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2016’s Greenest Cities in America

Tree hugger or not, all humans have a responsibility to protect the planet. Fortunately, 74 percent of Americans agree with that statement today. The rest still worry that “going green” would cost the economy some serious green and result in major employment cuts.

On the contrary, “more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Moreover, the UCS points out that fossil-fuel technologies tend to be capital-intensive, whereas the renewable-energy industry is more labor-intensive. In 2015, for instance, the Solar Foundation reported that the solar industry created jobs nearly 20 times faster than the national rate.

Apart from employing Americans, clean energy and other “green” practices, such as recycling programs and urban agriculture, benefit the environment and public health, all of which contribute to America’s bottom line. Recognizing those advantages, cities across the U.S. have aligned their sustainability efforts with their economic goals and in turn have received handsome returns on such investments.

To determine the cities promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 20 key “green” indicators. Our data set ranges from “greenhouse-gas emissions per capita” to “number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.” Continue reading below for our findings, additional expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.

Overall RankCityTotal Score‘Environment’ Rank‘Transportation’ Rank‘Energy Sources’ Rank‘Lifestyle & Policy’ Rank
1San Francisco, CA75.64610151
2Honolulu, HI74.491382114
3San Jose, CA71.571321125
4Fremont, CA71.35283137
5San Diego, CA70.491614137
6Washington, DC68.7693298
7Oakland, CA68.00554116
8Portland, OR67.78527142
9Sacramento, CA65.91548194
10Minneapolis, MN65.752612818
11Seattle, WA65.4519551612
12Madison, WI64.771425911
13Boston, MA64.49763910
14New York, NY62.9224152424
15Albuquerque, NM61.804584031
16Buffalo, NY61.682343645
17Irvine, CA61.294457130
18St. Paul, MN61.0122352354
19Los Angeles, CA60.8858301721
20Chesapeake, VA60.813908453
21Anchorage, AK59.4232242648
22Anaheim, CA59.306722140
23Chula Vista, CA58.794953192
24Long Beach, CA58.647539115
25Boise, ID58.3145132088
26Austin, TX58.064136416
27Fresno, CA57.767720120
28Lincoln, NE57.0521484784
29Henderson, NV56.9628813063
30Scottsdale, AZ55.7415936143
31Baltimore, MD55.185332443
32Jersey City, NJ55.0317189968
33Philadelphia, PA54.954056728
34New Orleans, LA54.868277065
35Santa Ana, CA54.037347193
36Winston-Salem, NC53.9634567460
37Riverside, CA53.8782711826
38Phoenix, AZ53.7642423761
39Durham, NC53.7627667444
40Colorado Springs, CO53.3447773457
41Tucson, AZ53.1843496141
42Miami, FL53.153917909
43Wichita, KS53.0836882299
44Plano, TX52.8637945033
45Chicago, IL52.4638334549
46Raleigh, NC52.3910828717
47Aurora, CO52.3150683490
48Milwaukee, WI52.2659125732
49Charlotte, NC52.0630447725
50Norfolk, VA52.0331348480
51San Bernardino, CA51.919165136
52Denver, CO51.8595112513
53Nashville, TN51.7418626871
54Greensboro, NC51.4720757496
55El Paso, TX51.26332546100
56Reno, NV50.6963403077
57North Las Vegas, NV50.6861723097
58Cincinnati, OH50.4051168235
59Stockton, CA50.168545186
60Garland, TX50.0555865067
61Irving, TX49.8848915089
62San Antonio, TX49.3766463876
63St. Louis, MO48.9335808029
64Glendale, AZ48.8464796155
65Fort Wayne, IN48.7346709370
66Arlington, TX48.67291005094
67Columbus, OH48.3925378287
68Fort Worth, TX48.3362635869
69Las Vegas, NV48.0883503362
70Mesa, AZ47.3668676179
71Chandler, AZ46.7072976139
72Omaha, NE46.5557857372
73Indianapolis, IN46.4969644375
74Dallas, TX46.0456994864
75Orlando, FL46.028797919
76Birmingham, AL45.9011928952
77Pittsburgh, PA45.5080197238
78Hialeah, FL45.4765849622
79Lubbock, TX45.3381295074
80Detroit, MI45.2060269183
81Virginia Beach, VA45.0712959842
82Newark, NJ44.0478437178
83Kansas City, MO43.8774417858
84Memphis, TN43.6370966959
85Atlanta, GA43.1493286034
86Gilbert, AZ42.9084876156
87Bakersfield, CA42.5310052123
88Laredo, TX42.2794615050
89St. Petersburg, FL42.1876739691
90Jacksonville, FL41.3871898673
91Houston, TX41.3886764281
92Lexington-Fayette, KY41.0589609447
93Cleveland, OH40.7092238146
94Tampa, FL40.5279748851
95Louisville, KY39.5290599527
96Corpus Christi, TX38.8597695066
97Toledo, OH38.30887810085
98Tulsa, OK37.4199312782
99Oklahoma City, OK36.4098514995
100Baton Rouge, LA33.2396989298

Artwork Greenest Cities 2016-v2

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