Survey ranks Nashua 9th best-run city

Study compared operating efficiency of 150 U.S. cities.

NASHUA – According to the WalletHub personal finance website, Nashua provides better city services than every city in America except Huntington Beach, California.

Though Nashua’s weather may typically be a little different from that of the seaside Los Angeles suburb, the two cities consistently rank high in several categories in the WalletHub survey. Overall, Nashua ranks ninth in terms of the “best-run” cities across the nation.

“We’re happy WalletHub has confirmed what we expected, that Nashua is a well-run city,” Mayor Jim Donchess said.

The WalletHub study compared the operating efficiency of 150 U.S. cities to learn which are managed best among them. In doing so, officials constructed a “quality of services” score, made up of 35 metrics grouped into six service

categories. These were then measured against the city’s per-capita budget, and Nashua ranks second in providing the best services in the country.

While ranking second in “quality of services,” the city ranked 30th in “total budget per capita,” which shows Nashua is spending less than 80 percent of other cities in the U.S. per capita.

Additionally, Nashua also scored high in the health, safety and economy categories.

“I think we have a well-educated group of citizens and, in addition, the school system provides great value for residents,” Donchess said. “The education they’re getting is very good, despite the fact Nashua spends less money per student than most other districts in New Hampshire.”

While Nashua is able to deliver quality services at a reasonable cost, Donchess said city leaders are very careful about the way they spend money, constantly looking for ways to stretch every dollar as much as they can. He said there is very little waste in the budget.

When comparing the best and worst-run cities in the country, WalletHub compared those 150 cities across six categories:

 financial stability,

 education,

 health,

 safety,

 economy and

 infrastructure and pollution.

Using 35 metrics, surveyors evaluated those dimensions, and each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the highest quality of service.

From there, they calculated an overall “quality of city services” score based on the weighted average across all the metrics.

Donchess provided examples of how Nashua officials are able to make their dollars stretch. He said the Division of Public Works is operating with fewer people, yet providing more services. He also mentioned Nashua Fire Rescue and how they’re able to respond to over 11,000 calls per year, which is up considerably compared to years past, but with the same number of personnel.

“I was happy Nashua, again, is being recognized. It’s a very well run city with high quality of life.”

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or