Do you like your neighborhood? Is it friendly, and where everyone knows their neighbors? No matter if you live in the sticks or in an apartment building in downtown New York, you have a little pocket that you can call home. And each neighborhood is different.
Smaller neighborhoods usually have obvious benefits – less crime, a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. But not all American neighborhoods aren’t created equal. Some are worse than others. But which ones?
Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and dug into the data to find out which neighborhoods are the worst. If you’re in one of the places we’re about to highlight, odds are you know you’ve got yourself a problem area.
Turns out the Marlborough East neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri is the worst place where you can live in this country. The best? Battery Park in downtown NYC.
Here are the worst neighborhoods in America:
- Marlborough East, Kansas City, MO
- South Blue Valley, Kansas City, MO
- Kinsmith, Cleveland, OH
- South Cumminsville, Cincinnati, OH
- Milo Grogan, Columbus, OH
- Lower Price Hill, Cincinnati, OH
- South Fairmount, Cincinnati, OH
- North Fairmount, Cincinnati, OH
- North Broadway, Cleveland, OH
- Ivanhoe Southeast, Kansas City, MO
So basically, every single neighborhood on this list is in the midwest, and most are in Ohio. Is that a surprise? We had figured most would be in the deep south.
How do you decide if a neighborhood is lousy or not?
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the government census, this is the criteria we used:
- Low incomes
- High unemployment rates
- High crime
- Low home prices
- Low population densities
There’s a chart at the bottom with a longer list of the worst and best neighborhoods.
1. Marlborough East, Kansas City, MO
Home values: $56,200
Unemployment rate: 14.5%
Crime rank: 70th worst in the U.S.
The Marlborough East neighborhood of Kansas City is statistically the worst place you can live in America when you factor in the local economy and crime. More than 14% of folks are out of work, and the number of crimes in this small ‘hood is just about as high as you’ll see in America.
2. South Blue Valley, Kansas City, MO
Home values: $54,400
Unemployment rate: 13.5%
Crime rank: 69th worst in the U.S.
Just down the road from Marlborough East is the South Blue Valley neighborhood in Kansas City, where crime is just about as bad, but a few more folks have jobs. Still, with home prices hovering near $50,000 each, this is certainly not a desirable place to call home for most Americans.
3. Kinsmith, Cleveland
Home values: $41,000
Unemployment rate: 14.8%
Crime rank: 30th worst in the U.S.
Cleveland has some really bad neighborhoods, and Kinsmith might just be the worst of all. Nearly 1 in 6 people here is out of work, and crime is even worse here than it is in the Kansas City neighborhoods mentioned above.
4. South Cumminsville, Cincinnati
Home values: $62,800
Unemployment rate: 18.4%
Crime rank: 41st worst in the U.S.
A good gauge on the quality of a neighborhood is the income level for its residents. The Cincinnati neighborhood of South Cumminsville has some really poor residents: The average income here is $16,000 each, which is 40% below what the government thinks is appropriate just to live at the poverty level.
5. Milo Grogan, Columbus
Home values: $51,700
Unemployment rate: 20%
Crime rank: 150th worst in the U.S.
Columbus is typically viewed as the ‘best’ place to live of the three major cities in Ohio, but the Milo Grogan part of town is outright horrible. 1 in 5 residents is out of work, and much of the population lives below the poverty line, and in a high crime area.
6. Lower Price Hill, Cincinnati
Home values: $71,700
Unemployment rate: 11.5%
Crime rank: 85th worst in the U.S.
In comparison to a few cities above, you might think Lower Price Hill’s unemployment rates and home prices look good. That might be true, but when you compare them to the rest of the nation, those numbers are really awful. Perhaps the name of the neighborhood says it all.
7. South Fairmount, Cincinnati
Home values: $63,818
Unemployment rate: 12.3%
Crime rank: 75th worst in the U.S.
It’s beginning to look like there are simply lots of areas in the Cincinnati area that are to be avoided. Here in South Fairmount, many people live in poverty, and home values indicate there is just no desire to live here.
8. North Fairmount, Cincinnati
Home values: $65,394
Unemployment rate: 15.4%
Crime rank: 102nd worst in U.S.
Just down the road from South Fairmount is the crummy neighborhood of North Fairmount, where more folks are out of work, and crime is actually worse. Home prices and incomes are slightly higher here, but generally, there isn’t much difference. They both should be avoided.
9. North Broadway, Cleveland
Home values: $37,093
Unemployment rate: 15%
Crime rank: 76th worst in the U.S.
There aren’t too many neighborhoods of major cities where you can get a home for about $37,000. But here in North Broadway, Cleveland residents can. There’s a reason for that. It’s a very poor area with horrible crime.
10. Ivanhoe Southeast, Kansas City, MO
Home values: $43,340
Unemployment rate: 15%
Crime rank: 110th worst in the U.S.
We began the list in Kansas City, MO and we end here, too. This small section of town has residents who struggle to make ends meet every month, and who are chronically unemployed. And a peek at the home prices means there are some steals here.
That’s certainly a sign that there’s no demand to live here.
There You Have It
When you’re looking at American neighborhoods that have the worst economies and highest crime, this is an accurate list.
Here are the best neighborhoods in America:
- Battery Park, NYC
- Carnegie Hill, NYC
- Greenwich Village, NYC
- Upper East Side, NYC
- Soho, NYC