These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Virginia


We used science and data to determine which places in Virginia are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Virginia?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Virginia – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Virginia cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Old Dominion:

  1. Bensley
  2. Petersburg (Photos)
  3. Dumbarton
  4. Emporia (Photos)
  5. Franklin (Photos)
  6. Richmond (Photos)
  7. Orange
  8. Dumfries (Photos)
  9. Ettrick (Photos)
  10. Bailey’S Crossroads

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Wyndham is the happiest place in Virginia.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

If you’re looking for something more positive, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Virginia

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Virginia, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Virginia with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 194 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Virginia’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.

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1. Bensley


Population: 5,865
People Who Own Their Home: 35.58%
Married Adults: 35.83%

2. Petersburg

Petersburg, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,439
People Who Own Their Home: 33.89%
Married Adults: 29.9%

3. Dumbarton

Dumbarton, Virginia

Source: Google Maps

Population: 8,346
People Who Own Their Home: 23.52%
Married Adults: 29.07%

4. Emporia

Emporia, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,682
People Who Own Their Home: 34.94%
Married Adults: 36.16%

5. Franklin

Franklin, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,534
People Who Own Their Home: 40.2%
Married Adults: 40.45%

6. Richmond

Richmond, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 211,063
People Who Own Their Home: 37.03%
Married Adults: 26.06%

7. Orange

Orange, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,808
People Who Own Their Home: 41.74%
Married Adults: 41.55%

8. Dumfries

Dumfries, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,122
People Who Own Their Home: 51.26%
Married Adults: 46.08%

9. Ettrick

Ettrick, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,660
People Who Own Their Home: 47.49%
Married Adults: 20.57%

10. Bailey’S Crossroads

Bailey

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,947
People Who Own Their Home: 34.56%
Married Adults: 42.94%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Virginia reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Virginia

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Bensley 1 35.58%
Petersburg 2 33.89%
Dumbarton 3 23.52%
Emporia 4 34.94%
Franklin 5 40.2%
Richmond 6 37.03%
Orange 7 41.74%
Dumfries 8 51.26%
Ettrick 9 47.49%
Bailey’S Crossroads 10 34.56%
Norfolk 11 39.43%
Bellwood 12 49.01%
Fredericksburg 13 32.26%
Dublin 14 42.66%
Martinsville 15 45.71%
Danville 16 44.74%
Highland Springs 17 54.4%
Marumsco 18 50.03%
South Boston 19 51.11%
Hopewell 20 45.5%
Montrose 21 36.79%
Hybla Valley 22 37.98%
Bull Run 23 30.38%
Seven Corners 24 31.17%
Harrisonburg 25 31.86%
Front Royal 26 51.6%
Triangle 27 46.14%
Sudley 28 54.77%
Yorkshire 29 53.68%
Pulaski 30 48.81%
Winchester 31 42.77%
Portsmouth 32 50.22%
Newport News 33 45.42%
Big Stone Gap 34 50.33%
Roanoke 35 49.03%
Lynchburg 36 46.01%
Radford 37 38.91%
Sandston 38 53.89%
Blacksburg 39 25.31%
Wytheville 40 50.81%
Galax 41 49.37%
Manassas 42 59.98%
Louisa 43 39.56%
Collinsville 44 55.87%
Rocky Mount 45 48.9%
Marion 46 45.22%
Laurel 47 49.5%
Groveton 48 49.97%
Cherry Hill 49 52.02%
Lincolnia 50 51.37%
Woodstock 51 48.05%
Shenandoah 52 62.04%
Norton 53 47.46%
Bristol 54 48.61%
Annandale 55 56.04%
Hampton 56 51.58%
Charlottesville 57 37.39%
Woodbridge 58 65.82%
Amherst 59 56.53%
Alexandria 60 38.29%
Lakeside 61 55.06%
Abingdon 62 46.16%
Williamsburg 63 40.86%
Strasburg 64 52.36%
Dale City 65 69.87%
Dulles Town Center 66 30.74%
Richlands 67 57.57%
Manassas Park 68 59.1%
Chester 69 62.51%
Waynesboro 70 52.04%
Staunton 71 51.75%
Ashland 72 51.86%
Buena Vista 73 59.99%
East Highland Park 74 67.54%
Idylwood 75 49.79%
Lorton 76 51.17%
Vinton 77 50.67%
Manchester 78 58.88%
Lebanon 79 45.52%
Berryville 80 54.63%
Fair Oaks 81 44.85%
Lexington 82 48.15%
West Point 83 63.79%
Covington 84 60.73%
Windsor 85 68.16%
Lake Of The Woods 86 73.75%
Arlington 87 39.95%
Springfield 88 60.56%
Warrenton 89 54.82%
Meadowbrook 90 67.94%
Verona 91 71.88%
Sugarland Run 92 72.93%
Timberlake 93 59.78%
Huntington 94 39.91%
Herndon 95 55.93%
Falmouth 96 62.91%
Potomac Mills 97 71.14%
Suffolk 98 65.1%
South Hill 99 44.33%
Bluefield 100 66.44%
Fairfax 101 67.97%
Merrifield 102 47.84%
Colonial Heights 103 58.1%
Tysons Corner 104 39.49%
Sterling 105 69.57%
Madison Heights 106 63.21%
Smithfield 107 66.81%
North Springfield 108 74.48%
Centreville 109 69.53%
Bon Air 110 70.84%
Chantilly 111 79.15%
Salem 112 61.85%
Elkton 113 62.95%
Virginia Beach 114 58.94%
Stuarts Draft 115 66.52%
Tuckahoe 116 60.77%
Quantico Base 117 2.4%
Chesapeake 118 67.39%
Lake Ridge 119 70.7%
Fairlawn 120 78.45%
Fort Lee 121 1.68%
Woodburn 122 61.89%
Oakton 123 58.97%
Reston 124 57.77%
Neabsco 125 74.99%
Gloucester Point 126 62.86%
Chamberlayne 127 87.82%
Fair Lakes 128 56.08%
Mantua 129 64.51%
Rockwood 130 85.34%
Kings Park West 131 85.32%
Glen Allen 132 67.04%
Leesburg 133 64.41%
Newington 134 74.58%
Mount Vernon 135 75.58%
Pimmit Hills 136 60.9%
Buckhall 137 88.77%
Hollins 138 67.72%
Mcnair 139 24.23%
Franconia 140 72.71%
Belle Haven 141 71.92%
Burke Centre 142 71.58%
Bridgewater 143 58.2%
Christiansburg 144 57.52%
Newington Forest 145 83.06%
West Springfield 146 78.75%
Brandermill 147 58.74%
Innsbrook 148 63.67%
New Baltimore 149 86.7%
Lake Barcroft 150 69.58%
Aquia Harbour 151 82.1%
Kingstowne 152 61.26%
Lansdowne 153 66.36%
Gainesville 154 73.93%
Cave Spring 155 63.89%
Long Branch 156 82.7%
Greenbriar 157 68.11%
Crosspointe 158 95.42%
Purcellville 159 73.68%
South Riding 160 80.97%
Ashburn 161 70.46%
Montclair 162 84.29%
Laurel Hill 163 78.2%
Mechanicsville 164 76.07%
Burke 165 84.17%
Dunn Loring 166 86.53%
Lake Monticello 167 78.75%
Poquoson 168 79.42%
Carrollton 169 61.86%
Vienna 170 78.51%
Independent Hill 171 86.04%
Cascades 172 76.12%
Wakefield 173 92.12%
Short Pump 174 60.48%
Linton Hall 175 85.75%
Countryside 176 70.51%
Kings Park 177 89.93%
Lowes Island 178 87.72%
Mclean 179 83.12%
Franklin Farm 180 92.27%
South Run 181 92.15%
Great Falls 182 89.89%
Belmont 183 91.86%
Stone Ridge 184 86.48%
Dranesville 185 89.7%
Forest 186 79.02%
Brambleton 187 84.77%
Broadlands 188 83.96%
Cloverdale 189 85.69%
Woodlake 190 81.44%
Wolf Trap 191 92.93%
Floris 192 91.35%
Fort Hunt 193 89.59%
Wyndham 194 83.24%

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