Seattle and New York City took the highest marks in a study released last week by the University of Illinois at Chicago ranking city government’s use of social media.

Four of the top 10 cities are located in California.

The United States’ 75 largest cities were ranked and analyzed from March through May 2011 for their online interactivity, transparency and accessibility by Karen Mossberger, head of the university’s public administration graduate program, and Yonghong Wu, an associate professor at the university.

The researchers used the data to compile the Civic Engagement Index and compared the metrics with findings from a similar study they conducted in 2009. According to Mossberger, the top-ranked cities have made technology more of a priority within their city.

“Seattle has long been an innovator in this area, with programs to address the digital divide online and offline. New York has long used the Web for transparency,” Mossberger said.

Facebook and Twitter were used by nearly nine out of 10 of the largest U.S. cities, according to the study’s 2011 findings. Among the 75 largest U.S. cities, 87 percent were using Twitter, compared to 25 percent in 2009. Facebook also was used by 87 percent, a big jump from only 13 percent in 2009. YouTube links appeared for 75 percent of major U.S. cities, up from 16 percent in 2009.

The top-10 cities were ranked using a percentage scoring system:

1. New York — 93.33 percent

1. Seattle — 93.33 percent

2. Virginia Beach, Va. — 90.43 percent

3. Portland, Ore. — 90 percent

4. San Francisco — 89.36 percent

5. Kansas City, Mo. — 87.23 percent

6. Denver — 86.67 percent

7. Mesa, Ariz. — 85.11 percent

8. Louisville, Ky. — 84.44 percent

9. Philadelphia — 84.04 percent

9. Long Beach, Calif. — 84.04 percent

9. Sacramento, Calif. — 84.04 percent

10. San Jose, Calif. — 82.98 percent

For the complete rankings and the full study, click here.