Dover ended up in the top half and Wilmington found itself in the bottom third in a ranking of poorly run and smoothly functioning cities in the U.S. Dover ranked 72nd and Wilmington ended up 115th in the ranking from the WalletHub financial information website.
WalletHub’s analysts compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities based on their operating efficiency.
For each city, the analysts constructed a “Quality of City Services” score – comprising 33 performance indicators grouped into six service categories – that was then measured that performance against the city’s total per-capita budget.
Both Delaware cities ranked low in the quality of services delivered figure, with Dover in 106th place and Wilmington holding down the 115 spot.
In the budget per capita, Dover fared much better at 61st, while Wilmington was in the 116th position.
Dover is aided by a municipally owned electric utility, with profits used to help lower property taxes.
The service efficiency figures come despite the fact that the State of Delaware picks up much of the costs of social services, education and other services that often handled by cities.
The ranking of both cities in Delaware was negatively influenced by high crime rates that boost law enforcement costs.
For example, Wilmington’s Police Department is comparable in size to New Castle County’s force, even though the county covers more than 400,000 people, while Wilmington’s population is under 73,000.
Over the past year, Wilmington saw the former mayor lose is bid for re-election with new Mayor Mike Purzycki appointing a Chicago Police veteran as the city’s new chief.
Nampa Idaho ranked first in the WalletHub report, with Detroit at No. 150. Baltimore ranked 130th, while Philadelphia was in 136th place.
Cities in the West and Midwest tended to have higher rankings. Among cities on the East Coast, Virginia Beach had the highest ranking at 17.
Click here for the full report.