Most Americans have never been to Michigan. However, as the people who live there know, Michigan is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Michigan has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Wolverine State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 246 of Michigan’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Michigan where you’d never want to live:
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Michigan 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 Michigan, 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 – 246 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.
Population: 167 Median Income: $18,950
Median Home Value: $52,100
Population: 262 Median Income: $32,578
Median Home Value: $47,000
Population: 185 Median Income: $33,125
Median Home Value: $57,100
Population: 467 Median Income: $28,167
Median Home Value: $45,000
Population: 453 Median Income: $26,146
Median Home Value: $55,000
Population: 289 Median Income: $33,472
Median Home Value: $49,100
Population: 363 Median Income: $29,167
Median Home Value: $56,400
Population: 364 Median Income: $39,375
Median Home Value: $60,500
Population: 162 Median Income: $27,500
Median Home Value: $70,000
Population: 594 Median Income: $27,500
Median Home Value: $61,800
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Michigan
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Wolverine 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 Michigan, according to science.
- Best: Eagle
- 2nd Best: Shoreham
- 3rd Best: Michiana
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