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:
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.
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The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2019
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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, 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
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:
- Providence (Pop. 7,173)
- Farmington (Pop. 22,616)
- Kaysville (Pop. 30,328)
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