These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2018

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 2018.

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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. Roosevelt
  5. Midvale (Photos)
  6. Richfield (Photos)
  7. Hurricane (Photos)
  8. Tremonton
  9. Vernal (Photos)
  10. Tooele (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 2018.

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 2018

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.

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1. South Salt Lake

South Salt Lake, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,575
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $174,100 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (23rd 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 6th 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 120 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 $39,198 a year combined. Education and home values are also far below the state average.

2. Ogden

Ogden, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 84,900
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $133,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (9th 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 22.3 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 188 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 (7.1%), and homes are the 2nd cheapest in the state ($133,300). 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: 8,437
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $124,000 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (4th 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 $124,000, 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 (9.4%) is the 4th highest in the state.

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

4. Roosevelt

Population: 6,714
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 8)
Home Values: $178,200 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (17th worst)
The city of Roosevelt is the 4th worst place you can live in the state of Utah in 2015.

It’s unlucky for Roosevelt, which has the 17th highest unemployment rate (6.5%), the 31st lowest household incomes ($61,579) and the 19th lowest home prices in the state ($178,200).

Basically, a lot of people in Roosevelt are out of work. And crime is certainly a factor here as well. Although it’s not one of the most dangerous places we’ll look at, it’s in the top 20%.

Add it all up, and this is truly one of the worst places you could live in Utah.

5. Midvale

Midvale, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,659
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Values: $201,200 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (27th 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 Midvale. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 5.4% (which is really high), and the median income is $52,521. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.

6. Richfield

Richfield, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,566
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Values: $151,600 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (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.

7. Hurricane

Hurricane, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,106
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Home Values: $181,200 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (13th worst)
According to science, Hurricane is the 7th worst place you can live in Utah.

Let’s see why. Hurricane has the 45th-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Hurricane is certainly up there.

Factor in a very low housing cost ($181,200), and the 13th-highest unemployment rate in the state (6.8%), and across the board, Hurricane doesn’t sound like the best of the best.

Plus, there’s simply not a lot to do here (unless you count having a Walmart and a Piggly Wiggly as fun). We’re aware that people enjoy outdoor activities, but in terms of pure entertainment, you’d have to drive a ways away.

8. Tremonton

Population: 8,097
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Home Values: $157,700 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (7th worst)
If you’re looking to live in Utah, Tremonton might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Beehive State for 2015.

The average family earns $49,173 a year out here, and 1960.0% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 8.6% 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 Tremonton, every year, you have a 1 in 43.5 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 42nd most dangerous place in the state, per capita.

9. Vernal

Vernal, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,588
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Home Values: $175,800 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (11th worst)
While numbers in Utah are clearly better when you compare them to the rest of the nation, the fact is when you compare Utah cities against one another, you see big differences.

Home values in Vernal average $175,800, which is the 18th lowest in the state. Say what you want about ‘cheap living,’ the fact is homes are priced by demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Vernal.

Plus, 1600.0% of the population here lives below the poverty line.

Plus, the crime rate is the 26th highest in the state here. Every year, when you’re within Vernal city limits, you have a 1 in 30.3 chance of being robbed. That’s a lot of broken into cars and homes.

10. Tooele

Tooele, Utah

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,783
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Home Values: $159,700 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (6th 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 54.9 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 (8.7%). That’s good for the 6th highest unemployment rate in Utah.

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 2018.

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

  1. Kaysville (Pop. 29,799)
  2. Syracuse (Pop. 26,668)
  3. Farmington (Pop. 21,983)

For more Utah reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Utah

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
South Salt Lake 1 1 24,575 5.5% $174,100
Ogden 2 2 84,900 7.1% $133,300
Price 3 3 8,437 9.4% $124,000
Roosevelt 4 12 6,714 6.5% $178,200
Midvale 5 4 31,659 5.4% $201,200
Richfield 6 9 7,566 6.7% $151,600
Hurricane 7 10 15,106 6.8% $181,200
Tremonton 8 5 8,097 8.6% $157,700
Vernal 9 13 10,588 7.0% $175,800
Tooele 10 6 32,783 8.7% $159,700
Washington Terrace 11 11 9,150 6.9% $143,100
Taylorsville 12 14 60,448 5.4% $192,800
Enoch 13 16 6,199 8.0% $146,800
Ivins 14 7 7,646 2.8% $220,900
Sunset 15 15 5,176 8.9% $134,900
Moab 16 8 5,196 11.0% $223,200
Santaquin 17 18 10,372 3.9% $199,500
Washington 18 27 23,141 5.4% $226,000
Grantsville 19 23 9,862 6.5% $199,700
St. George 20 20 78,573 5.4% $223,200
Provo 21 24 115,718 5.8% $214,800
Ephraim 22 21 6,751 10.8% $193,100
Riverdale 23 16 8,636 4.8% $170,300
Nephi 24 35 5,507 4.7% $161,900
Logan 25 22 49,539 5.1% $164,000
West Jordan 26 30 110,928 5.2% $228,600
Murray 27 25 48,834 4.7% $236,200
Payson 28 32 19,480 4.4% $186,500
Hyrum 29 25 7,866 3.7% $167,200
Clearfield 30 33 30,483 5.2% $157,800
Heber 31 28 13,655 4.5% $271,100
Herriman 32 29 29,176 6.4% $304,500
Santa Clara 33 19 6,704 9.7% $266,100
Harrisville 34 30 6,071 6.6% $166,500
Orem 35 37 93,220 5.8% $215,200
Roy 36 34 37,853 4.8% $157,400
West Haven 37 36 11,639 4.3% $266,000
Springville 38 39 31,796 4.1% $209,800
Eagle Mountain 39 38 26,219 2.2% $219,000
Layton 40 42 72,413 3.8% $212,000
West Point 41 57 10,112 2.1% $213,700
South Ogden 42 45 16,893 3.7% $172,300
American Fork 43 42 28,127 5.5% $230,400
North Salt Lake 44 41 18,753 4.7% $241,100
Hooper 45 40 8,062 3.0% $274,200
South Weber 46 53 6,762 6.5% $273,600
Farr West 47 44 6,406 2.8% $249,900
North Logan 48 47 9,820 5.1% $236,600
Spanish Fork 49 46 37,565 4.0% $204,300
Riverton 50 54 41,521 3.2% $284,200
Bluffdale 51 49 9,809 7.1% $395,400
Fruit Heights 52 65 5,840 5.2% $346,400
Pleasant View 53 57 8,940 4.0% $289,100
Pleasant Grove 54 52 36,678 4.9% $234,200
Smithfield 55 63 10,629 5.3% $198,700
Sandy 56 51 93,141 3.7% $289,000
Salem 57 48 7,247 4.5% $277,600
West Bountiful 58 71 5,436 3.8% $245,600
Draper 59 69 46,399 3.8% $394,400
Lindon 60 61 10,686 3.7% $333,900
Clinton 61 62 21,210 3.6% $192,200
Alpine 62 67 10,129 4.4% $454,000
Bountiful 63 50 43,428 3.2% $257,300
Centerville 64 76 16,727 2.4% $252,500
Mapleton 65 55 9,014 5.8% $349,200
Holladay 66 64 30,793 3.5% $355,300
Lehi 67 68 56,314 3.2% $265,800
Saratoga Springs 68 73 24,088 5.4% $267,800
Cottonwood Heights 69 65 34,274 4.2% $333,000
Nibley 70 56 6,256 3.7% $219,200
Cedar Hills 71 70 10,248 5.4% $320,000
Providence 72 72 7,122 2.2% $244,400
Woods Cross 73 59 10,930 2.9% $226,200
North Ogden 74 60 18,289 3.6% $211,800
South Jordan 75 74 62,751 3.1% $347,700
Highland 76 75 17,544 5.0% $461,500
Farmington 77 78 21,983 3.3% $313,900
Syracuse 78 76 26,668 3.1% $256,100
Kaysville 79 79 29,799 3.0% $281,500

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14 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah For 2018

  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

  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.

  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.

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