The 6 Kindest Cities In America. Number 5 May Surprise You.

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the kindest cities in America - shoe sprinkles

by Debbie Gruber

What exactly is a kind city? And, how do you measure kindness? It's certainly not as simple as measuring a cup of flour.

Wallethub created a massive kindness study, looking at America's 100 largest cities. Kindness was measured in three ways:

  1. The number of people who care about their community (i.e. - willingness to do favors for others)
  2. The number of people who care about their city's vulnerable population (i.e. - homeless folks)
  3. The number of caring people in the workforce (i.e. - special education teachers)

After all the results were tabulated . . . drumroll . . . these are the six kindest cities in the U.S.A.

The Results

#6: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

 Pittsburgh PA

In sixth place is Pittsburg, also known as the "City of Bridges" (because it has 446 of them - more bridges than any other city in the world). In addition to being a kind place, Pittsburgh has other claims to fame:

  • The Big Mac was created in the Pittsburgh suburbs
  • In 1950, Dr. Jonas Salk invented the Polio vaccine in Pittsburgh
  • In 1905, Pittsburgh became home to the first movie theater

#5 Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey city, NJ

Jersey City as number five may be a surprise to some. Here's why: according to Movoto, "People from New Jersey are loud, obnoxious, and full of themselves". On a personal level, I can't embrace Movoto's statement. Good folks and bad folks are everywhere. I don't believe New Jersey has a higher concentration of loud and obnoxious people than other places.

Here's a couple of fun facts about Jersey City:

  • Although New York has legal jurisdiction over The Statue of Liberty, the statute is actually located in Jersey city, not New York City
  • The Colgate clock, which sits on the Jersey City waterfront, is the 4th largest clock in the world

#4 Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, MA

In fourth place is Boston, home to the very first Dunkin Donuts and the first chocolate factory. Yum!

Here are other cool foodie facts about Boston:

  • The very first Thanksgiving in America was celebrated in Boston
  • Boston cream pie was invented at a local hotel
  • The Fig Newton cookie is named after a Boston suburb

#3 Lincoln, Nebraska

 Lincoln, Nebraska

In addition to being the third kindest city in the U.S.A., Lincoln also makes the list as one of the "Top Cities for Well Being in America". 

Did you know?

  • Charles Lindberg learned to fly in Lincoln (he dropped out of University of Wisconsin to come to the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation flying school in Lincoln in 1922)
  • Lincoln lays claim as the birthplace of America's 911 emergency system

#2 Virginia Beach, VA 

Virginia beach

Virginia Beach, in our number two spot, also holds the record for the "longest pleasure beach on the planet" in the Guinness Book of World Records. The coastline is a whopping 35 miles long.

Another nature related nugget about Virginia Beach: 

  • Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic Coast

#1 Madison, Wisconsin 

Madison, Wisconsin

Out of the 100 largest cities in the U.S.A., Madison takes the number one spot as the kindest place. Plus, according to Livability and Business Insider, it ranks as one of the best places to live in America. 

Madison has other claims to fame too:

  • Per capita, folks in Madison buy more books than anywhere else in the USA
  • The dome of the state capitol is made entirely of granite - it is the largest granite dome in the world
  • During the Civil War, Madison was the very first city to send troops

My City

I live in Long Island, New York, a suburb just outside of NYC. Many people think of New York as an unkind place, filled people only looking out for themselves and not caring about others. 

As a lifelong resident, I can tell you that is not the case. There are many good people in New York. I have experienced numerous instances of random acts of kindness over the course of my life. That is not to say that everyone is kind. I've had my share of regrettable experiences with unkind people too.

One of the things I love about Long Island is that you are never too far from water. Our peninsula is surround by the East River, the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

I adore the ocean. It never fails to make me happy and peaceful. My mission was to capture the essence of the magnificent ocean with our Ocean Ombre loafers.  

ocean ombre hand painted canvas loafers - shoe sprinkles

Your turn . . .

Have you ever visited any of the kind cities the list?

Do you live in a kind place?



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  • Deborah Gruber on

    Thanks so much Wendy!

  • Wendy Ehrlich on

    Too bad you’re leaving the beaches of L.I.! But great article xoxoxo Wendy


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