The 10 Worst Places To Live In Michigan For 2024

The worst places to live in Michigan are Dowagiac and Highland Park for 2024 based on Friday Night Science.

Thrillist just ranked Michigan as the best state in the nation, which should really come as no surprise to anyone. With its four legitimate seasons, natural wonders, regional diversity and seemingly endless waterfront, it’s no wonder that Michigan would top all 49 of the lesser states on any list you might want to throw together.

All the same, anyone familiar with Michigan knows there are places that need some real TLC right now. And it’s not just Detroit. In fact, there are cities that might need a hug even more than Detroit. Here are the 10 cities in the Great Lakes State who have it a little rough right now.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Michigan For 2024

  1. Dowagiac
  2. Highland Park
  3. Detroit
  4. Springfield
  5. Benton Harbor
  6. Inkster
  7. Albion
  8. New Haven
  9. Ecorse
  10. Pontiac

Worst Places To Live In Michigan Map

Where are these places, you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small towns in Michigan, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in Michigan is Huntington Woods.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), the state has far better options for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Michigan? The worst place to live in Michigan is Dowagiac.

Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2024.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Michigan reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Michigan For 2024

Dowagiac, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,680
Average Home Price: $200,572
Median Income: $41,864
Unemployment Rate: 11.1%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0433
More on Dowagiac: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located in the southwest portion of the state, Dowagiac serves as the key community for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Times are tough for the 5,680 residents of the community. A rough economy and weak schools make it one of the least appealing places in Michigan to put down roots.

Poverty runs rampant in town. In fact, 32.8% of the population has to struggle below the poverty line. This comes along with a 11.1% unemployment rate and a median income sits of $41,864.

Given the lack of funds, it’s not surprising that the educational system suffers. Schools in the area top out at 6/10 on Great Schools.

Still, Dowagiac holds much cultural significance. Check out the town’s Heddon Museum or its Dowagiac Area History Museum for examples.

Highland Park, MI

Source: Wikipedia User Andrew Jameson (talk) at en.wikipedia | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 9,032
Average Home Price: $67,728
Median Income: $30,341
Unemployment Rate: 18.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0561
More on Highland Park: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Highland Park is entirely surrounded by Detroit, and it is so bad that Detroit’s government won’t even consider absorbing Highland Park into the larger city due to the fact that all of Detroit’s unflattering crime and unemployment statistics would instantly be made worse. If you live in Detroit and you’re passing through Highland Park, give a friendly wave and a smile. You need each other’s support right about now.

Highland Park ranks 3rd in all of Michigan in unemployment, 4th in overall crime, 10th from the bottom in adult drop out rates, and it has the 4th worst average income level in the state. In fact, the only thing saving Highland Park is a middle of the road population density, so there’s at least something to do while you look for a job.

Detroit, MI

Source: Wikipedia User User:AE at Quicken Loans | CC BY-SA 1.0
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Population: 636,787
Average Home Price: $66,544
Median Income: $37,761
Unemployment Rate: 14.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0640
More on Detroit: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Blame the unions. Blame free trade. Blame innovation. Whoever you want to pin the blame on for Detroit’s demise, you’d probably be correct.

Entire areas of Detroit have been demolished and turned back to nature. Crime is deplorable. Half of the murders in the whole state are within Detroit’s city limits. And the covid thing and the blm protests have made murders spike here even higher.

We know how bad the crime here is and how poor a lot of people are. It’s top five in the nation for both. And we hear about a Detroit renaissance happening. But man…

Here’s an interesting note: It’s estimated that up to 70% of the murders in Detroit are drug related. Okay, so that’s refreshing. Stay out of trouble, and your chances of dying here drop drastically.

BUT: Thank you to the people of Detroit for all of the work you did in building our first cars and other vehicles. Thanks to the people of this state for the huge part you played in World War 2! Much of our nation’s innovation and growth was due to the hard working people in the metro Detroit area a long time ago.

Springfield, MI

Source: Flickr User coldwarspy1973 | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 5,268
Average Home Price: $372,983
Median Income: $40,091
Unemployment Rate: 11.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0489
More on Springfield: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Nestled in Calhoun County, Michigan, Springfield has unfortunately earned a reputation as one of the worst places to live in the state. With a population of 5,268, the city struggles with various issues that contribute to its unfavorable ranking. One prominent concern is the high crime rate, which significantly impacts residents’ safety and overall quality of life.

While precise crime statistics are unavailable, Springfield’s violent crime rate is a cause for concern. This makes it a dangerous place to live compared to other cities in Michigan. However, it’s important to note that with dedicated efforts and community involvement, things can improve. By addressing underlying issues and implementing effective crime prevention strategies, Springfield has the potential to become a safer and more desirable place to call home.

Considering its location within Michigan, Springfield’s unfortunate circumstances are further exacerbated. The city’s proximity to Battle Creek, an enclave it is a part of, means that residents have limited access to opportunities and resources available in larger urban centers. This limited economic potential contributes to factors such as poverty and unemployment, making it challenging for residents to improve their circumstances.

Although Springfield faces significant challenges as one of the worst places to live in Michigan, it’s essential to approach the situation with optimism. By acknowledging the issues at hand and working collectively towards solutions, there is hope for positive change and a brighter future for this community.

Benton Harbor, MI

Source: Wikipedia User Humbles Art | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 9,101
Average Home Price: $112,898
Median Income: $26,592
Unemployment Rate: 20.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0621
More on Benton Harbor: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Who is our 5th worst city in Michigan?

Benton Harlem.

Benton Harlem?

That’s what everyone there calls it.

I think that’s really insensitive. Why is Benton HarBOR so bad? Things are not good here. This little inner city along the Lake Michigan shoreline has the 2nd highest unemployment rate and the 5th highest dropout rate. It’s also the 2nd highest in the state for crime.

The unemployment rate here is insane and so many people are on welfare. There were riots here in 2003, and parts of this community still haven’t recovered. But they are making a comeback – they’ve cleaned up downtown, built a championship PGA golf course, some new trendy restaurants and breweries, shops, marinas and hotels.

Inkster, MI

Source: Wikipedia User Dwight Burdette | CC BY 3.0
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Population: 25,839
Average Home Price: $86,767
Median Income: $38,381
Unemployment Rate: 11.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0293
More on Inkster: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Inkster, Michigan, has unfortunately earned its reputation as one of the worst places to live in the state. With a high crime rate and concerns about safety, residents face numerous challenges on a daily basis. The city’s crime statistics are alarming, with a significant number of violent crimes reported each year. In 2021 alone, there were 362 incidents of violent crime, including murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Additionally, property crime rates in Inkster are equally concerning, with 426 incidents reported during the same period.

Inkster struggles with socioeconomic issues such as poverty and low incomes. The median income in the city is just $34,122, contributing to the overall high poverty levels experienced by its residents. This economic hardship affects the quality of life and limits opportunities for growth and improvement. Despite these challenges, it’s important to note that with dedicated efforts and community involvement, things can get better for Inkster. By addressing the root causes of crime and implementing initiatives to boost economic development, this city has the potential to transform into a safer and more prosperous place to live.

Albion, MI

Source: Wikipedia User kennethaw88 | CC BY 4.0
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Population: 7,732
Average Home Price: $119,538
Median Income: $41,594
Unemployment Rate: 12.9%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0489
More on Albion: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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Population: 6,200
Average Home Price: $280,596
Median Income: $63,424
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0411
More on New Haven: Data | Real Estate

Ecorse, MI

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL
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Population: 9,292
Average Home Price: $69,697
Median Income: $45,473
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0371
More on Ecorse: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Ecorse, located in Wayne County, Michigan, has unfortunately gained a reputation as one of the worst places to live in the state. One of the key factors contributing to this ranking is the high crime rate in the city. With a violent crime rate of 0.01162290142057684 per capita and a property crime rate of 0.02550581145071029 per capita, residents face significant safety concerns on a regular basis. These statistics reveal a dangerous environment that residents have to navigate daily.

Ecorse suffers from economic challenges and high poverty levels. The median income of $45,473 falls below the state average, placing many residents below the poverty line. Additionally, the median home value of $69,697 is relatively low, indicating limited real estate opportunities in the area.

Despite these challenges, it’s important to note that with dedicated efforts and community involvement, Ecorse has the potential to improve its living conditions. By addressing crime prevention strategies and promoting economic development initiatives, there is hope for a brighter future for this city.

Pontiac, MI

Source: Wikipedia User Andrew Jameson | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 61,965
Average Home Price: $114,719
Median Income: $40,307
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0273
More on Pontiac: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

There would be a temptation to put Pontiac on this list simply because the Silverdome, with its deflated roof and gutted interior, is one of the biggest eyesores in the state. It’s hard to think of it as the site where 93,000 fans once gathered to watch Wrestlemania III.

An eyesore that definitely landed Pontiac on this list of worst cities is the city’s unemployment rank, which was second from the bottom, incomes and home values in Michigan’s lowest 20 percent, and a crime rate in the top 20 percent. With statistics like that, we couldn’t keep Pontiac off this list even if the Silverdome’s ruins were made of actual silver.

The people of Pontiac are undoubtedly trying to pull themselves up from their bootstraps and could use a kind thought right about now.

Poor Pontiac – They’ve been neglected a lot. First, in the 60s, they covered over the Clinton River in concrete. That sucks. Then in 2002 the Lions moved from the Silverdome to downtown. Then the Silverdome got demolished. Then in 2009, Pontiac Motors shut down as did other car makers, leaving 20,000 people out of work. Then in 2011, Pontiac’s police department shut down. A year later, the fire department shuttered. Then a lot of the school closed.

I mean how much neglect can one city take my god my god.

They’re trying to make a comeback here. There was lots of discussion about how Pontiac is no longer under water financially, and how new businesses and developments are beginning here. So that’s fabulous!

Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in Michigan for 2024

To figure out the worst places to live in Michigan, we used Saturday Night Science to idenift what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 151 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 151 for all the criteria, with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score.”

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score,” with the lowest score being the worst city in Michigan — Dowagiac. Read on for a detailed look at the ten worst cities in Michigan. This article is an opinion based on facts meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024. This list is our tenth time ranking the worst places to live in Michigan.

Summary: Wrapping Up The Worst In Michigan

If you’re looking at areas in Michigan with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime and little to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Dowagiac ranks as the worst city to live in Michigan for 2024.

The worst cities in Michigan are .

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Michigan:

  1. Berkley (Pop. 15,150)
  2. East Grand Rapids (Pop. 11,385)
  3. Huntington Woods (Pop. 6,365)

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Worst Places To Live In Michigan

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Price Median Income Crime Per Capita
1 Dowagiac 5,680 11.1% $200,572 $41,864 0.0433
2 Highland Park 9,032 18.2% $67,728 $30,341 0.0561
3 Detroit 636,787 14.7% $66,544 $37,761 0.0640
4 Springfield 5,268 11.5% $372,983 $40,091 0.0489
5 Benton Harbor 9,101 20.2% $112,898 $26,592 0.0621
6 Inkster 25,839 11.7% $86,767 $38,381 0.0293
7 Albion 7,732 12.9% $119,538 $41,594 0.0489
8 New Haven 6,200 7.7% $280,596 $63,424 0.0411
9 Ecorse 9,292 9.5% $69,697 $45,473 0.0371
10 Pontiac 61,965 9.5% $114,719 $40,307 0.0273
11 Belding 5,942 8.0% $215,547 $52,083 0.0188
12 Burton 29,568 7.1% $140,881 $55,698 0.0332
13 Niles 11,871 12.1% $181,757 $42,181 0.0291
14 Saginaw 44,316 11.7% $112,429 $35,521 0.0411
15 Wayne 17,568 9.2% $153,609 $52,709 0.0311
16 Romulus 25,055 9.8% $179,648 $63,854 0.0345
17 Muskegon Heights 9,954 20.5% $65,905 $35,216 0.0498
18 Muskegon 38,286 10.4% $163,648 $40,900 0.0347
19 Three Rivers 7,923 8.6% $199,425 $49,018 0.0473
20 Greenville 8,866 5.8% $227,857 $50,332 0.0279
21 Hamtramck 27,842 11.7% $157,381 $39,648 0.0221
22 Jackson 31,420 10.9% $168,255 $41,988 0.0460
23 Battle Creek 52,469 7.6% $163,207 $49,684 0.0451
24 Flint 81,863 17.6% $48,574 $35,451 0.0248
25 Melvindale 12,639 11.2% $127,178 $38,918 0.0189
26 Mount Clemens 15,679 7.0% $156,898 $55,154 0.0411
27 Lapeer 9,034 4.3% $246,318 $50,510 0.0155
28 Roseville 47,476 7.9% $159,392 $57,274 0.0411
29 Eastpointe 34,087 12.1% $143,733 $57,953 0.0319
30 Lansing 112,986 8.3% $143,798 $50,747 0.0396
31 Kalamazoo 73,342 8.1% $219,925 $48,649 0.0597
32 Cadillac 10,400 7.0% $173,364 $45,123 0.0255
33 Ypsilanti 20,204 8.1% $309,294 $41,914 0.0381
34 Harper Woods 15,296 7.6% $146,667 $60,030 0.0531
35 Lincoln Park 39,807 6.9% $137,851 $55,777 0.0247
36 Escanaba 12,403 7.2% $148,191 $38,457 0.0212
37 Sturgis 11,050 6.5% $190,122 $56,337 0.0209
38 Warren 138,588 7.4% $187,656 $61,633 0.0212
39 Coldwater 13,704 3.8% $194,078 $48,531 0.0289
40 Adrian 20,607 4.8% $168,112 $40,797 0.0237
41 Taylor 62,937 7.4% $161,574 $59,352 0.0241
42 Port Huron 28,881 9.3% $155,781 $47,906 0.0270
43 River Rouge 7,200 12.9% $62,263 $26,343 0.0017
44 Dundee 5,408 7.5% $261,298 $73,641 0.0169
45 Hastings 7,504 6.5% $198,616 $54,118 0.0187
46 Flat Rock 10,448 7.6% $237,743 $65,374 0.0169
47 Grand Rapids 198,096 5.6% $262,762 $61,634 0.0396
48 Dearborn Heights 62,474 8.2% $186,873 $58,335 0.0198
49 Davison 5,114 8.2% $231,702 $48,750 0.0127
50 Ironwood 5,088 10.8% $88,927 $35,722 0.0140
51 Alpena 10,200 8.9% $157,639 $43,613 0.0166
52 Monroe 20,400 7.8% $200,178 $57,779 0.0169
53 Hazel Park 15,065 6.0% $154,739 $59,576 0.0195
54 Sault Ste. Marie 13,409 7.5% $133,384 $50,284 0.0106
55 Owosso 14,678 4.5% $159,765 $51,794 0.0212
56 Ionia 13,081 6.9% $188,448 $60,413 0.0083
57 Mount Pleasant 21,826 9.5% $192,895 $41,512 0.0208
58 Alma 9,436 7.1% $139,255 $44,375 0.0166
59 Eaton Rapids 5,201 2.8% $231,272 $62,708 0.0217
60 Auburn Hills 24,593 5.1% $245,506 $77,724 0.0241
61 Charlotte 9,273 6.2% $217,499 $65,507 0.0228
62 Wyoming 76,732 4.6% $245,215 $67,234 0.0224
63 Utica 5,195 4.2% $247,172 $52,247 0.0275
64 Westland 84,806 5.2% $194,197 $59,930 0.0172
65 Manistee 6,248 7.3% $227,978 $57,813 0.0296
66 Dearborn 108,414 6.8% $213,451 $64,600 0.0218
67 Southfield 76,107 6.5% $234,297 $63,980 0.0311
68 Allegan 5,180 2.7% $235,225 $42,162 0.0097
69 Holly 5,997 7.7% $286,258 $58,957 0.0040
70 St. Louis 6,932 6.1% $139,183 $47,662 0.0078
71 Menominee 8,429 4.1% $151,178 $46,821 0.0176
72 Ishpeming 6,191 7.7% $155,185 $53,202 0.0097
73 Center Line 8,493 6.4% $158,320 $52,067 0.0195
74 Kentwood 54,042 4.5% $293,250 $66,945 0.0267
75 Tecumseh 8,678 6.8% $228,128 $65,638 0.0052
76 Marshall 6,806 7.2% $220,197 $72,813 0.0137
77 Portage 48,936 6.1% $271,509 $74,837 0.0362
78 Sterling Heights 133,744 5.9% $278,499 $75,381 0.0136
79 Fraser 14,668 4.8% $217,570 $61,039 0.0167
80 Southgate 29,948 4.8% $175,318 $62,792 0.0231
81 Madison Heights 28,521 3.6% $203,911 $63,224 0.0211
82 Hillsdale 8,005 3.6% $183,760 $47,205 0.0139
83 Richmond 5,852 6.1% $276,790 $64,154 0.0046
84 Houghton 8,303 11.8% $209,785 $29,821 0.0072
85 Swartz Creek 5,865 0.9% $218,680 $70,210 0.0547
86 Howell 10,067 4.4% $348,579 $53,953 0.0112
87 Oak Park 29,495 9.9% $212,139 $61,991 0.0253
88 Norton Shores 24,984 5.2% $257,972 $72,699 0.0257
89 Fenton 11,967 4.7% $330,634 $76,195 0.0142
90 East Lansing 45,403 6.7% $269,481 $44,094 0.0210
91 Gladstone 5,231 3.8% $162,888 $59,133 0.0065
92 Grand Blanc 8,034 5.8% $262,470 $70,518 0.0098
93 Milan 6,153 6.5% $251,182 $89,600 0.0122
94 Big Rapids 7,915 7.2% $191,904 $36,058 0.0037
95 Walker 25,175 3.4% $311,743 $72,020 0.0301
96 Wixom 17,007 2.7% $348,240 $72,896 0.0133
97 Riverview 12,390 3.2% $219,074 $69,323 0.0128
98 Woodhaven 12,867 5.0% $242,087 $77,725 0.0130
99 Marquette 20,673 5.9% $288,904 $51,599 0.0087
100 Marysville 9,973 4.6% $212,826 $67,548 0.0088
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

35 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Michigan For 2024

  1. I am from Escanaba. I live in Las Vegas now but still have friends and family in Esky. This article is complete BS. The crime rate in Escanaba fits in a small column in the police blogger in the news paper. Two murders in 4 years is nothing compared to where I live now. The crime here daily would take up several pages of the newspaper. There are some beautiful buildings in downtown Esky and to take a picture of one of the worst buildings is just wrong. Escanaba depends a lot on tourism so saying it is one of the worst cities in Michigan is not helping anything. And why is Detroit not on this list?

    1. You haven’t been back lately , call the hospital with all the crack an meth babies. The jail is so full their releasing criminals every day . Wake up , the old u.p. is gone!

  2. Not only did the author not know where Escanaba is, they apparently don’t know that Beecher is NOT a city. The Beecher district is in FLINT, so basically the first two worst cities to live in are Flint and Flint.

    1. Please do not ever consider moving to Escanaba or any place in the Yoop!! It is awful up here! The snow….. I have to get work by sled dog! No indoor plumbing and the worst is firing up the propane phone!

      1. That’s what i would expect yoopers to say they don’t really like visitors….its funny all them ppl above saying dont come to escanaba

    1. I wonder if the “reporters” who wrote this article have ever visited Lapeer. If they had, they would notice a vibrant, growing, beautiful city. I have lived in Lapeer my entire 47 years, and I have never been a victim of a crime. In addition to that, they may be grouping the county in with their “facts” on crime and unemployment. It is true that Lapeer County has a higher unemployment rate, but the county is made up of numerous rural communities. Lapeer city itself is absolutely a perfect place to raise a family. I don’t know why I let these idiotic biops make me mad, but this one hits home, literally.

  3. Not only is Escanaba horrible, but the whole UP. Everyone should stay away. Crime is everywhere.

  4. The lakefront property in Muskegon is absolutely beautiful and far from the horrible area that skews the numbers for his statistics.

  5. LOL this article is truly a joke and completely false…..for several reasons! Any one can pull up a photo that looks like a run down , pre-demo building and pull up some statistics …. but that doesn’t mean squat to what the rest of the town looks like, thrives on, or has to offer in regards to safety, scenery, family values,actually knowing your neighbors and feeling safe in your homes or walking down the street! Escanaba has the most beautiful park and marina and the small town mentality that’s evaporating out of this crazy fast paced “lost” world. Just Ask Gust Asp – is a Landmark!! Its the place I use to buy penny candy! The memories so many of us share going back there whether its been being born and raised there, left and come back to visit, summer camping, hunting trips….etc…..The best place to be from! Gods Country!

    1. I agree, until you have been visited the area you have no clue what the area has to offer, the beauty is breath taking, the air is so fresh. LOVE it up their.

  6. Escanaba being on the list and not Detroit just made this entire article non-creditable. This cannot be serious journalism.

  7. This is bs I moved to Lapeer from clinton township I have never felt more safe then here and detroit is not even on here someone should sue him for slander causing out homes value down. He is an ass come here and check it out I dare him to !!!!!!

  8. I totally disagree with the choice of Greenville. Greenville has excellent schools that have excellent educators, miles of trails to walk or bicycle, the crime rate in the city is not high, what has been factored in the crime rate of Montcalm County and the same is true of the low income. The picture chosen does not represent Greenville. Greenville has a large medical community, an excellent hospital and medical staff is top notch. Likewise the Public Safety Department is top notch and they are not dodging bullets as this piece seems to imply. The festival referred to is one that celebrates the heritage of the city which is Danish and of which Greenville is very proud.

    The person writing this article has obviously not visited or researched the cities that he is writing about. Better look in your own backyard before you reach out to destroy other communities. Get your facts correct before you make yourself look like an idiot.

    1. Greenville has the worst public safety dept. I have ever experienced, when the police officers hang out in the local bars on weekends, in a town with a population of 8500 that’s a serious problem!

  9. I think Gelding and Orleans should both be on the list cause neither city has any place to go for any age. Both are low jobs and many homes up for sell. And drugs.

  10. The lack of legitamacy in this article is obvious just because Detroit is not even on it. Plus, the fact that u included quality of school tells me this is inaccurate. Michigans system for grading school districts is a complete joke. Whoever wrote this a

  11. I totally agree with most of the others posters about Escanaba should NOT be on this list. I have lived most of my life here in the good ole UP of Michigan and I have traveled the world being military. The only thing I ever found disagreeable about Esky is the streets and drivers more so than streets. Other than that it is one of the nicest friendliest places to live here in the UP.
    I am a YOOPER and I am PROUD!!!
    The writer should go and do some real research on these cities instead of just writing crap for his report.
    Oh and by the way Detroit most definitely should have been on this list.

  12. Detroit should have been on the list and not Lapeer! I live in Lapeer and it’s a nice place to live!

  13. I wonder if the “reporters” who wrote this article have ever visited Lapeer. If they had, they would notice a vibrant, growing, beautiful city. I have lived in Lapeer my entire 47 years, and I have never been a victim of a crime. In addition to that, they may be grouping the county in with their “facts” on crime and unemployment. It is true that Lapeer County has a higher unemployment rate, but the county is made up of numerous rural communities. Lapeer city itself is absolutely a perfect place to raise a family. I don’t know why I let these idiotic biops make me mad, but this one hits home, literally.

  14. I have to say Escanaba being on this list is complete BS. I’m from Ishpeming, proudly, but our community is far worse than Escanaba and can think of dozens of communities across Michigan and the UP that are worse.

    Escanaba is a leader in the UP in technological manufacturing, one of the more beautiful shorelines in the UP and a sense of community as well. Escanaba has a top notch school system, several local golf courses, amazing restaurants and shops and a unique charm.

    I would suggest traveling to Escanaba before you even consider putting this community on the list.

  15. I have one thing to say, and I know the other Hooper’s may disown me…
    Yeah, Ishpeming is bad….Esky isn’t great……but u forgot K.I. Sawyer!!!!

  16. Alpena should be #1. rudest people you will ever meet starting with the hospital. Half of the time it smells. Tried to find an upscale place to have dinner and there are none.

  17. If you grew up near Escanaba, have friend and family there, then it’s actually a cool little town. Otherwise Don’t even waste your time. There is really nothing here except endless fast food restaurants, dive bars, pill and meth’d out welfare white trash. Then they want to build more low income house units to fill the town with more trash. There are not very many attractive people there. You can find a house for cheap, but you will also find a lot of young punk kids that never get put in jail. You will also have crooked cops which includes off duty drunk drivers. Some of these guys get a hard on putting people away for minor crimes. Years ago Escanaba was much better. Unfortunately it’s turning into a really bad place to live. Detroit is so much better. Sooner or later Escanaba will be about number ten on that list at this rate.

  18. Niles? What the Niles area is not that bad. The people in Niles are great people. Love going to the Apple Fest/ ice fest. The people there support the community. Benton Harbor, St Joseph, Niles and Dowagiac. Yeah I will admit Benton Harbor has had its problems. But I have driven through this small city with no problems. The schools are improving believe it or not. They have a good plan to turn things around. St Joseph nice beaches great food downtown. Dowagiac nice community. Great food downtown. Dowagiac’s Sister Lakes resort area fun in the summer. Dowagiac schools are in the middle of a 36 million improvements. Dowagiac a lot of history. Very interesting area.

  19. Dowagiac ! I don’t think your statistics are accurate. Why would so many Chicago residents own summer homes on the lakes around this town. Why would they come to shop and dine in the restaurant’s downtown Dowagiac. A Michigan travel magazine listed downtown Dowagiac in the top 10 best in Michigan. If their was so many low income families then why would the residence invest 36 million into there schools. I have lived in this town most of my life and I have never felt afraid to walk anywhere. Apparently the Chicago residents don’t either. The Dowagiac/Sister Lakes area population triples in the Summer months. It’s good place to live. You are within 30 minutes from Lake Michigan beaches, Major shopping Centers less than 30 minute drive in South Bend / Mishawaka. Snowmobile trails, hiking trails, nice parks, canoeing , cross country downhill skiing at Swiss Valley. Many lakes to fish , tube and ski. Southwestern Michigan College nice campus with many students from all over the Midwest live on campus dorms and the all say “WE LOVE IT HERE!”

  20. Highland park never asked to be part of Detroit infant they do all they can to stay separate also it’s not totally inside of Detroit it touches Hamtramck who also did all it could to stay separate from Detroit. River Rouge & Ecorse are pretty much also surrounded inside of Detroit & much of Downriver is bleak & a continuation of Detroit as it is also Wayne County.

  21. And since I pastied my way around the U.P., I can honestly say, IMHO, that Escanaba makes the best of the best. Of course, none that I ate were bad. It’s just that the pasties in Escanaba stood out.

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