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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 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 2022? According to the most recent census data, Mio 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.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Michigan For 2022
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $67,300 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.4% (4th worst)
More on Mio: Data
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $47,800 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (30th worst)
More on Skidway Lake: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $61,500 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (66th worst)
More on St. Helen: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $78,300 (4worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (17th worst)
More on Marlette: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $69,300 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.3% (6th worst)
More on Cassopolis: Data
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $78,900 (45th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.1% (11th worst)
More on Evart: Data
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $85,100 (64th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (24th worst)
More on Grayling: Data
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 2022
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 2016-2020 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 - 245 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.
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:
- Franklin (Pop. 2,877)
- Sylvan Lake (Pop. 1,799)
- Village of Grosse Pointe Shores (Pop. 2,791)
For more Michigan reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Michigan
|45||K. I. Sawyer||2,807|
|86||Lake Michigan Beach||1,110|