHub ranked the California city as the ‘worst run’ for the second year in a row

San Francisco, California, has been named the “worst run” city in the U.S. by WalletHub, marking the second consecutive year it has received this dubious distinction.

The annual study evaluated the “effectiveness of local leadership” by comparing city services’ quality against the total budget to gauge operating efficiency. The report assessed 148 large cities, ranking them through a “Quality of Services” score derived from 36 metrics across six service categories relative to each city’s per-capita budget.

Despite ranking 24th in service quality, San Francisco finished last at 148th in total budget per capita and had the highest long-term debt outstanding.

Parisa Safarzadeh, spokesperson for San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s Office, criticized the list, calling it “misleading and inaccurate” because it compares San Francisco’s combined city and county budget with other cities’ budgets.

WalletHub communications manager Diana Polk defended the report, stating it uses the Fiscally Standardized Cities (FiSC) database for accurate, unbiased comparisons.

In 2023, WalletHub also named San Francisco the “worst run” city, and it ranked second-to-last in 2022.

Welcome to Idaho sign
Nampa, Idaho has maintained its title as the best-run U.S. city for the eighth consecutive year.

In the 2024 report, WalletHub dubbed Nampa, Idaho, as the “best run” city for the eighth consecutive year. Mayor Debbie King attributes this to the city’s prudent use of funds and strong stewardship of taxpayer dollars. She emphasized the dedication of elected officials and city workers in smaller communities nationwide.