The best places to live for veterans? Try Tampa, Avoid Detroit, Survey Says

A new survey of the best and worst places to live for veterans has placed a Florida city at the top for the second year in a row and Detroit at the bottom – again.

Tampa topped the list based on factors ranging from housing affordability, employment opportunities and the availability of Veterans Affairs Department facilities to quality of life and a welcoming atmosphere for veterans. Motor City came last among 100 cities in the annual survey conducted before Veterans Day by personal finance website WalletHub.

The top 10 cities for veterans in the survey, released Nov. 1, include Tampa; Austin, Texas; Scottsdale, Arizona; Raleigh, North Carolina; Gilbert, Arizona; Lincoln, Nebraska; Madison, Wisconsin; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Orlando Florida; and Boise, Idaho.

The last 10 include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; North of Las Vegas, Nevada; Cleveland, Ohio; San Bernardino, California; Toledo, Ohio; Jersey City, New Jersey; Baltimore, Maryland; Memphis, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; and Detroit, Michigan.

The full scores for all 100 cities can be found here.

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WalletHub used a new methodology for the survey, resulting in a reshuffle of the list from last year.

In 2020, WalletHub’s 10 best cities for veterans were Orlando, Florida; Irvine, California; Tampa; Raleigh; Austin; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Virginia Beach; Scottsdale; Gilbert; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The last 10 included New York; Fresno, California; Anaheim, California; town of Jersey; Long Beach, California; Baltimore; Memphis; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Newark; and Detroit.

WalletHub’s listings can also be at odds with other polls assessing the best and worst places for veterans, depending on how many factors are considered and how much weight they are given.

A list of the 10 “best cities after service” released last year by the Navy Federal Credit Union, in partnership with the nonprofit advocacy group Operation Homefront, places Charleston, South Carolina, number 1 .

It was followed by Fort Myers, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Daphne, Alabama; Norwich, Connecticut; San Diego, CA: Norfolk, Virginia; Duluth, Minnesota; Gulfport, Mississippi; and Fort Worth, Texas.

The credit union did not do a similar survey this year, but the online loan market LendingTree released a survey ranking the best and worst places for veterans by state that ranked South and North Dakota as the best, followed by Idaho, Vermont, Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, Delaware and Maine.

The LendingTree’s 10 worst spots for veterans were California followed by Washington, DC; Arizona; Louisiana; Rhode Island; New York; Illinois; Hawaii; New Jersey; and Nevada.

The Dakota’s high rankings were attributed to low housing costs and veteran unemployment rates, while California’s lower rank was primarily the result of the higher ratio of average housing costs to veteran income ( 40%), according to the LendingTree survey.

In its survey, WalletHub based its 2021 ranking of “Best and Worst Places to Live for Veterans” on 20 metrics that included the quality of local VA hospitals and the percentage of veterans living below the poverty line.

The increased use of metrics this year has led to changes in rankings. New York City was among the 10 worst cities for veterans in last year’s survey, ranked 90th, but improved this year to 77th.

In written responses to questions, WalletHub staff analyst Jill Gonzalez said comparisons between the 2020 and 2021 surveys of the best cities to live for veterans should not be drawn due to changes in methodology. She added: “The strengths of New York City this year were having the most art and entertainment establishments offering military discounts and the most VA health care facilities by population. veterans. “

Why was Detroit still last? Gonzalez said he had “the fourth highest veteran unemployment rate at 9.4% and the third lowest number of veteran-owned businesses per capita.”

Detroit “also has the highest proportion of veterans living in poverty, nearly 18%, and a low median veteran income of less than $ 27,000,” she said.

And how did the survey measure a city’s “veteran friendliness”? Gonzalez said this was done “through measures such as the share of jobs related to military skills, the number of veteran-owned businesses, veteran incomes, the size of the veteran population and the facilities in which they benefit”.

– Richard Sisk can be reached at [email protected]

Related: 10 Best States For Military Retirees

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