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 131 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:
- Lakewood Park
- Iron City
- Beersheba Springs
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 crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 131 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.
1. Lakewood Park
Population: 615 Median Income: $24,519
Median Home Value: $44,400
2. Iron City
Population: 236 Median Income: $20,855
Median Home Value: $24,100
Population: 843 Median Income: $27,000
Median Home Value: $68,800
4. Beersheba Springs
Population: 565 Median Income: $26,548
Median Home Value: $67,800
Population: 866 Median Income: $21,078
Median Home Value: $55,900
Population: 691 Median Income: $24,632
Median Home Value: $61,400
Population: 948 Median Income: $23,125
Median Home Value: $160,000
Population: 806 Median Income: $26,019
Median Home Value: $83,700
Population: 434 Median Income: $18,194
Median Home Value: $76,200
Population: 706 Median Income: $34,107
Median Home Value: $97,500
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.
- Best: Ridgeside
- 2nd Best: Bell Buckle
- 3rd Best: Baneberry
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