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 243 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Michigan for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Skidway Lake is the worst small town to live in Michigan.
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 determined the worst small towns to live in Michigan 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 – 243 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: $48,900 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.7% (18th worst)
More on Skidway Lake: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $56,300 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.9% (5th worst)
More on St. Helen: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $72,400 (48th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.9% (3rd worst)
More on Lewiston: Data
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $68,600 (32nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (124th worst)
More on White Cloud: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $60,000 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 24.6% (2nd worst)
More on Baldwin: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $69,300 (34th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.3% (12th worst)
More on Grayling: Data
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $66,400 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (39th worst)
More on Mio: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $76,400 (65th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (88th worst)
More on Lakeview: Data
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:
- Sylvan Lake (Pop. 1,753)
- Village of Grosse Pointe Shores (Pop. 2,910)
- Pleasant Ridge (Pop. 2,365)
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan
- 10 Safest Places In Michigan
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Michigan
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Michigan
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Michigan
|39||K. I. Sawyer||3,255|