The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Utah.

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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:

Here are the 10 worst places to live in Utah for 2019:

  1. South Salt Lake (Photos)
  2. Tooele (Photos)
  3. Ogden (Photos)
  4. Roosevelt (Photos)
  5. Hurricane (Photos)
  6. Midvale (Photos)
  7. Enoch (Photos)
  8. Grantsville (Photos)
  9. Price (Photos)
  10. Tremonton (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.

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

For more Utah reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2019

South Salt Lake, UT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 24,722
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $184,200 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (19th worst)
More on South Salt Lake:  Data | Photos

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.

Tooele, UT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 33,236
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $169,900 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (4th worst)
More on Tooele:  Data | Photos

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.

Ogden, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 85,497
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $140,500 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (10th worst)
More on Ogden:  Data | Photos

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.

Roosevelt, UT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,771
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $178,000 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (6th worst)
More on Roosevelt:  Data | Photos

Roosevelt is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Roosevelt is the 14th most dangerous place you can live in Utah.

Residents in Roosevelt have a 1 in 21.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.

When you’re considering home prices, you can’t do much lower than in Roosevelt, where average homes are valued at only$178,000. That’s the 17th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.

Hurricane, UT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,676
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $188,900 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (12th worst)
More on Hurricane:  Data | Photos

Hurricane is the 5th worst city in Utah for 2019. When you’re comparing other cities to Hurricane, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.

Hurricane is the 55th most dangerous place in Utah, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 5.6%, worse than the state average.

Home values are really low ($188,900), and residents earn just $49,961 a year.

Midvale, UT

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 32,249
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $216,600 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (34th worst)
More on Midvale:  Data | Photos

You can sure expect that Midvale is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 6th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Midvale has the 4th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.

There were 80 violent crimes here in 2019, and residents have a 1 in 12.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Midvale, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.

You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits — the unemployment rate sits at 4.4% which is the 34th worst in Utah.

Enoch, UT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,331
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 13)
Median Home Value: $173,900 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (19th worst)
More on Enoch:  Data | Photos

The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Enoch. The only real difference is Enoch is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.

However, the unemployment rate in Enoch is at 5.2%, which is the 19th worst in Utah. And households earn a combined $53,569 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Enoch is merely $173,900.

Enoch is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.

Grantsville, UT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 10,170
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $212,300 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (10th worst)
More on Grantsville:  Data | Photos

If you live in Utah, you may or may not be surprised that Grantsville ranked, at least on paper, as the 8th worst place to live in the state. It has the 10th highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 36th most dangerous.

Incidentally, Grantsville is the 3rd most densely populated city in Utah. Draw your own conclusions.

Price, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,337
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $131,800 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (16th worst)
More on Price:  Data | Photos

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.

Tremonton, UT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,242
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $159,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (8th worst)
More on Tremonton:  Data | Photos

Tremonton, part of Box Elder County, is the 10th worst place to live in Utah for 2019.

Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $51,354, and crime 53rd worst in Utah.

Additionally, the poverty level is 16.8% in Tremonton.

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

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 5,000 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.

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:

  1. Providence (Pop. 7,173)
  2. Farmington (Pop. 22,616)
  3. Kaysville (Pop. 30,328)

For more Utah reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Utah?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 South Salt Lake 24,722 5.2% $184,200
2 Tooele 33,236 8.1% $169,900
3 Ogden 85,497 6.4% $140,500
4 Roosevelt 6,771 7.7% $178,000
5 Hurricane 15,676 5.6% $188,900
6 Midvale 32,249 4.4% $216,600
7 Enoch 6,331 5.2% $173,900
8 Grantsville 10,170 6.4% $212,300
9 Price 8,337 5.3% $131,800
10 Tremonton 8,242 6.7% $159,500

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21 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2019

  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.

    1. I have lived in many cities in Utah and the mormons I’ve know have been nothing but great friends to my kids and great neighbors so I don’t know what your talking about. Sounds like you have a character flaw that makes you unlikable. Probably because when anything goes wrong you blame mormons. If I know my utah history correct I believe the mormons fled the east because they were being murdered every where they went so they walked hundreds of miles west to a dry undesirable desert that nobody wanted and established it. So if you are not a mormon it means you came here after they did and if you hate it so much then go back to wherever the hell you came from.

  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

  8. Davis county is a sh*thole, especially Sunset and Roy. If you work on base, you will never get a promotion as the Mormons only promote their own. Better to find a different base to be stationed at if you want to excel in your career.

  9. I don’t get how my city (Farmington) gets in the top best places each year. We have a crappy police force, really lax punishment of Pedophiles and rapists living by schools and other institutions, it’s god awful with diversity, nosy neighbors are everywhere, unfriendly ones are everywhere too.

  10. Ogden sucks. Ive lived all over Utah, Ogden hands down sucks the most. Great outdoor stuff. The roads suck, schools suck, crime sucks, things to do in the city unless you want to go to a lame bar, sucks. Traffic is the worst, distracted rude drivers, too many crack heads, oh and shopping carts everywhere, delapitaded buildins all over, garbage on road ways, rude people, ghetto (i lived in Westvalley) and Ogden is just terrible. I always have disliked it. And now i live here. And am counting the days to leave. Oh and forget it if you have trouble, the cops will more than likely harrass or arrest you before helping. Get sexually asaulted? Yea dont bother asking the cops for help here. Oh and if you wanna almost get hit daily driving, live here. Want to have crackies all over, come to Ogden, home of white trash. Its the worst mix of hillbillies and wiggers. They try to make it ecleptic, its not. And no one wants to come here from SLC, why cuz it sucks.

    1. You are tripping Ogden is awesome. But finding an affordable home after May 2018 is good and quite impossible for the average Joe .

  11. West Valley is a horrible place to live. The gangs and violence are extreme. Why was it left off the list? I wouldn’t live in that city if someone paid me to live there. The LDS church is one of the reasons that Utah is a great place to live. At least people try to live peaceful lives because of religious beliefs and the golden rule. Gangs are a huge problem in South SLC, Ogden and West Valley City.

    1. Yeah this sounds like the typical LDS response. My co-worker flat out told me after I mentioned WVC as an area she could actually afford, “Too many brown people.” was the response. I’ve been robbed 3 times in utah, 1st time in American Fork shed broken into, 2nd just outside of of provo beach resort near orem center street from a pickpocket and and last was in Lindon at wallaby’s my car was smashed into. All this in 2 years so I moved to WVC, 6 years later and the worst I’ve dealt with is terrible drivers, definitely tons of those here but nowhere near as bad as the xanax popping housewives who drive bangerter near riverton.

  12. Oh boy, here’s a real lump of coal in the very rough, East Carbon, Utah. Located in the southeastern corner of Carbon County, this is hillbilly heaven, but a more proper term would be crackhead heaven. This little community has more crack-houses per capita than one square block in Detroit. You can buy a house here ranging from $12,000 to around 75,000 for the more exotic East Carbon Heights decor homes. If East Carbon don’t suit you, there’s Kenilworth, Martin and both upper an lower Miller Creek with comparable costs. For employment, traveling to Price or even further would be required.

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