Most Americans have never been to Tennessee. However, as the people who live there know, Tennessee is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Tennessee has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Volunteer State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 163 of Tennessee’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Tennessee where you’d never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Tennessee for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Altamont is the worst small town to live in Tennessee.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Tennessee has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Tennessee, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in Tennessee for 2019
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 163 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $68,500 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (21st worst)
More on Altamont: Data
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $60,900 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 34.4% (1st worst)
More on East Cleveland: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $76,700 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (48th worst)
More on Red Boiling Springs: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $97,400 (63rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (52nd worst)
More on Tracy City: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $83,400 (35th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.4% (11th worst)
More on Spencer: Data
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $82,800 (34th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.0% (8th worst)
More on Adamsville: Data
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $68,700 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.8% (10th worst)
More on Jamestown: Data
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Tennessee
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Volunteer State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Tennessee, according to science:
- Oak Hill (Pop. 4,681)
- Belle Meade (Pop. 2,584)
- Lookout Mountain (Pop. 1,983)
For more Tennessee reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Tennessee
- 10 Safest Places In Tennessee
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Tennessee
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Tennessee
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Tennessee
|4||Red Boiling Springs||1,659|
|35||Bon Aqua Junction||1,113|