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:
- South Salt Lake (Photos)
- Tooele (Photos)
- Ogden (Photos)
- Roosevelt (Photos)
- Hurricane (Photos)
- Midvale (Photos)
- Enoch (Photos)
- Grantsville (Photos)
- Price (Photos)
- 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.
For more Utah reading, check out:
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.
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.
You can’t blame them for living in Roosevelt since it’s really beautiful, but there are sacrifices you make to live in the boonies. One of them is income.
Not only is the unemployment rate the 6th highest in the state here (7.7%), the residents in Roosevelt earn the smallest household income in the state of Utah. At a combined income of $62,408, families of four are barely above the poverty line.
In addition, the crime here is really high for a small city in Utah. Roosevelt has the 14th highest crime rate in the state.
Hurricane has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 55th-highest in the state of Utah. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 5.6%.
Additionally, 11.9% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Midvale needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Midvale. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Midvale. Of the 79 cities considered in this ranking, Midvale had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Midvale have Utah’s 28th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 34th and 4th 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 Midvale, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Enoch ranks as the 7th worst place to live in Utah for 2019.
While the unemployment rate is high (but not terrible), crime is a real factor here. It’s the 68th most dangerous place you can live in Utah, according to the latest FBI numbers. If you live here, you have a high chance of being a victim each year.
Residents here earn about $53,569 a year. That’s in the bottom half of what people in Utah normally make.
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 Grantsville. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 6.4% (which is really high), and the median income is $66,726. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.
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.
Sure, it’s in a beautiful area, and there’s lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you’re measuring desirability, it’s the 10th worst in Utah.
Tremonton residents had a 1 in 57.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Tremonton is through the roof, as more than 6.7% of the population can’t get a job. At least their mortgages aren’t too high; at $159,500, Tremonton has the 6th-lowest home prices in the state of 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 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)
For more Utah reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Utah
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Utah
- 10 Safest Places In Utah
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Utah
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Utah
|1||South Salt Lake||24,722|
|53||North Salt Lake||19,413|