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Salt Lake City 2nd best city in America for keeping New Year's resolutions, study finds

new years 2020 2021 getty (4).jpg
Photo of young couple on New Year's Eve. (FILE: Getty Images)

Lose weight. Exercise more. Organize your life. Quit smoking. Save money. Spend more time with family.

The list goes on and on when it comes to New Year's resolutions, and a new WalletHub study shows that Salt Lake City is the second-best city in the nation when it comes to keeping those resolutions.

The study looked at 57 metrics (see methodology below) across five categories to determine which cities are the best when it comes to people actually keeping the New Year's resolutions they make.

Those categories are:

  1. Health Resolutions
  2. Financial Resolutions
  3. School & Work Resolutions
  4. Bad-Habit Resolutions
  5. Relationship Resolutions

Only one other city besides Salt Lake City made the list with West Valley City, Utah coming in at 56.

West Valley City and Salt Lake City also came in at third and fourth, respectively, for cities with the lowest prevalence of adult binge drinking. Jackson, Miss. and Montgomery, Ala. took the top two spots on that list, respectively.

The top 25 cities on the list are:

  1. Scottsdale, AZ
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
  3. Seattle, WA
  4. Irvine, CA
  5. San Diego, CA
  6. Overland Park, KS
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Fremont, CA
  9. Raleigh, NC
  10. San Jose, CA
  11. Plano, TX
  12. Atlanta, GA
  13. Huntington Beach, CA
  14. Austin, TX
  15. Columbia, MD
  16. Virginia Beach, VA
  17. Chandler, AZ
  18. Charleston, SC
  19. Tempe, AZ
  20. Madison, WI
  21. Boise, ID
  22. Portland, ME
  23. Orlando, FL
  24. Minneapolis,
  25. Gilbert, AZ

Click here to see the full list of 182 cities

METHODOLOGY

(Methodology was taken directly from the study)

Health Resolutions – Total Points: 20

  • Share of Obese Adults: Double Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Share of Adults Not Exercising: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Access to Exercise Opportunities: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Access to Healthy-Food Stores: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Inadequate Fruit & Vegetable Consumption: Full* Weight (~2.00 Points) Note: This metric measures the share of adults who eat fewer than one serving of fruit or vegetables per day.
  • Share of Residents Who Say They Eat Healthy: Full Weight (~2.00 Points) Note: This metric is based on Gallup and Sharecare's 2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating report which examines healthy eating across the nation.
  • Fitness Centers per Capita: Full** Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Weight-Loss Centers per Capita: Full** Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Average Monthly Fitness-Club Fee: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)

Financial Resolutions – Total Points: 20

  • Median Annual Income: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Income Growth (2015–2019): Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
  • Median Credit Score: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
  • Median Credit-Card Debt: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: “Debt” was calculated per person as share of median earnings
  • Share of Delinquent Debtors: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
  • Mortgage Debt: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: “Debt” was calculated per person as share of median earnings
  • Non-Mortgage Debt: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: “Debt” was calculated per person as share of median earnings
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
  • Share of Households with Emergency Savings: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: This metric measures the share of households that saved for unexpected expenses or emergencies in the past 12 months
  • Homeownership Rate: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
  • Rental Affordability: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Annual Price for Two-Bedroom Apartment Rental / Median Annual Household Income
  • Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Median House Price / Median Annual Household Income
  • Poverty Rate: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
  • Financial-Products Comparison: Full Weight (~1.43 Points) Note: This metric measures the real intent of the population to compare “credit cards”, “mortgage rates”, “car insurance” and “car loans”. “Real intent” is measured using the average monthly search volumes for those specific term

School & Work Resolutions – Total Points: 20

  • Share of Public Schools Rated by GreatSchools.org with Above Average Score: Double Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Average Quality of Universities: Full Weight (~1.25 Points) Note: This metric measures the average WalletHub College & University Score
  • High School Dropout Rate: Full Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Job Opportunities: Full Weight (~1.25 Points) Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Number of Job Openings per Number of Population in Labor Force – Unemployment Rate
  • Median Annual Income: Full Weight (~1.25 Points) Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living
  • Income Growth (2015–2019): Full Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Double Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~1.25 Points) Note: This metric was calculated as follows: (Number of Employees in 2019 – Number of Employees in 2018) / Number of Employees in 2018
  • Job Satisfaction: Full Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Gallup-Sharecare State of American Well-Being “Career” Rank: Full Weight (~1.25 Points) Note: The “Career” Rank is defined as “Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals”
  • Employment Outlook: Full Weight (~1.25 Points) Note: This metric is based on the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey
  • Business Startup-Friendliness: Full Weight (~1.25 Points) Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best Large Cities to Start a Business” ranking

Bad-Habit Resolutions – Total Points: 20

  • Binge Drinking: Full Weight (~2.22 Points) Note: This metric measures the age-adjusted prevalence of binge drinking among adults aged 18 and older
  • Share of Adult Smokers: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Share of Marijuana Users: Full Weight (~2.22 Points) Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population aged 12 and older who used marijuana in the past month
  • Access to Opioids: Full Weight (~2.22 Points) Note: This metric measures the number of opioid pain-reliever prescriptions per 100 residents
  • Drug Overdose-Related Deaths: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Share of Adults with Gambling Disorders: Full* Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Share of Adults with Inadequate Sleep: Full Weight (~2.22 Points) Note: This metric measures the share of adults sleeping fewer than seven hours per night
  • Share of Adults in Fair or Poor Health: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Share of Adults Who Visited a Doctor and/or Dentist in the Past Year: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)

Relationships Resolutions – Total Points: 20

  • Nightlife Establishments per Capita: Full** Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Restaurants per Capita: Full** Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Attractions: Full Weight (~1.67 Points Note: “Attractions” include, for instance, zoos, museums and theaters
  • Park Playgrounds per Capita: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Parkland Acres per Capita: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Average Wedding Cost: Full Weight (~1.67 Points) Note: “Cost” was calculated as share of median earnings
  • Family-Friendliness: Full Weight (~1.67 Points) Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family” ranking
  • Fun Opportunities: Full Weight (~1.67 Points) Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Most Fun Cities in America” ranking
  • Singles-Friendliness: Full Weight (~1.67 Points) Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Cities for Singles” ranking
  • Sports Fan-Friendliness: Full Weight (~1.67 Points) Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best Sports Cities” ranking
  • Gallup-Sharecare State of American Well-Being “Social” Rank: Full Weight (~1.67 Points) Note: The “Social” Rank is defined as "Having supportive relationships and love in your life".
  • Share of Residents Who Regularly Talk or Spend Time with Friends and Family: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Council for Community and Economic Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Wedding Report, County Health Rankings, Yelp, Numbeo, TransUnion, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, GreatSchools, Corporation for National and Community Service, National Council on Problem Gambling, Indeed, Chmura Economics & Analytics, ManpowerGroup, Google Ads, TripAdvisor, The Trust for Public Land, Gallup – Sharecare and WalletHub research.