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Report Names Boise the "Most Caring City" in America

The most caring city in America? A new national ranking says it's Boise. (knowlesgallery/iStock)
The most caring city in America? A new national ranking says it's Boise. (knowlesgallery/iStock)
December 22, 2015

BOISE, Idaho - After a month of headlines critical of its shutdown of the Cooper Court homeless encampment, a new report may be the closest thing to redemption for Boise. The group WalletHub has ranked Idaho's capital the "Most Caring City in America."

The group said it rated the country's 100 biggest cities on 26 different metrics in three general categories: caring for the community, caring for the vulnerable and homeless, and caring in the workforce. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said Boise did well because it is chock-full of people who make a living caring for others.

"Boise had one of the best numbers in terms of having the highest number of people that work in community and social services, per capita," she said, "four times higher than, say, a Detroit or a Las Vegas, at the bottom of the list."

The study also looked at micro-indicators. For example, Boise scored high on a survey from the Corporation for National and Community Service that measured the percentage of residents who do favors for their neighbors every day or several times a week.

Boise has a built-in advantage, with child and adult poverty rates that are considered fairly low, at about 18 percent and 14 percent respectively. Gonzales said Internal Revenue Service records showed Boiseans also are generous.

"In terms of the percentage of income donated to charity, in Boise the average is about 4 percent. That, again, was in the top 20," she said. "So really, from big to small, whether it's donating time or money, Boise is doing, obviously, one of the best jobs here in the country."

Midsize towns in northern climes did especially well in this survey of caring cities, with Lincoln, Neb., Madison, Wis., and Anchorage, Alaska, ranking second, third and fourth.

The study is online at wallethub.com.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - ID