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Best and worst cities for military

Raleigh, North Carolina is ranked first in WalletHub’s rankings of best and worst cities for veterans. Photo credit:

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Current veterans and those looking at leaving the services soon may want to browse a new list by WalletHub detailing the best and worst cities for veterans to reside.

WalletHub's scrutiny delved into a matrix of 19 metrics spanning four critical domains: employment, economy, quality of life and health. This examination, vetted by military and academic experts, painted a disheartening picture for Detroit, ultimately relegating it to the bottom rung of the list encompassing 100 American cities, rendering it the least favorable for veterans.

At the zenith of WalletHub's rankings rested Raleigh, North Carolina, reasserting its position as the foremost city for veterans, closely shadowed by Austin, Texas and Orlando, Florida. Predictably, cities hosting military bases and a sizable retired military cohort featured prominently within the top echelons. Tampa, Florida, home to the U.S. Special Operations Command and MacDill Air Force Base, secured the fourth spot, while Virginia Beach, housing Naval Air Station Oceana and other installations, clinched the fifth position.

Rounding out the top ten were Scottsdale, Arizona, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Gilbert, Arizona, Laredo, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida.

This year's list saw large urban centers grappling with intricate issues and arduous budgetary predicaments, collectively forming the bottom tier alongside Detroit. Jersey City, New Jersey; Chicago; Memphis, Tennessee; and Newark, New Jersey brought up the bottom. WalletHub's experts implicated federal policy as a pivotal determinant of these cities' inhospitality towards veterans, stressing the government's shared responsibility in supporting post-service transition and well-being.

According to, noteworthy standouts emerged amid this assessment, illuminating contrasting aspects within cities. Toledo, Ohio, despite its low overall ranking, held the top position for the proportion of military skill-related jobs, while Irving, Texas, despite its deficit in these jobs, showcased the lowest veteran unemployment rate and relatively minimal poverty among veterans.

Atlanta showcased remarkable growth in veteran incomes, but struggled with high rates of homeless veterans. Conversely, Santa Ana, California, confronted challenges in veteran employment but excelled in providing top-tier healthcare.

How did the area's surrounding Joint Base Lewis-McChord rank? Listed as Seattle, our communities finished at 60 out of 100, ranking in the top 34 for quality of life, but the bottom 82 for the economy. The best ranked city in the Pacific Northwest is Boise, Idaho at number 14, ranked number three for quality of life.

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