The 11 Best State Capitals to Live In

Madison, Wisconsin
MarynaG / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, many individuals are reconsidering where they live. According to a July 2020 Pew Research Center study, about one-fifth of U.S. adults moved due to coronavirus, or know someone who did.

For people who are looking for a change of pace without having to sacrifice the full experience of city living, certain state capitals might prove a good option. Sometimes they are not actually the most populous cities in the states they represent, and still tend to offer many of the employment and cultural opportunities of bigger cities.

To find the best state capitals to live in, we analyzed data for each of the 50 U.S. state capitals. We compared them across five metrics:

    • Median income after housing costs. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey.
    • May 2020 unemployment rate. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is measured at the county level.
    • Concentration of dining and entertainment establishments. This is the number of restaurants, bars and entertainment establishments as a percentage of all establishments. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2017 County Business Patterns Survey.
    • Violent crime rate. This is the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Data comes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Database and neigborhoodscout.com.
    • Property crime rate. This is the number of property crimes per 100,000 residents. Data comes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Database and neighborhoodscout.com.

Based on our analysis, these are the best capitals to live in.

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