These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Utah For 2017


We used science and data to determine which cities in the Beehive State are the worst to call home.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2017.

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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:

  1. South Salt Lake (Photos)
  2. Ogden (Photos)
  3. Price (Photos)
  4. Midvale (Photos)
  5. Tremonton (Photos)
  6. Tooele (Photos)
  7. Ivins (Photos)
  8. Moab (Photos)
  9. Richfield (Photos)
  10. Hurricane (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. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2017.

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

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How we determined the worst places to live in Utah for 2017

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

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

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 5,200 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.

1. South Salt Lake

South Salt Lake, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,501
Home Values: $172,700 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (22nd worst)
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 8th most dangerous city in Utah. Is that surprising?

There were two murders here in 2015, and when you’re in SSL, you have a 1 in 107 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered yourself every year. Plus, you have a 1 in 13.6 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 $37,083 a year combined. Education and home values are also far below the state average.

2. Ogden

Ogden, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 84,273
Home Values: $129,800 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (11th worst)
Would you believe that Ogden is the 16th 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 217 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 11th highest in Utah (8.1%), and homes are the 2nd cheapest in the state ($129,800). 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.

3. Price

Price, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,505
Home Values: $123,300 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (6th worst)
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 $123,300, 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 (9.2%) is the 6th highest in the state.

But the schools are highly rated. At least they have that.

4. Midvale

Midvale, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,844
Home Values: $194,700 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (27th worst)
Midvale seems to be the have’s and have not’s. While the annual average income levels here are respectful ($50,614), about 1 in 16.6 people here are without jobs. Homes are valued at only $194,700.

But the biggest eye opener is the sheer crime here. It seems as if just about everyone in town without a job is pillaging the community. Midvale has the 5th highest crime rate in Utah, where 1 in 107 people has a statistic chance of being attacked, raped or murdered each year.

Plus, 1 in 13.4 people are robbed.

If you’re headed past Midvale and stop for gas, make sure you lock your doors.

5. Tremonton

Tremonton, Utah

Source: Flickr

Population: 7,999
Home Values: $149,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (7th worst)
Tremonton places 5th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Utah. Here, 17.5% of the adult population lack’s even a high school degree. That makes Tremonton have the 3rd highest adult drop out rate in Utah.

Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $149,500 each — the 6th lowest in Utah.

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As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of demand to live here.

6. Tooele

Tooele, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,454
Home Values: $160,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (9th worst)
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 25.4 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 (8.4%). That’s good for the 9th highest unemployment rate in Utah.

7. Ivins

Ivins, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,406
Home Values: $212,700 (37th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (56th worst)
Out of all the places to live in Utah, Ivins ranks as the 7th worst — not something to brag about.

Ivins’s unemployment rate stands at 4.5%. While the income levels out here are some of the lowest in the state. Residents earn a combined $52,920 a year in salaries. That’s not enough to really get ahead in life.

Additionally, the homes are the 37th cheapest in the entire state at $212,700. Again, some people like the cheap cost of living, but housing is priced on demand, and the fact is, there’s not a lot of demand to live way out in Ivins. Plus, what do you do for fun here anyway?

Crime is the 2nd worst in the state. You have a 1 in 11.1 chance of being robbed here and a 1 in 136 chance of being attacked or raped. Yikes.

8. Moab

Moab, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,175
Home Values: $218,500 (41st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (3rd worst)
Things are starting to get progressively more ‘modern’ and in line with what you expect in a great state such as Utah when we get to Moab. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 10.4% (which is really high), and the median income is $40,497. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.

9. Richfield

Richfield, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,570
Home Values: $155,900 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (14th worst)
The internet says Richfield is a cute, quiet town. The map says it’s an isolated place where you can get bored really quickly if you’re not an outdoors lover.

And the data says it’s crummy to live there. At least in Utah standards. The unemployment rate is 3.8%, which is the 8th highest in the state. Income levels are ($44,000), which are the 10th lowest in Utah, and the crime is above normal.

10. Hurricane

Hurricane, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,694
Home Values: $183,500 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (19th worst)
Hurricane needs some tough love.

Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Hurricane. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Hurricane. Of the 79 cities considered in this ranking, Hurricane had the least to be proud of across the board.

Not only does Hurricane have Utah’s 22nd lowest home value rank, but it also had the 19th and 61st highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of “Worst City in Utah.”

If you know anyone in Hurricane, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.

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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 2017.

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

  1. Kaysville (Pop. 29,213)
  2. Farmington (Pop. 21,223)
  3. Syracuse (Pop. 25,977)

For more Utah reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Utah

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 South Salt Lake 24,501 6.5% $172,700
2 Ogden 84,273 8.1% $129,800
3 Price 8,505 9.2% $123,300
4 Midvale 30,844 6.0% $194,700
5 Tremonton 7,999 8.6% $149,500
6 Tooele 32,454 8.4% $160,600
7 Ivins 7,406 4.5% $212,700
8 Moab 5,175 10.4% $218,500
9 Richfield 7,570 7.8% $155,900
10 Hurricane 14,694 6.8% $183,500
11 Washington Terrace 9,119 8.3% $140,900
12 Roosevelt 6,555 4.6% $173,100
13 Vernal 10,321 7.4% $175,100
14 Taylorsville 60,383 6.4% $187,000
15 Sunset 5,163 8.0% $131,500
16 Enoch 6,075 12.5% $145,000
17 Santaquin 10,054 6.7% $190,000
18 Riverdale 8,610 7.7% $162,800
19 Santa Clara 6,550 9.9% $243,000
20 St. George 76,915 8.1% $213,100
21 Ephraim 6,598 14.4% $183,500
22 Grantsville 9,609 6.9% $188,400
23 Logan 49,400 6.3% $161,900
24 Provo 115,345 6.3% $204,700
25 Hyrum 7,820 5.9% $162,400
26 Murray 48,460 5.5% $227,100
27 Washington 22,080 4.9% $221,000
28 Heber 13,001 5.8% $255,700
29 Herriman 26,721 6.6% $293,400
30 Harrisville 5,942 9.6% $166,200
31 West Jordan 109,549 6.0% $222,400
32 Payson 19,313 4.9% $182,800
33 Clearfield 30,299 5.7% $153,600
34 Roy 37,670 5.5% $156,900
35 Nephi 5,463 3.4% $163,600
36 West Haven 11,323 5.7% $265,400
37 Orem 91,697 6.2% $207,400
38 Eagle Mountain 25,037 2.8% $201,200
39 Springville 31,178 4.3% $194,600
40 Hooper 7,873 5.4% $269,000
41 American Fork 27,799 5.5% $221,700
42 North Salt Lake 18,046 5.2% $232,500
43 Layton 71,007 4.7% $201,900
44 Farr West 6,270 2.9% $237,800
45 South Ogden 16,805 4.4% $173,100
46 Spanish Fork 36,916 5.0% $192,900
47 North Logan 9,380 5.7% $238,500
48 Salem 7,015 4.9% $261,700
49 Bluffdale 9,008 7.2% $382,900
50 Bountiful 43,221 4.1% $246,800
51 Sandy 91,533 4.5% $277,600
52 Pleasant Grove 35,771 6.0% $226,500
53 South Weber 6,568 4.8% $263,400
54 Riverton 40,912 3.0% $274,700
55 Mapleton 8,788 8.4% $332,400
56 Nibley 6,060 5.0% $217,100
57 West Point 9,932 1.9% $211,000
58 Pleasant View 8,647 4.2% $274,300
59 Woods Cross 10,686 4.1% $213,200
60 North Ogden 18,006 4.5% $207,400
61 Lindon 10,552 4.7% $318,200
62 Clinton 21,036 4.8% $186,500
63 Smithfield 10,413 5.5% $192,800
64 Holladay 30,748 4.2% $342,900
65 Fruit Heights 5,625 5.9% $317,800
66 Cottonwood Heights 34,234 4.7% $314,200
67 Alpine 9,986 4.4% $441,400
68 Lehi 54,079 4.3% $252,400
69 Draper 45,469 4.4% $381,100
70 Cedar Hills 10,165 5.5% $309,500
71 Providence 7,043 3.5% $232,200
72 West Bountiful 5,394 1.9% $232,900
73 Saratoga Springs 22,532 4.4% $258,900
74 South Jordan 59,662 3.7% $332,300
75 Highland 17,030 4.9% $424,400
76 Centerville 16,387 2.6% $248,300
77 Syracuse 25,977 3.3% $252,700
78 Farmington 21,223 2.8% $291,100
79 Kaysville 29,213 3.5% $275,700

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9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Utah For 2017

  1. How come you’re rating cities on education based on money spent, rather than SAT scores?

    New Hampshire schools spend less than a fourth, per student, what schools in Washington, DC spend. Yet mysteriously New Hampshire students do better on all test scores.

  2. The picture you have for Price Utah is not in Price or the cities close to it. Also we live an hour and twenty minutes from Provo not hours. Besides that unless you grew up here or like the out doors and small towns I agree its not a good fit.
    No arguing just wanted to let you know.

  3. Very flawed methodology. For example Riverdale residents actually experience very little crime. The reason the “Crime rate” is so high is because Riverdale is host to a very successful merchant district (Riverdale Rd) that draws in shoppers (and shoplifters) from the surrounding areas. Get off the Commercial road and it’s a quiet peaceful bedroom community. Another example, housing costs, Ogden’s average prices are lower because much of the city is older smaller homes that simply don’t cost as much as newer construction. Some of these old homes are hidden treasures that when fixed up show of the history of the city. Similarly Nephi, Price, and Cedar city have lower home costs because they are away from the pressure areas of the Wasatch Front or St George where population demands push costs up.

    Oh and Ogden actually has a great night life with plenty to do, many large employers in and around it. It does have a gang problem (mostly latino) but is actually a nice town. With Ogden having the night life that provides the entertainment opportunities for nearby RIverdale (actually has an Ogden Zip Code) and Clearfield, those cities can get by being more bedroom type cities with affordable housing. The price range you posted is actually beneficial as many areas of Utah are getting too expensive for families to buy their first home in. And never discount the outdoor life in Utah. Regardless of where you are in the state, the Outdoors are one of the biggest and best attractions and forms of entertainment, from camping, fishing and hunting in the warmer months to The Greatest Snow on Earth(tm) during the winter. Speaking of which it should be noted that Ogden, Riverdale and Clearfield are all just 30-45 minutes from three ski resorts. 30 minutes and you are running down the slopes used in the 2002 Winter Olympics at Snowbasin, and just little further to Wolf Mountain and Powder Mountain Ski Resort.

  4. Price is not far from Provo. It is about an hour. And you could have picked a better picture than a business doing renovations. You’re trying to make the cities look worse than you’re already saying they are.

  5. My wife and I were considering a property in Tooele. In researching the location I came across the crime map on the Tooele Police Department website. Some many reported incidents that the maps is completely obscured by crime icons (layered several deep). Completely unacceptable. One would have to look a crime map of Chicago to see similar results.

  6. Cedar city is actually pretty awesome. The worst part about Utah is the church and how it controls everything no matter where you live in Utah. If you are not in a ward you will always be an outsider. Salt lake is probably the best place for outsiders. Members of the church operate much differently and don’t make you feel like you have a disease. Your kids anywhere else in Utah especially southern Utah will be bullied. Subtract the dominant church fro the state and it’s a great place all around. Lots of businesses go out of business unless you affiliate with the church. Church goers tend to frequent church member owned businesses more than outsiders and in southern Utah if you are different or risqué in anyway as an artist or person they will shit you down and isolate you. And in southern Utah it is extremely gentrified. St George is probably one of the most boring am cities in the country. If you want to do anything you eitherndrive 4.5 hrs to Salt lake or another state to have fun. It is very frustrating. There is nonhousingnidnyou want an rental unless you want to pay extremely high rent. Forget it if you have an animal. I could go on but I think you get the idea.

  7. Well, I think Park City, Utah is now the #1 on your “worst” list as of today. You have under 8800 people living there and 3 murders occurred in the past 36 hours. Considering their last murder was 2003 and before that it was in the 1990’s, the HOMICIDE rate just skyrocketed. It would literally put Park City as the most dangerous city based on your listing guidelines

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