Most Americans have never been to small town Michigan. However, as the Michigander who live there know, small town Michigan is an awesome place to call home.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Michigan has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using Saturday Night Science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Wolverine State. Don’t freak out, we will use data to show which places have high crime, poverty, and unemployment.
After analyzing more than 245 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 2023? According to the most recent census data, Skidway Lake is the worst small town to live in Michigan.
While many of these small towns have seen better days, they have wonderful communities and people. This report in no way means to knock the folks that call towns like Skidway Lake home. Everyone
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Michigan For 2023
Median Home Value: $47,900 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (7th worst)
Median Home Value: $73,000 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.1% (8th worst)
Median Home Value: $78,000 (26th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (4th worst)
Median Home Value: $75,500 (2worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.0% (14th worst)
Median Home Value: $82,800 (40th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (6th worst)
Median Home Value: $78,700 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (16th worst)
Median Home Value: $82,500 (39th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (184th worst)
Median Home Value: $81,100 (34th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.9% (9th worst)
Median Home Value: $86,800 (56th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (20th worst)
Median Home Value: $65,100 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (70th worst)
Methodology: How do you decide if a small place in Michigan is lousy or not?
To rank the worst small towns to live in Michigan, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. Assuming that people like low crime, solid education, things to do, and a stable economy isn’t a stretch.
We then analyzed the criteria using Saturday Night Science, the thinking you’d use at a bar. It seems like even your crazy Uncle would agree that a town with high crime is worse than a town with low crime; all else the same.
- 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 many – 245 to be exact.
We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets them from the cities. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
We base all our research on facts, which is meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the worst small places to live in Michigan.
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:
- North Muskegon (Pop. 4,063)
- Sylvan Lake (Pop. 1,778)
- Village of Grosse Pointe Shores (Pop. 2,608)
For more Michigan reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Michigan
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