WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Greenest Cities in America

“Green” living means a choice to engage in cleaner, more sustainable habits in order to preserve the planet as much as possible. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that protecting the environment for future generations is “very important,” and 56% believe that stricter environmental laws are worth the cost. The good news, according to Adam McCann of Wallethub, is that the market for greener energy is getting bigger – and renewable energy was the only type of energy for which demand increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency.

Clean energy and other “green” practices, such as recycling programs and urban agriculture, help create jobs and benefit both the environment and public health, all of which contribute to America’s bottom line. Recognizing those advantages, cities across the U.S. have increased their sustainability efforts and benefited economically.

With October being National Energy Awareness Month and more than half of Americans saying stricter environmental regulations are worth the cost, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2021’s Greenest Cities in America.

To determine which cities promote a “green” lifestyle, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 28 key indicators of environmental friendliness and sustainability. The data set ranges from greenhouse-gas emissions per capita to green job opportunities to number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.

Greenest Cities in America

  1. San Diego, CA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Portland, OR
  4. Irvine, CA
  5. Honolulu, HI
  6. Fremont, CA
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Oakland, CA
  9. Seattle, WA
  10. San Jose, CA

Least Green Cities in America

91. Louisville, KY
92. Detroit, MI
93. Houston, TX
94. Hialeah, FL
95. Newark, NJ
96. Chandler, AZ
97. Baton Rouge, LA
98. Glendale, AZ
99. Mesa, AZ
100. Gilbert, AZ

Best vs. Worst

  • Lubbock, Texas, has the lowest median air-quality index, 20, which is six times lower than in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale and Scottsdale, Arizona, the cities with the highest at 119 (Lowest index = Best).
  • Anchorage, Alaska, has the most green space, 84.17 percent, which is 48.3 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the least at 1.74 percent.
  • New York has the highest walk score, 88, which is 4.2 times higher than in Chesapeake, Virginia, the city with the lowest at 21.
  • Honolulu has the most farmers markets (per square root of population), 0.113415, which is 71.3 times more than in Arlington, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.001590.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, click here.

Image Sources

  • Green City: Shutterstock