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20 Most Trustworthy Cities in the US

In this article, we will look at the 20 most trustworthy cities in the US. We have discussed the relevance of trustworthiness with businesses in detail. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the 5 Most Trustworthy cities in the US

According to the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses form the backbone of the American economy, comprising 99.9% of all businesses nationwide, totaling 33.3 million enterprises. 

Despite their size, these small ventures play a crucial role in job creation, employing 61.6 million people, which translates to 45.9% of the entire US workforce. Surprisingly, over 80% of these small businesses are operated by solo entrepreneurs, highlighting the entrepreneurial spirit and self-sufficiency prevalent in the sector.

While the majority of small businesses operate without any employees, approximately 16% employ between one and 19 staff, totaling over 5.4 million businesses. Despite their modest sizes, small businesses have added over 12.9 million jobs in the past 25 years. 

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Since entrepreneurship relies heavily on establishing trust with customers, a study by the Better Business Bureau found that 82% of American consumers consider trust fundamental for a successful business. To delve deeper into this, ZenBusiness conducted research using data from the Better Business Bureau, mapping out the trustworthiness of businesses across major cities and states in the USA.

According to the study, smaller states tend to have higher percentages of trusted businesses. States like North Dakota, Minnesota, Maine, and Alaska ranked among the top due to their smaller populations fostering strong community bonds. This close-knit environment encourages businesses to uphold their promises and prioritize customer satisfaction, as word-of-mouth travels fast in these areas. To read about small cities with similar culture, see 20 Best Small Cities to Live in the US.

Conversely, states like Nevada, Utah, California, and New York exhibited lower percentages of trusted businesses. Factors such as Nevada's gambling-centric industry and other regional nuances contribute to this trend. Moreover, industries like car dealerships often struggle with low trust ratings, while sectors such as banking thrive in states like North Dakota, New Mexico, and Hawaii, where they enjoy perfect trust scores, highlighting the significance of trust in consumer-business relationships.

Moreover, in 2014, Honest Tea conducted a countrywide social experiment to evaluate honesty in drink purchases which revealed intriguing statistics. Alabama and Hawaii were named the states with the most integrity, with a perfect 100% honesty rate. Following closely, Indiana and Maine had 99% honesty. Overall, Americans uphold honesty 92% of the time, while Washington, DC, fell behind at 80%. 

It is worth highlighting that Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) and JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) are two of the most trusted companies in the US

The trust of Americans in Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) appears to remain strong, as evidenced by the retail giant's fourth-quarter sales report. Despite a slight decrease in the average ticket price by 0.3 percent, indicating a minor reduction in spending per shopping trip, the number of transactions increased by 4.3 percent. This suggests that while shoppers may have spent a little less per visit, they continued to patronize Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) frequently, showcasing a sustained level of trust and reliance on the company for their shopping needs. Additionally, Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s online sales saw sizable growth, with a 17% increase in US online sales and a 23% jump in global online sales, surpassing $100 billion. This increase in online sales also reflects consumers' continued confidence in Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s  e-commerce platform.

Moreover, Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s emphasis on value and low prices has contributed to its resilience, particularly during times of economic uncertainty. The company's strong performance in its food business, supported by lower prices on essential items, highlights its ability to cater to consumers' needs even amid fluctuating economic conditions. As inflation subsides and consumer spending moderates, analysts and investors will be closely monitoring Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s ability to retain its customer base, particularly those with higher incomes who were drawn to the company during periods of high inflation. 

On the other hand, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) stands as a pillar in the American financial landscape with over two centuries of history. Managing client assets exceeding $2.6 trillion globally, the institution operates across more than 100 markets, supported by a workforce of over 250,000 employees. Emphasizing diversity and inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) prides itself on fostering a talent-driven culture. 

Consistently recognized for its excellence, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) also ranks among Fortune Magazine's top 5 most admired companies and is highly regarded by business students as one of America’s ideal employers. 

If you are interested in reading more about cities, do check 20 Best Cities to Retire for 2024.

20 Most Trustworthy Cities in the US
20 Most Trustworthy Cities in the US

Pola Damonte/Shutterstock.com

Our Methodology

For our most trustworthy cities in the US list, we used venture capital scores by the Finom under their Most Innovative Cities Ranking. While the list has 100 cities from around the globe, we selected the top 20 cities in the US based on Venture Capital Scores. Our idea is that cities attracting substantial venture capital are perceived as fostering innovation, business-friendly environments, and economic stability. Investors' willingness to fund startups and businesses in these cities reflects confidence in their future prospects which implies a level of trust in local institutions, infrastructure, and governance. Thus, our rankings imply that cities with high venture capital funding are deemed trustworthy due to their perceived ability to support and sustain entrepreneurial projects. 

The list is presented in ascending order.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that uses a consensus approach to identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The website tracks the movement of corporate insiders and hedge funds. Our top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 stock index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). So, if you are looking for the best stock picks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Here is a list of the most trustworthy cities in the US:

20. Phoenix, Arizona

Venture Capital Funding Score: 58.35

Phoenix hosts four Fortune 500 companies: Avnet Inc (NASDAQ:AVT) in electronics, Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) in mining, PetSmart Inc in retail, and Republic Services Inc (NYSE:RSG) in waste management. It is one of the best cities in America to live.

It is also one of the cities with the highest cost of living

19. Miami, Florida

Venture Capital Funding Score: 58.95

The business environment in Miami is vibrant and forward-thinking, as evidenced by the ongoing Future Investment Initiative Priority Summit. Global leaders in business, finance, and technology have gathered there to address and discuss pressing issues like conflicts, climate change, and AI uncertainties. It is one of the cities with the most trustworthy people.

18. Columbus, Ohio

Venture Capital Funding Score: 59.40

Columbus, Ohio garners high trust from businesses due to its impressive statistics: 49.6 million trips (both business and leisure) in 2023, generating $6.6 billion in revenue and supporting 75,000 jobs. This success is attributed to factors like strategic development projects, such as the Scioto Mile and Hilton Columbus Downtown expansion, making it attractive for conventions. Moreover, Columbus is growing as a business and innovation hub, home to 16 Fortune 1000 and five Fortune 500 companies. 

17. Nashville, Tennessee

Venture Capital Funding Score: 59.65

Nashville's most important industry revolves is healthcare as it boasts over 300 healthcare companies, like HCA Healthcare Inc (NYSE:HCA), the world’s top private hospital operator. It is one of the best places to live in the US.

16. San Diego, California

Venture Capital Funding Score: 59.70

San Diego is a highly trusted city for businesses. Moreover, Forbes has repeatedly acknowledged its potential for startups, citing factors such as job growth, income levels, and community engagement. Compared to other California cities, San Diego has a lower cost of living and business taxes, attracting both talent and investment. 

It is also one of the top 10 US cities to live.

15. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Venture Capital Funding Score: 62.03

Moreover, many Fortune 500 companies have found home in the Pittsburgh area like Alcoa Corporation (NYSE:AA) and Arconic Corporation (NYSE:ARNC). 

It is also interesting to note that education is a major economic driver in the city. The largest single employer in education is the University of Pittsburgh, with over 10,000 employees. 

14. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Venture Capital Funding Score: 63.00

According to the Pitchbook's Venture Monitor report, Philadelphia's startup funding increased by 53% in 3Q, defying the national downturn. AKA University City led the charge, with local startups securing the region's highest fundraising. Despite a nationwide dip in deal value, Philly's investment climate remained strong. Philadelphia is one of the ​​most important cities in the US history.

13. Dallas, Texas

Venture Capital Funding Score: 63.73

PNC Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:PNC) is set to inject $1 billion into expanding its brick-and-mortar presence, with 17 new branches earmarked for Dallas-Fort Worth by 2025. This decision speaks volumes about the level of trust the company has in the region. 

12. Atlanta, Georgia

Venture Capital Funding Score: 64.52

Atlanta is a trusted city for investors owing to its strong economy, with a GDP of over $455 billion in 2022. The presence of major corporations, including Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), and Delta Air Lines, Inc (NYSE:DAL) contributes largely to its economic strength and hence, to the level of trust put in the city for businesses. It is also one of the best cities to live in the US in 2024.

11. Denver, Colorado

Venture Capital Funding Score: 65.05

Denver is an important trade hub in the central United States, hosting pertinent companies like Denver Instrument, Inc and Apartment Investment and Management Co (NYSE:AIV), the largest apartment community owner in the US. Apartment Investment and Management Co (NYSE:AIV), headquartered in Denver, employs around 3,500 individuals, solidifying the city's importance in commerce and industry.

10. Houston, Texas

Venture Capital Funding Score: 68.86

Houston has a burgeoning tech sector that witnessed 10.4% increase in software and IT workers during the pandemic. With over 243,908 tech workers and 12.3% growth in the tech workforce from 2010 to 2019, Houston has become a hub for innovation and growth. The city's status as the 4th best US city for Black professionals is further accentuated by its 42% Black homeownership rate and 18% Black-owned businesses. These numbers add to the confidence and trust of investors. 

9. Seattle, Washington

Venture Capital Funding Score: 69.19

In 2022, the Fortune 500 list confirmed Seattle's stronghold with seven major corporations headquartered there. Leading the list of companies are Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX). 

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

Venture Capital Funding Score: 69.39

Often called the "Entertainment Capital of the World," this city is renowned for its opulent, expansive casino-hotels. Drawing over 2.9 million visitors in 2019, it ranked as the sixth most-visited city in the US, trailing behind New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, and San Francisco. It is a common destination for business conventions, particularly in the hospitality sector. It is one of the nicest big cities in the United States.

7. Washington D.C.

Venture Capital Funding Score: 69.96

With over 39,500 small businesses, Washington, DC is a top city for entrepreneurs, consistently rated among the best cities in the US to launch a startup. The Small Business Administration reports that small enterprises comprise 97% of all employers and employ 35% of the city's workforce. With over 1,000 tech startups, the city stands at the forefront of innovation, cementing its status as a thriving hub for business and technological advancement. Hence, it is one of the top 10 most trustworthy cities in the US.

6. Austin, Texas

Venture Capital Funding Score: 70.22

Austin is one of the most trusted cities for businesses owing to its dynamic startup ecosystem and recent corporate relocations. Despite setbacks like Meta and Google abandoning expansion plans, Austin retains its attraction. With over 4,000 startups and huge commercial space availability, it offers a fertile ground for innovation. Notably, the city has 6.1 million square feet of unoccupied office space, indicating ample opportunities for new ventures. It is one of the best cities in the US

Click here to see the 5 Most Trustworthy Cities in the US.

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Disclosure: None. 20 Most Trustworthy Cities in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.