Utah is possibly one of the most misunderstood states in the nation. You’ve got a very right-leaning group, the dominance of the LDS church, and then you have Salt Lake City, which is ranked as one of the largest in terms of LGBT populations in the nation.
It’s a really beautiful state, no question. And it stays quiet, remaining out of the headlines, despite being one of the most hard-working and wealthiest states in the U.S.
Is it all rosy in the Beehive State? Of course not. Just like every other state, Utah has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which places are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Utah your home.
After analyzing 79 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,200 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Utah:
- South Salt Lake (Photos)
- Ogden (Photos)
- Tooele (Photos)
- Roosevelt (Photos)
- Price (Photos)
- Tremonton (Photos)
- Vernal (Photos)
- Hurricane (Photos)
- Enoch (Photos)
- Midvale (Photos)
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Utah? That would be South Salt Lake.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more Utah reading, check out:
How we determined the worst places to live in Utah for 2019
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know 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
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 79 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 79 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 Utah — South Salt Lake. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Utah.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Utah, South Salt Lake came in 1st. Let’s see why.
Welcome to the 4th most dangerous city in Utah. Is that surprising?
There were two murders here in 2019, and when you’re in SSL, you have a 1 in 105 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered yourself every year. Plus, you have a 1 in 12.5 chance of being robbed here as well.
Not only is there a lot of crime here, the residents here earn just about the lowest salaries in Utah, bringing in $41,457 a year combined. Education and home values are also far below the state average.
Would you believe that Ogden is the 15th most dangerous place in Utah? That’s the case, as every year, you have a 1 in 22.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within Ogden city limits.
In addition, every year, you have a 1 in 184 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Ogden. That means raped, attacked or killed. Again, for Utah, that’s just unacceptable.
Beyond the crime numbers, Ogden’s unemployment rate is the 10th highest in Utah (6.4%), and homes are the 3rd cheapest in the state ($140,500). Say what you want about ‘cheap living’, the fact is homes are priced on demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Ogden.
Here in Tooele, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Utah. That’s not a good combination.
Located just west of Salt Lake City, you have a 1 in 28.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Tooele city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (8.1%). That’s good for the 4th highest unemployment rate in Utah.
Roosevelt, UT needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 14th worst in the state, which is very high considering Roosevelt is so far removed from the rest of Utah.
If you know anyone in Roosevelt, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Price has a small university presence and a museum, but that’s just about it. Located out in the middle of nowhere, (a long drive from Provo), you can imagine why home prices are just about as cheap as you can get. In fact, at $131,800, homes are a steal here if you can tolerate the isolation.
Few other city have cheaper homes.
As you can imagine, finding work way out here can be tough. The unemployment rate (5.3%) is the 16th highest in the state.
But the schools are highly rated. At least they have that.
If you live in Tremonton, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 53rd highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Utah. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 57.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.
That’s a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.
Plus there were 14 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you’d have a 1 in 588 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the 11th lowest salaries in Utah At $51,354 a household, that’s simply not enough to get by for most folks.
Vernal, UT needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 8.6%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 39th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 41.6 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
When you’re looking at science and data, Hurricane is the worst place you can live in Utah. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 5.6%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $188,900, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 59.6 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.
Hurricane is a far drive south from Louisville.
Enoch needs some tough love as it ranks as the 9th worst city to live in Utah for 2019.
Crime in Enoch is the 68th highest in the state, where 1 in 105.5 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
. Additionally, the income is almost dead last in Utah.
If commute time is important, Enoch residents have the 16th longest commute of any residents on our list.
Midvale takes the 10th worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Midvale its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 4th worst in the whole state.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Utah
If you’re looking at areas in Utah with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, South Salt Lake ranks as the worst city to live in Utah for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Utah:
- South Jordan (Pop. 65,523)
- Farmington (Pop. 22,616)
- Kaysville (Pop. 30,328)
For more Utah reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Utah
|1||South Salt Lake||24,722|
|51||North Salt Lake||19,413|