The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2020

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 2020. This is our sixth 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:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2020

  1. Tooele
  2. South Salt Lake
  3. Moab
  4. Roosevelt
  5. Ogden
  6. Price
  7. Vernal
  8. Midvale
  9. Hurricane
  10. Taylorsville

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 Tooele.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.

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 2020

Tooele, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,805
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $181,500 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (5th 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 29.6 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 (7.8%). That's good for the 5th highest unemployment rate in Utah.

South Salt Lake, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,860
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $206,300 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (23rd 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 2nd. Let's see why.

Welcome to the 4th most dangerous city in Utah. Is that surprising?

There were two murders here in 2020, and when you're in SSL, you have a 1 in 102 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered yourself every year. Plus, you have a 1 in 13.8 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 $42,749 a year combined. Education and home values are also far below the state average.

Moab, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,259
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $231,700 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (2nd worst)
More on Moab:  Data | Photos

Moab is also a pretty crummy place to live, when you look at the numbers. Yes, we're aware that it's beautiful and "fun". But that ignores important things like jobs and income.

Moab residents earn the 8th-lowest salaries in the state. At $48,879 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $231,700, which means there isn't a lot of demand.

Crime is the 17th highest in Utah per capita, and the unemployment rate here is 2nd highest in the state, at 9.3%.

Roosevelt, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,955
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $188,600 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (4th worst)
More on Roosevelt:  Data | Photos

If you're looking to live in Utah, Roosevelt might not be the best choice as it places 4th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Beehive State for 2020.

The average family earns $64,612 a year out here, and 14.3% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 8.2% of the population is out of work.

And when you consider the crime, it's just crazy to think of how dangerous it is to live way out here. When you're in Roosevelt, every year, you have a 1 in 34.6 chance of being robbed. Can you imagine? Perhaps it's an economic factor, or the fact that the people out there are so isolated, but the fact remains, it's the 2most dangerous place in the state, per capita.

Ogden, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 86,126
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $152,100 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (11th worst)
More on Ogden:  Data | Photos

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 26.8 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 206 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 (5.8%), and homes are the 2nd cheapest in the state ($152,100). 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.

Price, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,281
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $138,600 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (6th 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 $138,600, 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 (6.7%) is the 6th highest in the state.

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

Vernal, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,653
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $163,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (3rd worst)
More on Vernal:  Data | Photos

When you're looking at science and data, Vernal is the worst place you can live in Utah. Let's see why.

The unemployment rate here is 8.8%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $163,500, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.

You have a 1 in 40.8 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That's not fun, either.

Vernal is a far drive south from Louisville.

Midvale, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 32,893
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $241,200 (34th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (27th worst)
More on Midvale:  Data | Photos

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

However, the unemployment rate in Midvale is at 4.3%, which is the 27th worst in Utah. And households earn a combined $57,214 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Midvale is merely $241,200.

Midvale is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.

Hurricane, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,403
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $214,700 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (7th worst)
More on Hurricane:  Data | Photos

If you live in Utah, you may or may not be surprised that Hurricane ranked, at least on paper, as the 9th worst place to live in the state. It has the 7th highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 52nd most dangerous.

Incidentally, Hurricane is the 2nd most densely populated city in Utah. Draw your own conclusions.

Taylorsville, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,294
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $222,700 (23rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (17th worst)
More on Taylorsville:  Data | Photos

When you're looking at science and data, the city of Taylorsville is the 10th worst place you can live in the state of Utah. Let's see why.

You may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 4th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.

Residents in Taylorsville had a 1 in 13.8 chance of being robbed in 2019. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Taylorsville, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.

Taylorsville's other issues are a very high unemployment rate (4.8%) and income levels of its residents ($63,028).

How we determined the worst places to live in Utah for 2020

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 -- Tooele. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Utah. You can download the data here.

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, Tooele ranks as the worst city to live in Utah for 2020.

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

  1. Syracuse (Pop. 28,342)
  2. Farmington (Pop. 23,208)
  3. Kaysville (Pop. 30,961)

For more Utah reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Utah?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Tooele 33,805 7.8% $181,500
2 South Salt Lake 24,860 4.4% $206,300
3 Moab 5,259 9.3% $231,700
4 Roosevelt 6,955 8.2% $188,600
5 Ogden 86,126 5.8% $152,100
6 Price 8,281 6.7% $138,600
7 Vernal 10,653 8.8% $163,500
8 Midvale 32,893 4.3% $241,200
9 Hurricane 16,403 6.5% $214,700
10 Taylorsville 60,294 4.8% $222,700

How Is The Area In ?

24 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2020

  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.

  13. Saying that there’s nothing to do in Ogden ignores a lot of factors, mainly outdoor activities. We have close (or fairly close) access to many trail systems, ski resorts, Causey reservoir, Bear Lake, Crystal Hotsprings, to name a few. Albeit expensive, we have an amazingly large farmer’s market, as well as other downtown activities such as Christmas village, Harvest Moon Festival, Witchstock, and the always improving Ogden Twilight concert series. Oh, and I can’t leave out all the amazing taco carts downtown! It’s hard to not suspect that many of the negative Ogden “stats” are based off of race. But that’s OK, keep promoting Ogden as a crappy place, we won’t be upset if less people move here.

  14. This is such a blatantly dumb and reductionist ranking. Nobody lives in Moab, for example, because they want great job security – they want to live simply and enjoy the outdoors. Where in your ranking is “I can walk out my front door and be in a national park in minutes” or “easy to find friends who are passionate about the same things.” You’ve thrown some very basic data against the wall and called it “science” – but left out too many variables to be useful. If you change the title to “low salary high crime cities” it would at least be correct.

  15. Anyone who thinks that Utah is an undesirable place to live is wrong, wrong, and totally wrong! You either hate Mormons or you have never been anyplace else in your life. If you have never been anyplace place else, try living in Chicago. I have lived there and I will NEVER go back! The crime and drugs are unimaginable and there is probably over 20 murders or more each day. Same with Detroit and St. Louis. And California is so bad it is beyond any description! The liberals and Democrats have totally destroyed it as it was once a great place to be. And if you hate Mormons, get the hell out of Utah! By the way Mormons are everywhere!

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