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Did you know that only 17 of the 50 U.S. capitals are the most populated cities within their state?



Did you also know that we Utahns live in the only state where its capital has three words in its name? Salt Lake City.



Wallet Hub, the personal finance information website, recently ranked the 50 Best and Worst State Capitals. They indexed the cities in categories such as affordability, economic well-being, education and health, and quality of life.



Click here for Wallet Hub's entire methodology



Salt Lake City cracked the top 15. But it may surprise you which capital cities are ranked the ‘Best’ and ‘Worst’ in America.



From bottom to top, here is Wallet Hub’s list, including the capital’s rating in each category.

50 – Hartford, Connecticut
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The Connecticut state capital was good enough for Mark Twain, but not good enough for Wallet Hub. Twain lived in Hartford for 17 years, according to newsmax.com, and it was there he penned the literary classics “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”

Overall index: 39.47
Category ranking
Affordability: 49
Economic well-being: 45
Education and health: 21
Quality of life: 31


Source: Wallet Hub

49 – Carson City, Nevada
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According to encyclopedia.com, some of the earliest settlers in the Carson City area were Mormons led to Eagle Valley by Colonel John Reese. When the Mormons were summoned to Salt Lake City, Utah, by their leader, Brigham Young, many sold their land for a small amount to area resident John Mankin.

Overall index: 42.03
Category ranking
Affordability: 45
Economic well-being: 47
Education and health: 38
Quality of life: 24


Source: Wallet Hub

48 – Montgomery, Alabama
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According to newsmax.com, the first open heart surgery was performed in Montgomery by Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill in 1902. Hill’s patient reportedly survived a stab wound following the surgery.

Overall index: 42.85
Category ranking
Affordability: 20
Economic well-being: 49
Education and health: 50
Quality of life: 40


Source: Wallet Hub

47 – Jackson, Mississippi
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According to newsmax.com, the capital dubbed “The City with Soul,” is one of just a few cities to host the International Ballet Competition.

Overall index: 43.08
Category ranking
Affordability: 23
Economic well-being: 48
Education and health: 48
Quality of life: 49


Source: Wallet Hub

46 -- Providence, Rhode Island
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According to movoto.com, Providence has more donut shops and coffee houses per capital than any city in the country. The city claims more than 25 shops per 100,000 people.

Overall index: 44.54
Category ranking
Affordability: 47
Economic well-being: 37
Education and health: 24
Quality of life: 21


Source: Wallet Hub

45 -- Trenton, New Jersey

According to destinationtrenton.com, the New Jersey capital city was home to several marvels of invention, including the I-beam for building construction. Other items reportedly invented in Trenton include Bayer Aspirin, Magic Markers and Oyster Crackers.

Overall index: 45.60
Category ranking
Affordability: 43
Economic well-being: 50
Education and health: 22
Quality of life: 33


Source: Wallet Hub

44 -- Honolulu, Hawaii
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The sun. The sand. The surf. What’s not to like about Honolulu? It’s in the bottom 10 of Wallet Hub’s ranking.

Perhaps that’s because, at least according to movoto.com, residents can actually be fined for not owning a boat and anyone can arrested for irritating a bird.

Overall index: 46.35
Category ranking
Affordability: 50
Economic well-being: 9
Education and health: 18
Quality of life: 3


Source: Wallet Hub

43 – Dover, Delaware
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According to newsmax.com, Eldridge Reeves Johnson, the inventor of the phonograph and founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company, later known as RCA, grew up on Dover. There is a large RCA museum there, full of records and phonographs.

Overall index: 46.81
Category ranking
Affordability: 32
Economic well-being: 44
Education and health: 39
Quality of life: 26


Source: Wallet Hub

42 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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According to motovoto.com, Baton Rouge has spawned the careers for more than its share of famous athletes. At last count, there were nine NFL players, five MLB plays and five NBA players (including former stars Shaquille O’Neal and Pete Maravich) started in Baton Rouge.

Overall index: 46.83
Category ranking
Affordability: 30
Economic well-being: 35
Education and health: 45
Quality of life: 36


Source: Wallet Hub

41 – Boston, Massachusetts
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It was once against the law to celebrate Christmas in Boston, according to ihg.com. Between 1659 and 1681 Christmas was prohibited in ‘Bean Town” because the Pilgrims believed it was a corrupted holiday.

Overall index: 47.54
Category ranking
Affordability: 48
Economic well-being: 16
Education and health: 7
Quality of life: 16


Source: Wallet Hub

40 – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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According to newsmax.com, Harrisburg actually filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Much of the blame was placed on a failed waste-to-energy incinerator, which was later sold. After a judged ordered the city be placed in receivership, it emerged from overwhelming debt in 2014.

Overall index: 48.65
Category ranking
Affordability: 42
Economic well-being: 39
Education and health: 36
Quality of life: 9


Source: Wallet Hub

39 – Little Rock, Arkansas

According to littlerock.com, the capital of Arkansas is home of the “Cheese Dog.” The cuisine, a hot dog with cheese inserted in the middle, was invented in 1956 at the Finkbeiner Meat Packing Co.

Overall index: 48.72
Category ranking
Affordability: 16
Economic well-being: 20
Education and health: 44
Quality of life: 50


Source: Wallet Hub

38 -- Sacramento, California

According to movoto.com, Sacramento is two cities in one. There is a large abandoned network of tunnels underneath the foundation of the city. The current city of Sacramento was raised to avoid flood damage.

Overall index: 49.21
Category ranking
Affordability: 44
Economic well-being: 41
Education and health: 26
Quality of life: 13


Source: Wallet Hub

37 – Frankfort, Kentucky
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According to newsmax.com, the phrase “dog is man’s best friend” was coined in Frankfort by George Graham Vest, a lawyer and US Senator. The phrase was first used during closing arguments of a trial in which damages were sought for killing a dog.

Overall index: 49.53
Category ranking
Affordability: 15
Economic well-being: 29
Education and health: 47
Quality of life: 35


Source: Wallet Hub

36 – Salem, Oregon
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According to movoto.com, the popular Brigham Young University graduate Jon Heder is from Salem. Or at least that is where he went to high school, South Salem High School, which is said to have been the inspirational setting for the movie Napoleon Dynamite.

Overall index: 49.57
Category ranking
Affordability: 40
Economic well-being: 28
Education and health: 29
Quality of life: 30


Source: Wallet Hub

35 – Albany, New York
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Believe it or not: Toilet paper, in its current form of perforated paper wrapped around a cardboard tube, was first developed in Albany by Seth Wheeler in 1871. This is according to newsmax.com.

Overall index: 49.66
Category ranking
Affordability: 46
Economic well-being: 43
Education and health: 15
Quality of life: 11


Source: Wallet Hub

34 – Indianapolis, Indiana

Strangely, it is illegal to ride a horse faster than 10 mph in Indianapolis, where the annual “Indy 500” pits racers at speeds faster than 200 mph. Also, according to movoto.com, author Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis.

Overall index: 49.86
Category ranking
Affordability: 17
Economic well-being: 34
Education and health: 37
Quality of life: 43


Source: Wallet Hub

33 – Richmond, Virginia

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.” The words of Edgar Allen Poe from “The Raven” are chilling. Much of Poe’s work is housed in a museum in Richmond, where the author grew up, according to movoto.com.

Overall index: 50.56
Category ranking
Affordability: 33
Economic well-being: 26
Education and health: 46
Quality of life: 12


Source: Wallet Hub

32 – Santa Fe, New Mexico

According to nileguide.com, William H. Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, lived in Santa Fe in the early 1870s with his mother and stepfather.

Overall index: 50.64
Category ranking
Affordability: 35
Economic well-being: 38
Education and health: 41
Quality of life: 2


Source: Wallet Hub

31 – Augusta, Maine
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Augusta is the country’s most eastern capital city. It took over as Maine’s capital after Portland served for a short time.

Overall index: 50.70
Category ranking
Affordability: 39
Economic well-being: 23
Education and health: 28
Quality of life: 29


Source: Wallet Hub

30 – Lansing, Michigan
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The following information comes from newsmax.com: “The city is home to Michigan State University, and the first set of graduates received their diplomas in 1861. Actually, the entire graduating class of seven was dismissed two months early so that they could join the Union Army to fight in the Civil War. As MSU describes, ‘Two of the graduates died in service: Gilbert A. Dickey was killed on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 and Henry D. Benham died at Beaufort, South Carolina, in the summer of 1864.’ “

Overall index: 50.73
Category ranking
Affordability: 18
Economic well-being: 40
Education and health: 32
Quality of life: 39


Source: Wallet Hub

29 – Charleston, West Virginia
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According to newsmax.com, the first brick street laid in the world was in Charleston in 1870. It was known as Summers Street.

Overall index: 50.98
Category ranking
Affordability: 7
Economic well-being: 13
Education and health: 49
Quality of life: 48


Source: Wallet Hub

28 – Tallahassee, Florida
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According to movoto.com, the Tallahhassee Automobile Museum is home to several replica Batman mobiles, including the cars used in “Batman Forever” and “Batman Returns.”

Overall index: 51.61
Category ranking
Affordability: 37
Economic well-being: 46
Education and health: 12
Quality of life: 17


Source: Wallet Hub

27 – Phoenix, Arizona
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According to visitphoenix.com, the greater-Phoenix area has more than 450 hotels which host more than 62,000 guest rooms. It also is home to 200 golf courses.

Overall index: 52.50
Category ranking
Affordability: 22
Economic well-being: 27
Education and health: 33
Quality of life: 32


Source: Wallet Hub

26 – Columbia, South Carolina

According to newsmax.com, in 1800s every Columbia house was required to have a bucket near every fireplace chimney. Fire brigades were formed every time a home caught ablaze and every male was expected to serve.

Overall index: 52.81
Category ranking
Affordability: 29
Economic well-being: 42
Education and health: 34
Quality of life: 7


Source: Wallet Hub

25 – Concord, New Hampshire
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The next time you get angry at your alarm clock, thank Concord, New Hampshire. According to newsmax.com, Levi Hutchins invented the alarm clock in this capital city in 1787.

Overall index: 52.93
Category ranking
Affordability: 41
Economic well-being: 11
Education and health: 8
Quality of life: 45


Source: Wallet Hub

24 – Springfield, Illinois
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According to newsmax.com, a fast-food restaurant named Maid-Rite claims to have started the phenomenon of the drive-thru window in the United States. The sandwich shop also became well known for the misspelling of a condiment on its sign. The error on the sign read “chilli.”

Overall index: 53.39
Category ranking
Affordability: 1
Economic well-being: 31
Education and health: 42
Quality of life: 38


Source: Wallet Hub

23 – St. Paul, Minnesota
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According to visitstpaul.com, the capital city has the longest stretch of Victorian homes in the United States. The site claims Summit Avenue is known worldwide by tourism websites.

Overall index: 53.83
Category ranking
Affordability: 36
Economic well-being: 21
Education and health: 9
Quality of life: 25


Source: Wallet Hub

22 – Juneau, Alaska
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According to newsmax.com, Juneau has an abundance of wildlife. Nearly 300 species of birds, five species of salmon, three species of whales and both brown and black bears call the city home. Also, around 20,000 bald eagles reside within city lmits.

Overall index: 53.90
Category ranking
Affordability: 27
Economic well-being: 17
Education and health: 20
Quality of life: 46


Source: Wallet Hub

21 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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According to movoto.com, Sylvan N. Goldman is credited for inventing the nation’s shopping cart, which was used at OKC’s Humpty Dumpty and Standard Food Market.

Overall index: 55.19
Category ranking
Affordability: 5
Economic well-being: 6
Education and health: 43
Quality of life: 47


Source: Wallet Hub

20 – Topeka, Kansas
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The website newsmax.com wrote the following tidbit of information: “In 2010, (on April Fool’s Day) Topeka temporarily changed its name to Google, Kansas, in order to curry favor with the powerful search engine giant. ‘It’s just good fun. Wa are having a good time of it,’ Topeka mayor Bill Bunten told CNN. ‘There's a lot of good things that are going on in our city.’ At the time, Bunten made sure to let his residents know that Google would not replace Topeka on a permanent basis. Google responded on that April Fool's Day by saying it would rename the company ‘Topeka.’ “

Overall index: 55.22
Category ranking
Affordability: 13
Economic well-being: 25
Education and health: 23
Quality of life: 41


Source: Wallet Hub

19 – Annapolis, Maryland
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According to marylandfun.facts.co, Annapolis is known as the sailing capital of the world. The United States Naval Academy was founded there on October 10, 1985.

Overall index: 55.26
Category ranking
Affordability: 34
Economic well-being: 18
Education and health: 27
Quality of life: 10


Source: Wallet Hub

18 – Jefferson City, Missouri
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Graham Cave State Park in Jefferson City is a cave surrounded by a forest area. According to citytowninfo.com, the cave was occupied by humans more than 10,000 years ago..

Overall index: 55.41
Category ranking
Affordability: 6
Economic well-being: 22
Education and health: 35
Quality of life: 34


Source: Wallet Hub

17 – Cheyenne, Wyoming
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Despite being a long, long way away from a ocean, the capital of Wyoming has a US Naval submarine named after it. According to newsmax.com, the USS Cheyenne was commissioned in 1996 and is still in active service in Hawaii.

Overall index: 56.07
Category ranking
Affordability: 2
Economic well-being: 10
Education and health: 40
Quality of life: 37


Source: Wallet Hub

16 – Atlanta, Georgia
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The city played host to the 1996 Summer Olympics and Centennial Olympic Park remains a centerpiece in the capital of Georgia.

Overall index: 57.18
Category ranking
Affordability: 31
Economic well-being: 33
Education and health: 13
Quality of life: 5


Source: Wallet Hub

15 – Nashville, Tennessee
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According to movoto.com, Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry had as special guest in 1974. President Richard Nixon played piano in a version of “God Bless America.”

Overall index: 57.46
Category ranking
Affordability: 21
Economic well-being: 4
Education and health: 25
Quality of life: 28


Source: Wallet Hub

14 – Salt Lake City, Utah
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The Great Salt Lake is not as deep as you may think. According to matadornetwork.com, the average depth of the lake is only 13 feet.

It's also 75 miles long and 35 miles wide, which is bigger than the state of Delaware.

Overall index: 57.77
Category ranking
Affordability: 28
Economic well-being: 30
Education and health: 16
Quality of life: 4


Source: Wallet Hub

13 – Denver, Colorado
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According to movoto.com, Denver was originally awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics. However, after the community voted against it, the city became the first to turn down hosting the event.

Overall index: 57.91
Category ranking
Affordability: 38
Economic well-being: 3
Education and health: 31
Quality of life: 6


Source: Wallet Hub

12 – Olympia, Washington
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According to olympiawa.gov, an earthquake destroyed many historic buildings in downtown Olympia. After reconstruction, many of the city’s buildings are a mix of historic, mid-century and contemporary architecture.

Overall index: 58.23
Category ranking
Affordability: 24
Economic well-being: 36
Education and health: 17
Quality of life: 1


Source: Wallet Hub

11 – Des Moines, Iowa
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According to movoto.com, the city of Des Moines established an ordinance that made dancing illegal between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. (That makes Kevin Bacon and the cast of ‘Footloose’ stand up and take notice.) The law was repealed in 2009.

Overall index: 58.70
Category ranking
Affordability: 8
Economic well-being: 19
Education and health: 14
Quality of life: 27


Source: Wallet Hub

10 – Columbus, Ohio
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The capital of Ohio was nicknamed “Arch City,” according to newsmax.com, due to the dozens of wooden and metal arches that spanned multiple streets and used to power streetcars. The arches were torn down in 1914; however, Columbus restored several arches in the historic area of Short North in 2002.

Overall index: 59.38
Category ranking
Affordability: 12
Economic well-being: 14
Education and health: 10
Quality of life: 22


Source: Wallet Hub

9 – Helena, Montana
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According to newsmax.com, the “Natatorium” at the Hotel Broadwater once was home to the largest indoor pool in the world back in 1889. The hotel was damaged in a earthquake in 1935, the pool was knocked down in 1946, and the hotel eventually demolished in 1974.

Overall index: 59.52
Category ranking
Affordability: 19
Economic well-being: 7
Education and health: 30
Quality of life: 15


Source: Wallet Hub

8 – Pierre, South Dakota
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According to newsmax.com, Pierre is one of five capital cities that does not have an Interstate highway running through it.

Overall index: 59.84
Category ranking
Affordability: 14
Economic well-being: 32
Education and health: 2
Quality of life: 44


Source: Wallet Hub

7 – Montpellier, Vermont
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Believe it or not, the capital of Vermont does not have a McDonalds. According to newsmax.com, it the only state capital in which you cannot buy a Big Mac.

Overall index: 60.18
Category ranking
Affordability: 25
Economic well-being: 15
Education and health: 4
Quality of life: 19


Source: Wallet Hub

6 – Boise, Idaho
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Albertsons Stadium, home of the Broncos of Boise State University, was the first football field to not have a traditional green turf. They play on a blue field known as “Smurf Turf.”

Overall index: 61.07
Category ranking
Affordability: 9
Economic well-being: 24
Education and health: 11
Quality of life: 14


Source: Wallet Hub

5 – Raleigh, North Carolina
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According to newsmax.com, the capital of North Carolina was founded in 1792 and named for Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer, soldier and writer.

Overall index: 62.42
Category ranking
Affordability: 3
Economic well-being: 5
Education and health: 19
Quality of life: 23


Source: Wallet Hub

4 – Madison, Wisconsin
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According to movoto.com, Otis Redding, singer of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” died when his plane crashed in Lake Monona in Madison.

Overall index: 63.78
Category ranking
Affordability: 26
Economic well-being: 12
Education and health: 1
Quality of life: 8


Source: Wallet Hub

3 – Bismarck, North Dakota
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According to newsmax.com, 8,962 people waved their arms and legs in the snow outside the Bismarck capital building in 2007 to break a Guinness Book of World Records mark for snow angels.

Overall index: 64.73
Category ranking
Affordability: 10
Economic well-being: 1
Education and health: 6
Quality of life: 42


Source: Wallet Hub

2 – Lincoln, Nebraska
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The capital of Nebraska is home to the National Museum of Roller Skating, the Museum of American Speed and the Larsen Tractor Museum, according to newsmax.com.

Overall index: 65.34
Category ranking
Affordability: 4
Economic well-being: 8
Education and health: 3
Quality of life: 20


Source: Wallet Hub

1 Austin, Texas
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According to movoto.com, Whole Foods started in Austin in 1978 when college dropout John Mackey and Rene Lawson Hardy borrowed $45,000 to open a natural foods store.

Overall index: 65.43
Category ranking
Affordability: 11
Economic well-being: 2
Education and health: 5
Quality of life: 18


Source: Wallet Hub