These Are the 10 Most Socially Conscious Cities in the U.S. (Infographic)

Triple-bottom-line focused entrepreneurs should consider these markets.
These Are the 10 Most Socially Conscious Cities in the U.S. (Infographic)
Image credit: Reinier Snijders/EyeEm | Getty Images

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Digital Content Director
2 min read

When you’re looking for a city to open a new business or relocate an existing one, you consider a bevy of factors: The tax climate, friendliness to new business and the cost of living, among many others. But as companies increasingly focus on “people, not profit,” other factors start to come into play. Is the city thinking about sustainability and equality? Is public transportation accessible and affordable? In other words, how socially conscious does the city seem to be?

Related: Infographic: The 10 Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

This is something Ascent, a ratings and reviews site that’s a subsidiary of The Motley Fool, was interested in. So they looked at more than 75 cities in the U.S. and compared how they stack up in terms of seven factors: equality, neighborliness, childcare costs, sustainable development, food access, public transit, and healthcare costs. 

Not surprisingly, large cities with a history of robust public services topped the list. Here’s a ranking of the top 10 cities. 

  1. Washington, D.C. 

  2. Baltimore, Md.

  3. Portland, Ore.

  4. Boston, Mass.

  5. Philadelphia, Pa.

  6. Chicago, Ill.

  7. Pittsburgh, Pa.

  8. Seattle, Wash.

  9. San Diego, Calif.

  10. Los Angeles, Calif.

What made the cities that scored the highest do so? Ranking highly in at least two areas helped catapult a city to the top of the list. Washington, D.C., the top city, scored high marks in sustainability, food access and public transit. Its relatively high score in healthcare allowed it to claim the top spot. And the second city, Baltimore, got a boost because its healthcare system was the most affordable. See more insights on the top five cities below. 

Related: The Best Cities for New Small Businesses (Infographic)

Of course, some cities didn’t fare so well on this list. Below, see the ranking (from top to bottom) of the metro areas could use some improvement in the areas The Ascent studied. 

10. Fort Worth, Texas

9. Wichita, Kan. 

8. Fresno, Calif. 

7. Baton Rouge, La.

6. Stockton, Calif.

5. Buffalo, N.Y.

4. St. Paul, Minn.

3. Bakersfield, Calif.

2. Arlington, Texas

1.Anchorage, Ak. 

Related: Infographic: Here Are the 15 Most Entrepreneurial Cities in the U.S.

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