Virginia Beach 2nd most caring city in America, study finds

Mariah Smith smiles as she looks at a new batch of stockings someone donated to Blankets for the Homeless in December 2015. (Southside Daily file photo)
Mariah Smith smiles as she looks at a new batch of stockings someone donated to Blankets for the Homeless in December 2015. (Southside Daily file photo)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Virginia Beach was ranked the second most caring city in America by a Wallet Hub study released on Monday.

Virginia Beach residents and workers rank second only to those in Madison, Wis. for their “caring spirit” toward one another, those in need and the workforce, according to the “2017 Most Caring Cities in America” study.

The study’s findings were determined by comparing America’s 100 most-populated cities and evaluated them on “36 key indicators of a compassionate spirit,” including how a city cares for its community, its vulnerable citizens, and its workforce.

The study used state and federal data, including information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and the Corporation for National and Community Service to measure positive and negative indicators, which were given a weighted point value. Those points were added up to determine how each city ranked, according to the study.


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Some of those indicators included the child and adult poverty ratings, the number of uninsured residents in a city, the number of pet shelters and rescue services per capita, the number of residents who work in community and social services, and the number of sheltered homeless people.

Virginia Beach’s total score was 63.73 points out of 100, falling about five points under Madison.

Some of the study’s key findings pertaining to Virginia Beach were:

  • The city ranked 8th for child poverty rate
  • The city ranked 27th for resident’s who donated a portion of their income to charity
  • The city ranked 30th for residents working in community and social services
  • The city ranked 32nd for neighbors doing favors for one another
  • The city ranked 46th for homeless people who ultimately found shelter

Virginia Beach wasn’t the only Southside city on the most caring list. Nearby, Chesapeake ranked at the seventh most caring city while Norfolk was ranked the 38th most caring, according to the study.

Read about last year’s If I Could donation recipient: 

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.