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Aug 12, 2014 04:47 AM EDT

Top 10 Liberal Cities in United States

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San Francisco has been ranked the most liberal city in the United States, according to a recent study collaborated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles.

The Californian city is then followed by Washington, Seattle, Oakland and Boston.

The ranking is based on seven large-scale surveys that comprised of 51 cities with populations of over 275,000 people. It focused on citizen's policy preferences and compared them to city's policies to determine whether there was a relationship.

The researchers found that liberal cities spend more than twice as much per capita, have higher taxes per capita with less regressive tax systems than most conservative cities.

Chris Tausanovitch of UCLA said that the most conservative city of Mesa, for example, has introduced taxes $390 per capita and spent $1,418 per capita compared with the most liberal city San Francisco which has imposed taxes $2,996 per capita and spent $6,031 per capita, Tausanovitch told, Washington Post reports.

Behind Mesa, the most conservative cities are Oklahoma City, Virginia Beach, Colorado Springs and Jacksonville, Fla.

The researchers said that municipal governments have been long thought to be less receptive to their citizens' political views. But, the study found the opposite. Even cities with institutions like nonpartisan elections and recruitments of professional managers instead of elected mayors, were in accordance with people's political beliefs.

"Our results show that these institutions have little consistent impact on policy responsiveness in municipal government. These results demonstrate a robust role for citizen policy preferences in determining municipal policy outcomes, but cast doubt on the hypothesis that simple institutional reforms enhance responsiveness in municipal governments," researchers said in a statement.

The study will be published in American Political Science Review.

Top 10 Liberal Cities in United States

San Francisco, CA

Washington, DC

Seattle, WA

Oakland, CA

Boston, MA

Minneapolis, MN

Detroit, MI

New York, NY

Buffalo, NY

Baltimore, MD

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