Best to Worst Cleanest Cities in the US

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Long Beach, California Ranked the Cleanest City in the U.S.

–          Philadelphia, PA Ranked the Lowest City for Cleanliness –

Las Vegas

–          The Demand for Hand Sanitizer is Highest in Las Vegas, NV –

Philadelphia, Pa

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene has become a higher priority for many industries, and travel is no exception.

For travelers thinking about booking their next vacation, travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip provides some destination inspiration by ranking the best (and worst) U.S. cities for cleanliness.

San Diego. Ca

InsureMyTrip has examined the latest city and state-level data available for key categories* including ‘hand sanitizer demand’, ‘restaurant cleanliness’, ‘quantity of recycling collectors’ ‘garbage disposal satisfaction’, ‘electric vehicle (EV) market share’ and ‘pollution’ to rate U.S. cities from best to worst.

The Top 10/Bottom 10 Cleanest U.S. Cities
LocationScoreRankLocationScore
Long Beach, California7.021Philadelphia, Pennsylvania1.84
San Diego, California6.582Detroit, Michigan2.25
Sacramento, California6.413Kansas City, Missouri3.02
Tampa, Florida6.354Mesa, Arizona3.25
Charlotte, North Carolina6.095Atlanta, Georgia3.47
San Jose, California5.756Tulsa, Oklahoma3.54
Oakland, California5.737Omaha, Nebraska3.55
Tucson, Arizona5.718Columbus, Ohio3.59
Bakersfield, California5.669Chicago, Illinois3.63
San Francisco, California5.4810Phoenix, Arizona3.64

Of the 50 cities analyzed, seven cities in California rank within the top 10. Overall, Long Beach, California is rated as the cleanest city. It scores a strong 7.02 out of a possible 10 across the different data categories.

Long Beach scores highly for ‘general garbage disposal satisfaction’ (9.73), and it receives top marks in ‘EV market share’ (10) and ‘restaurant cleanliness’ (10).

Long Beach, Ca

It comes as no surprise to see Long Beach scoring so highly for ‘EV market share’ as Californian residents consistently purchase the most EVs compared to any other state. The latest figures show California represents almost 47% of all U.S. EV sales.

Neighboring city San Diego follows in second place (6.58), with high scores in ‘electric vehicle market share’ (10), ‘restaurant cleanliness’ (10) and ‘garbage disposal’ (8.82). It narrowly misses out on the top spot due to its low scores in ‘hand sanitizer demand’ (2.11) and ‘recycling collector quantity’ (3.32).

Tampa (6.35), Charlotte (6.09), and Tucson (5.71) are the only non-Californian cities to be featured in the top 10. All three score highly in categories like ‘pollution’, ‘quantity of recycling collectors’ and ‘garbage disposal satisfaction’.

Tampa, Fla

The common factor among these three cities are their notably low pollution levels with Florida now meeting federal standards for air pollutants for the first time in a decade. Tucson is named one of the top five cities with the best air quality, and Charlotte – after struggling for years – is now in compliance with federal health standards for ground-level ozone.

Despite Las Vegas (5.34) narrowly missing out on the top 10 cleanest cities, ranking 13th overall, it has the highest interest in ‘hand sanitizer demand’ (10). This could be due to a surge in purchases since the re-opening of Vegas casinos.

Las Vegas, Nv

At the other end of the scale, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received the lowest scorer overall and is rated the least clean city.

It takes the lowest possible score (0) for ‘restaurant cleanliness’, along with other minimal scores for ‘EV market share’ (0.76), ‘hand sanitizer demand’ (0.93), and ‘quantity of recycling collectors’ (1.42).

However, Philadelphia does obtain a positive ranking in the ‘pollution’ category where it scores six out of a possible 10. This could be due to one of the state’s key targets of reducing its emissions under the Clean Power Plan. This involves increasing the use of renewable energy sources by 2021. 

Philadelphia, Pa

Detroit, Michigan (2.25) follows closely as the second least clean city in the U.S. This is due to its low scores in ‘garbage disposal’ (0), ‘EV market share’ (0.32), and ‘hand sanitizer demand’ (0.44).

Detroit, Mi

Some of these scores may not be surprising to Detroit locals, especially as abrupt closure of one of the main city incinerators was recently reported, prompting severe delays to residential pick-ups

Kansas City, Missouri (3.02), Mesa, Arizona (3.25), and Atlanta, Georgia (3.47) complete the bottom 10 cleanest cities in the U.S.

Commenting on the findings Ronni Kenoian, Manager of Marketing & eCommerce at InsureMyTrip said:

“Clearly, health and cleanliness are a top priority for travelers right now. While there are many factors to consider when deciding on a destination, this study took an interesting approach by highlighting categories that may be overlooked, like hand sanitizer demand and garbage disposal satisfaction.

Tucson, Az

When looking at all that data combined, it offers a unique perspective for understanding how cities prioritize a wide variety of measures related to overall cleanliness, especially for tourists.”

To view the full data for each city please visit InsureMyTrip’s dedicated webpage here.

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