Hartford, Connecticut Rated Worst State Capital in U.S.

File photo of Hartford, Conn.
AP/Bob Child

Financial information site WalletHub rates Hartford, Connecticut as the worst state capital in the United States.

In an analysis that compared the 50 state capitals to identify which combines the best in “affordability, a strong economy, high education standards, and overall excellent quality of life,” Hartford, Connecticut was rated the worst U.S. state capital with a capital index score of 39.47.

Austin, Texas was rated the best state capital, earning an overall state capital index score of 65.43.

According to the analysis – which used a data set of 35 key metrics ranging from cost of living to K–12 school-system quality to number of attractions – Hartford ranked 49 in “affordability,” while Austin ranked 11. In “economic well-being,” Hartford ranked 45, while Austin ranked 2. Hartford ranked 21 in “education and health,” while Austin ranked 5. Finally, Hartford ranked 31 in “quality of life,” while Austin ranked 18.

Hartford is among the state capitals with the least affordable housing, the lowest median household income, the highest unemployment rate, the highest percentage of residents below the poverty level, and the lowest percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree, reports WalletHub.

The Hartford Courant, however, says the capital city’s size – at 17.3 square miles – makes it among the smaller cities, a factor that could affect its ranking.

Last month Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-WFP) was invited by President Barack Obama to sit in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box during the State of the Union address.

According to the White House, those invited to sit in the First Lady’s box “represent the progress we have made since the President first delivered this speech seven years ago – from the brink of a second Great Depression and two costly wars to an economy that is growing and renewed American leadership abroad.”

“The guests personify President Obama’s time in office and most importantly, they represent who we are as Americans: inclusive and compassionate, innovative and courageous,” the announcement from the White House said.

Last fall, according to a Quinnipiac University survey, Malloy’s approval rating had plummeted to 32%, the “lowest score for any governor in the nine states surveyed” in 2015. The Courant – which endorsed Malloy -referred to Connecticut in general as “an incubator for progressive policies.”

“Gov. Dannel Malloy’s job approval rating has plummeted to 32 percent, close to the historic 24 percent low hit by disgraced former Gov. John Rowland in January 2004, and Gov. Malloy is not in the middle of a corruption scandal,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D. “Malloy is getting hammered on the critical pocketbook issues, taxes, the budget and the economy and jobs.”

Malloy’s policies have left the state with its current $560 million budget deficit.

“Only 36 percent of voters are satisfied with the way things are going in the state, one of the lowest scores since Quinnipiac University started asking this question in 1997,” Schwartz observed.

The poll shows Connecticut voters sharply disapprove of Malloy, 58-32 percent, with 4-1 negative scores for his management of taxes and the state’s finances.

A full 75 percent of Connecticut voters give Malloy a “not so good” or “poor” rating on the state’s economy, with only 5% of voters finding Malloy’s policies have helped them.

A Gallup poll in 2014 found Connecticut had dropped to dead last place in the nation in job creation, as workers reported the worst climate for hiring. CNBC also ranked the state among the five worst states for business in 2014.

In an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, Bloomberg News found that Connecticut is one of the states people are fleeing the most.

In the WalletHub analysis, state capitals following Austin with high rankings include Lincoln, Nebraska; Bismarck, North Dakota; Madison, Wisconsin; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

The capitals of Carson City, Nevada; Montgomery, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and Providence, Rhode Island are also ranked among the worst in the country just above Hartford.


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