Worst Places To Live In America

We used science and data to determine which cities in America are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: Article has been updated for 2019 with the most recently available data. This our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in America. This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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There’s a common denominator that all bad cities have.

They are the places that have bad economies. They are the places where the school systems are in bad shape. They’re the places where people are out of work, and where residents earn low salaries.

If home prices are low, it’s a sign that there’s not a lot of demand to live there.

And certainly, if crime is really high, no one wants to be there at all.

The cities below all share those qualities. There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

After analyzing the biggest 220 cities in the country, here is our list of the worst cities to live in America:

You might be surprised to see some of these cities on this list. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), there are far better options in America for making a place home.

What’s the worst place to live in America for 2019? The worst place to live in America is Memphis, TN based on the most recent crime and census data around quality of life.

The best place to live in America? Naperville, IL More on that later.

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst places to live in America, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, asked for the opposite of those, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for 2019

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the most recent government census American Community Survey data, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse – meaning there’s less to do for indoor entertainment)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Low home prices
  • A lot of uninsured individuals
  • A high portion of uneducated adults
  • High Crime
  • High Poverty

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves.

Memphis, Tn

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 654,723
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $94,200 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (24th worst)
More on Memphis:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in America, Memphis ranks as the worst for 2019 for the third year in a row. Let’s see why.

Here in Memphis, crime is the 9th highest in the country, and 1 out of 17.7 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.

That’s not the first place you think of making home, is it?

Additionally, you have a 1 in 54 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That’s really high.

When you look at adult education in Tennessee, the folks in Memphis have the 76th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Memphis undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.

The unemployment rate is the 26th highest in the states, at 11.3%.

Review Of Memphis by H20 ghost

Lol I live in Memphis !!! and I don’t live bad at all

Jackson, Ms

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 170,393
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $88,700 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (10th worst)
More on Jackson:  Data | Photos

Jackson needs some tough love as it ranks as the 2nd worst city to live in America for 2019 — for the third year in a row. There’s some consistency at the top here.

Crime in Jackson is the 52nd highest in the country, where 1 in 21.8 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.

Additionally, the median income is almost dead last.

Review Of Jackson by HomeSnacks User

horrible streets and roads, crime, businesses leaving the city or states, going out of business, losing airlines, low business environment, bad schools and less good doctors.

The horrible streets and roads the bad; which aren’t being repaired due to lack of funds in the budget.

Detroit, Mi

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Population: 679,865
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $42,800 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.8% (1st worst)
More on Detroit:  Data | Photos

Detroit flipped flopped with Dayton this year — but not to Detroit’s benefit.

Detroit seems to be the have’s and have not’s. But mostly the have nots.

The annual average income levels here aren’t respectful (~$28,000), and about 1 in 4.5 people here are without jobs (one of the worst in the country). Homes are valued at only $43,000 (also the worst).

We’re surprised it didn’t rank higher honestly, but apparently people are relatively smart and also buy insurance.

Review Of Detroit by HomeSnacks User



Dayton, Oh

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 140,939
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $66,500 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (7th worst)
More on Dayton:  Data | Photos

If you live in Dayton, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 34th highest crime rate, per capita in the country. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 19.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.

That’s a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.

Plus there were 1,402 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you’d have a 1 in 100 chance of being raped or attacked.

Finally, the folks who live here earn the 3rd lowest salaries in America’s big cities at ~$30,000 a household — that’s simply not enough to get by for most folks.

Review Of Dayton by Chris Grove

I’m from ohio and Dayton is actually s**t… no offense Dayton peeps

Cleveland, Oh

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Population: 388,812
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $67,600 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (2nd worst)
More on Cleveland:  Data | Photos

Another flip flop, this time not to Cleveland’s benefit.

Cleveland has a 16% unemployment rate (2nd worst amount US cities), below average income levels and the 13th highest crime rate in the country.

This random City-Data comment sums up Cleveland.

“I visited Cleveland over the weekend and I have to say the place just seemed completely depressing.

“I saw lots people around Cleveland who looked…well bad. Like former alcoholics and drug addicts.

“And what’s with the poorish looking area, where there were a lot of people in run down homes?

“Just looked sad.”

Review Of Cleveland by emma mae

Cleveland is NOT THAT BAD. I live in Cleveland and people are not that mean. Most people always say hi and people are always walking around on the sidewalks happy.

San Bernardino, Ca

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 215,252
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $202,100 (106th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.8% (8th worst)
More on San Bernardino:  Data | Photos

Perhaps the only thing surprising about San Bernardino being 6th is that it wasn’t higher. Crime here is horrible, more than 1 in 10 residents are without jobs (and that’s conservative), and well… we could go on and on about San Bernardino’s issues.

You’ve heard it all before. When considering the data, the only reason San Bernardino is only 5th is that there are some areas of the city in which residents earn professional salaries, and, frankly, there’s a lot more to do in the San Bernardino region than there is in the desert. And no, dodging bullets isn’t one of them.

But as professionals continue to flee into the nearby enclaves of East Highlands, Yucaipa and Redlands, the city of San Bernardino, which saw its glory days spike in the late 1970s, will continue to head down the drain and unfortunately, become an area only for those who have no aspirations to exceed in life.

Review Of San Bernardino by ramon santiago

Lol I live in San Bernardino and trust me it’s getting worse by the day just the other day they found a dead girl stuffed in a wooden box with her head chopped off

Brownsville, Tx

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 182,083
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $85,900 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (70th worst)
More on Brownsville:  Data | Photos

Brownsville sticks in the same spot as last year — seventh worst in America.

You might have passed through Brownsville once and probably thought it seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.

Here’s what science says about why Brownsville needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 9.4%, residents earn about $34,255 a year, and home prices are just over $83,800. Across the board, those are in the bottom half in the country. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.

And there simply isn’t anything to do in Brownsville relative to the rest of the country.

Review Of Brownsville by Rolando Arriazola

I’m from Brownsville and Google doesn’t show all the taco trucks parked at the swap meet and the bright side is that we have Padre island a beautiful island beach too cool off

Tucson, Az

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 530,905
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $137,600 (47th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (37th worst)
More on Tucson:  Data | Photos

According to science, Tucson is the 8th worst place you can live in the country for 2019 — again.

Let’s see why. Tucson has the 15th-highest crime rate in the country, surprisingly. In terms of the number of crimes per person, Tucson is certainly up there.

Factor in a very low home values ($137,600), and the 37th-highest unemployment rate among cities (9.4%), and across the board, Tucson doesn’t sound like the best of the best.

Review Of Tucson by HomeSnacks User

Crime in Tucson was fairly limited to various areas throughout the city. As like all other locations, schools, environment, neighborhoods all had their ups and downs. But for the most part, it was a great place to be.

Tucson was great, the weather was perfect, if you can stand dry heat and hot temperatures. Just the atmosphere there was good. You have Phoenix an hour or so away, Vegas, California, all within hours of a drive. Worked on the military base there, and it was a large area, great jobs, great people. Loved going out downtown to the city and going to the various bars, clubs.

Mobile, Al

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 192,085
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $120,800 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (64th worst)
More on Mobile:  Data | Photos

If you live in Mobile, you’re either going to tell us we’re idiots because you’re fiercely protective of your city, or you know it’s a tough place to live.

The fact remains, Mobile has the one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, where 7.9% of the population is out of work. That’s far above the national average, and households only bring in about $36,00 a year on average.

And then there’s the crime. Mobile is one of the most dangerous place you can live in America. You have a 1 in 15 chance of being robbed here every year.

Review Of Mobile by HomeSnacks User

I live in mobile and it’s a very nice place full of great and friendly people very good for retirement

My favorite place here is cooper riverside park it has great fishing

Shreveport, La

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 196,217
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $139,800 (50th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (88th worst)
More on Shreveport:  Data | Photos

Shreveport rounds out the list coming in as the 10th worst place to live in America for 2019 and St. Louis can breath a sign of relief as it misses our list for the first time in several years.

You have a 1 in 16.5 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 113 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Shreveport.

Plus, folks are simply out of work. Shreveport sports the state’s 88th highest unemployment rate (7.3%), and families bring in a combined ~$40,000 a year, which is far below the average.

No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $139,800.

Review Of Shreveport by Pam BB

I live in Shreveport,Louisiana. The past few years Shreveport has attained the nickname, The Ratchet City. I’m sorry to say that ratchet pretty much says it all. But I love Louisiana. It’s really a great state. The people here are down to earth good folks. They will welcome a stranger and feed you the best food you’ve ever had! It’s hard to find better food anywhere than Louisiana. If you love jazz, like I do, New Orleans is the place to be. But yes, Shreveport is not the city I grew up in. I’ve been here 61 years and it is sad to see how things have changed. It’s really strange how even through the ugliness the hearts of the people are still filled with love.

There You Have It — The Worst Cities In The US For 2019

If you’re looking at cities in the U.S. where crime is high, people are broke, and the public schools are lousy, this is an accurate list.

Here are the best cities in America, according to science.

  1. Sunnyvale, CA
  2. Naperville, IL
  3. Torrance, CA

We also wrote a story on the most dangerous cities in America to live. Click here to read that one.

Disclaimer: This article is an opinion based on data. It should not be taken as fact.

Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In America

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Memphis, TN 654,723 10.4% $94,200
2 Jackson, MS 170,393 12.4% $88,700
3 Detroit, MI 679,865 19.8% $42,800
4 Dayton, OH 140,939 12.9% $66,500
5 Cleveland, OH 388,812 16.0% $67,600
6 San Bernardino, CA 215,252 12.8% $202,100
7 Brownsville, TX 182,083 7.7% $85,900
8 Tucson, AZ 530,905 9.4% $137,600
9 Mobile, AL 192,085 7.9% $120,800
10 Shreveport, LA 196,217 7.3% $139,800
11 Springfield, MO 165,785 6.3% $111,600
12 St. Louis, MO 314,867 9.4% $123,800
13 Hartford, CT 124,390 16.0% $162,300
14 Waco, TX 131,996 6.1% $107,700
15 Indianapolis, IN 853,431 8.1% $123,500
16 Rockford, IL 148,640 12.8% $89,500
17 Chattanooga, TN 176,291 7.4% $153,900
18 Baton Rouge, LA 227,549 8.9% $162,600
19 Beaumont, TX 118,424 5.6% $99,800
20 New Orleans, LA 388,182 8.7% $205,000
21 Knoxville, TN 184,465 6.7% $124,500
22 Tulsa, OK 401,352 6.7% $129,000
23 Montgomery, AL 200,761 7.9% $118,000
24 Cincinnati, OH 298,957 10.4% $124,200
25 Houston, TX 2,267,336 6.6% $149,000
26 Milwaukee, WI 599,086 9.0% $115,800
27 Rochester, NY 209,463 12.0% $79,400
28 Miami Gardens, FL 113,187 11.0% $155,700
29 Akron, OH 198,252 9.5% $80,100
30 Columbia, SC 132,236 8.4% $168,800
31 Victorville, CA 121,721 14.2% $177,600
32 Newark, NJ 282,803 14.8% $222,800
33 Lansing, MI 115,222 10.4% $77,100
34 Miami, FL 443,007 8.1% $271,200
35 Evansville, IN 119,806 6.4% $89,700
36 Fayetteville, NC 210,324 10.8% $128,500
37 Gainesville, FL 129,394 7.8% $147,500
38 Mcallen, TX 139,838 7.6% $120,500
39 Pasadena, TX 153,909 9.7% $108,700
40 Buffalo, NY 259,574 8.8% $77,800
41 San Antonio, TX 1,461,623 6.4% $127,700
42 Allentown, PA 120,128 12.4% $124,000
43 Syracuse, NY 144,405 10.5% $91,100
44 Laredo, TX 255,305 5.4% $118,500
45 Tallahassee, FL 188,463 10.0% $185,100
46 Stockton, CA 304,358 11.9% $220,600
47 Dallas, TX 1,300,122 5.9% $154,000
48 Fresno, CA 519,037 11.1% $206,800
49 Bridgeport, CT 147,586 13.8% $170,300
50 Phoenix, AZ 1,574,421 6.9% $197,800
51 Las Vegas, NV 621,662 8.8% $209,700
52 Wichita, KS 389,054 6.2% $124,400
53 Orlando, FL 269,414 6.9% $196,900
54 Kansas City, MO 476,974 5.9% $139,900
55 Baltimore, MD 619,796 10.0% $153,200
56 Philadelphia, PA 1,569,657 11.3% $151,500
57 New Haven, CT 130,884 10.4% $189,400
58 Amarillo, TX 197,823 4.2% $123,200
59 Oklahoma City, OK 629,191 5.2% $148,500
60 Huntsville, AL 190,501 7.3% $169,900
61 North Las Vegas, NV 234,389 8.9% $179,700
62 El Paso, TX 678,266 6.9% $121,300
63 Providence, RI 179,509 9.7% $181,100
64 Independence, MO 117,369 6.2% $102,800
65 Atlanta, GA 465,230 8.9% $238,700
66 Elizabeth, NJ 129,363 8.7% $268,700
67 Corpus Christi, TX 322,726 5.6% $125,000
68 Jacksonville, FL 867,313 7.6% $150,200
69 Little Rock, AR 197,780 5.0% $159,900
70 Greensboro, NC 284,816 6.5% $152,300
71 Wilmington, NC 115,261 7.5% $232,900
72 Hialeah, FL 237,523 7.2% $174,300
73 Lancaster, CA 160,113 8.0% $213,100
74 Paterson, NJ 147,890 6.4% $235,500
75 Albuquerque, NM 556,718 6.5% $188,500
76 Mesquite, TX 144,118 6.4% $119,000
77 Topeka, KS 127,139 6.0% $100,400
78 Killeen, TX 140,513 9.9% $121,900
79 Fort Worth, TX 835,129 5.8% $141,400
80 Glendale, AZ 241,543 6.3% $180,500
81 Norfolk, VA 245,752 8.5% $194,800
82 Chicago, IL 2,722,586 9.9% $234,500
83 Salt Lake City, UT 194,188 4.6% $266,800
84 Des Moines, IA 214,778 6.5% $123,300
85 Louisville, KY 615,478 6.9% $146,900
86 Lafayette, LA 126,476 5.2% $181,900
87 Bakersfield, CA 372,680 9.2% $228,400
88 Grand Rapids, MI 195,355 7.4% $121,800
89 Pomona, CA 152,366 9.7% $344,200
90 Odessa, TX 115,930 6.2% $136,300
91 Fort Wayne, IN 262,450 7.0% $106,500
92 Fort Lauderdale, FL 177,175 8.0% $297,200
93 Durham, NC 257,232 5.8% $195,000
94 Modesto, CA 210,166 11.3% $236,200
95 Palmdale, CA 157,358 10.1% $229,200
96 Garland, TX 235,965 7.0% $132,600
97 Warren, MI 135,147 9.4% $102,100
98 Moreno Valley, CA 203,691 11.3% $260,600
99 Columbus, OH 852,144 6.3% $136,500
100 Tampa, FL 368,087 8.1% $190,300

43 thoughts on “Worst Places To Live In America

  1. Over and over again they say that science doesn’t measure things like how nice people are, that it measures fact. Listen, science measures people’s feeling and attitudes all the time. The author’s clearly don’t understand “science”. Also, using median income as a happyness measure in a college town ia just flat out an errror. Why is the tone of this so snotty??

  2. I left Macon over 35 years ago. Best decision I ever made. I’m so much better for it. My lite was going no where. I couldn’t find a job that paid well. The people I left behind wish they had gone with me. I have a BSW degree and retired with Over 20 years in the military. I am happy where I am located now. When I visit Macon I see it worse. The house I sold several years ago 30K is still standing could have gotten much more for it here. Sorry but I am so blessed to have seen that leaving would be beneficial to me in 1979. It was the circumstances that forced me to leave. Now I can say thanks to the Crisis. It made me better.

  3. This is comical. The “science” of this article has holes in it that can be seen by even those of us who do not put all our thought into scientific criteria. It does not seem that making an assumption that using the criteria for coming up with best cities in reverse would be accurate. Things don’t work that way. To use criteria such as low home prices…mmm? Is this saying cities with high home prices are the best to live in? There is some reversal logic not making sense already. I know I have never used high home prices as a positive for moving to a city.

  4. Macon is a beautiful city with great potential for growth and prosperity. It is not the city itself that makes it one of the worst cities in which to live, but the dumbass people who manage the city and the fucking lazy ass no good criminals that gives it such a bad reputation. There are places much worse in the country!!! Get your facts straight before you publish such poorly substantiated articles.

  5. This article and the statistics are crap. I would think Detroit would be number one, but none of the other cities shouldn’t even be on the list. Not enough variables built in to this study.

  6. Savannah is a crappy place to live because of the stupid southern local people that grew up here. Women like to visit, but very very few decent white ones live here. Black people are very racist, and red necks are as stupid as can be. Jobs? If you’re a queer lawyer you’re good, but not so good for the rest of the folks. Crime is bad, and income is low. So come and visit, but don’t settle down here.

  7. When you think about it this is really a review of these cities from the bottom up. So yeah if you are unfortunate to be poor or even lower middle class in any of these places it really can be depressing. However, if you are fortunate enough to be reasonably affluent in these same locations that money can go a long way and make life pretty good. You know, the kind of lifestyle that people like to read about it Garden & Gun. The public schools in the upscale suburbs outside these cities can actually be pretty good (and if you have money to burn there are always the established private schools). There are no hour plus commutes to and from work in bumper to bumper traffic. Also with the cost of living so low in these places a lot of folks have the means to actually travel somewhere nice for family vacations. It all depends on whether your glass is half-full or half-empty.

  8. Suggesting dollars spent for education is the only criteria and validation for ‘good education’ is flawed, unscientific logic. It could be just as likely that cities that throw dollars at the education issues they have, have those issues because of inefficiency. More money doesn’t necessarily guarantee better results.

    Also saying: “you can’t argue with the data” in no less that two places in the article points to weak research. If anything, it calls it more into question.

    Lastly, with no northeast cities in the ‘worst’ list (Detroit being the Midwest) it suggests a bias from the writer; especially with the chronic and rampant opiate abuse that is so prevalent there. Heroin addiction and the crime it brings wasn’t a metric? Low population density IS a negative metric? What is the writer smoking? It’s a very thin justification to suggest more people crammed into an area is a ‘good’ thing. That’s a real stretch and so is the suggestion that affordable housing is a sign of negative circumstances. Lower household income balanced with lower cost of housing is a positive (or at least a neutral) factor. Bubble gum writing to draw clicks. Nothing more.

  9. Mobile has a certain magic that keeps you on your toes. Where a melting pot of people, flavors, cultures and traditions become one voice to lead all of life’s celebrations. Join the jubilee and welcome every day with an enduring passion and a little soulful hospitality, because life is the ultimate gift. This is the spirit of living. This is what we’re born to do.
    Funky, feisty, festive. Or historic, hip and happening. Colorful, cool and cultured. You can call this coastal town a lot of things when you have a vibrant 300 year history with lots of stories to tell and long-standing traditions celebrated on a regular basis. Once called the Paris of the South, Mobile has long been the cultural center of the Gulf Coast and you’ll find an authentic experience found nowhere else in the southern United States.
    Home to America’s original Mardi Gras that rolls through the streets of our historic downtown; dozens of festivals, art shows, or culinary cook-offs nearly every weekend, Mobile takes having fun pretty seriously. If you’re looking for a bit more leisurely experience, nearby historic neighborhoods lined with giant live oaks trees or a paddle in one of the most significant river delta systems in the country are just minutes from downtown.

  10. I lived in Springfield for 18 years and was never robbed once. It’s not even close to dangerous, it’s factored in because of the lower population ratio.

    1. I know several people who live in Springfield, MO. None have ever had any issues with crime. It’s also one of the lowest cost of living cities in the country. People there are extremely friendly and there are tons of things to do in close proximity. This so called “data” is laughable.

  11. I’m pretty sure all this site is about is bashing the South.
    Very bad science at that.
    I would even be willing to bet they haven’t been to any of the cities they trash. Just some moron a thousand miles away sitting in a cubicle staring at his phone all day.
    But hey, a Southern Man don’t need them around anyhow.

  12. The cities in central California are less bad than midwest cities?
    I have lived and worked in both areas and can tell you first hand Central California is a hot dusty drug infested crime ridden war zone, oh then there are the Tule fogs when make winter driving really interesting: 50 car pile ups any one?
    Stockton had to downgrade its ER status because it was overwhelmed by the number of trauma cases being dumped at its door way. Bakersfield is almost as bad, Modesto is boring and dangerous, Fresno is turning into a free fire zone. As for SF, it is OK if you are gay, have absurd amounts of money, and do not mind stepping over the piles of human excrement on the side walk and panhandlers who verge on being strong arm robber.

  13. As they say,

    “There are lies; then there are damn lies; and then there are statistics.”

    It should surprise no one that more detailed and definitive rankings show that some of the cities in your worst half are considered the very best places to raise a family, or the very smartest places, in the United States of America.

    This list was obviously prepared by lazy bigots looking for a convenient outcome.

  14. The robbery comment for Springfield, MO makes no sense. For 2013, the robbery rate was 242.2 per 100,000 residents. That’s 24.2 per 10,000 and 2.42 per 1,000. One-eleventh of 100,000 is 9,091 then adjusted for Springfield’s population, that would be more than 14,000 robberies per year when in fact there were 390. Maybe the writer was referring to theft. However if the writer doesn’t know the difference between theft and robbery they shouldn’t be analyzing statistics.

  15. Detroit may suck but you can’t beat those palm trees!

    ….. 0_o

    Seriously, who’s in charge of the photos on this page? Have they ever been outside a tropical climate? Palm trees are just common place all across the Midwest? FFS – you had ONE job ass hole!

    FYI Detroit is a shit hole! The thing is, while Detroit’s neighborhoods are awful, downtown around the stadiums, casinos and various halls there is so much going on there. Everyone left Detroit and moved to the suburbs. That’s why, while Detroit’s population plummeted over the past 30+ years, the overall region continues to grow.

    It’s gotta be those palm tree lines streets!

  16. Yes -the cities that are walk white greg has your white collar criminals, mortgage, money laundering oh and methamphetamines, pill poppers – to say least -prefer my children to go off to college drug free!! Believe me that is what these statistics DONT SHOW!!

  17. Corrupt Malfeasant New Jersey Cities and Entire Counties including Bergen County and Camden County are the worst in the US to Live in – People aren’t Safe In their Homes when Corrupt New Jersey DCF/DCPP/DYFS Child Predatory Services will come by to Steal Their Children Followed by Court-Ordered Forced Injectible Psychotropics for the Parents Who Object – a Terrifying Criminal State and Cities to Live in, Read About Englewood NJ Apartheid Schools with City Terror and Just Ranked Singular Worst City Newark New Jersey for Children – Read about the daily terror New Jersey Residents Live Under Every Day and Even The Terror Caused Throughout The World, Add Englewood, Hackensack and Cherry Hill New Jersey. –

  18. How can Stockton, Modesto, Oakland, which are gang ridden war zones with over inflated home values be placed in the middle of your list? These are places where the predators come hunting for you and have no compunction about hurting you, in many of the cities that you rate as being less desirable, if you keep your nose clean you will be left alone. Redo your metrics, if an area has a high percentage of blacks, unemployed Central Americans, or a disproportionate number of male Muslim “refugees” from war zone hell holes, it will be a high crime murder ridden no go zone. Areas with a lot of poor whites may have a high rate of property crime, but violent crime rates are lower than in “diverse” areas, and outsiders or visitors are relatively safe.

  19. The worse city to ever exist is stockton california. Full of illegals, crime, murders. If you go there and spend the night, be prepared to get robbed. They steel moving trucks, cars, name it and they will steal it.

  20. Where in the heck did you get your stats – they’re wrong!
    You list Memphis at a 11 percent unemployment rate.
    In December of 2018 it was at 4.1 percent

  21. You haven’t seen how bad Covington KY is, it has a really high crime rate, and there is like 38% chance of a person to be homeless, also I see news about Covington every day and 99% of the time, it is bad news.

  22. St. Louis needs to be right up there near the top of the list. Dirty city, dirty people, 2nd in the country for percentage of its population with STDs for a several year period as well as first place until 2017 or so. Not to mention one of the most boarded up and run down cities in America. Right up there with fine urban shitholes such as Camden, East Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis and countless other urban cesspools. No one understands trash pickup and cleanliness in St. Louis. Half of the city looks like a post industrial nightmare with countless ran down factories abandoned since the 1960s and 70s and nothing is ever done about it. Hell, they even bulldozed one neighborhood because it was so bad and overrun with gang activity that they finally tore down all the old brick houses and prohibited anything being built in that area.

    One of the poorest cities in America along with its bastardized sister E. St. Louis in the state of Illinois. Truly a wretched place that even the owner of the St. Louis Rams franchise forsook 400 million dollars in public financing for an NFL football stadium on the Mississippi River to replace the Edward Jones Dome. Instead, he moved the team to LA in 2016 its original home and is forking out several billion dollars of his own wealth to build a stadium. Doesn’t say much for the city of #ShitLouis when they can’t even entice one owner from any NFL city to relocate their team to St. Louis. Same goes for the NBA and other sports.

    If the Cardinals baseball team ever left St. Louis, it would continue to fall into the hole that is. Do a google search of St. Louis ghetto to see the massive amount of disrepair and total abandonment of the former city areas which are nothing more than ran down urban ghettos devoid of people in many cases and so wracked with crime no one wants to redevelop those areas.

    Better yet, Youtube St. Louis ghettos and you’ll get a first hand show of what kind of a 3rd World dump that St. Louis Missouri is these days. 3rd world to the core with a crappy public school system that produces illiterates incapable of passing a 12th grade exam to prove they have earned a HS diploma. Much less produce the type of buildings and culture that existed in that once proud city.

    A city that has lost 66 percent of its population since 1955 once having 850,000 people and now only about 308,000 in 2019. That should speak volumes as well as most of those people fled the city for St. Louis County yet the northern half of St. Louis County is wracked with crime, drug abuse, carjackings robberies and also is the spot where Michael Brown and the Ferguson incidents happened in 2014 and 2015 where the locals burned down and looted their entire community. All in memory of a thug that was a criminal and involved in shaking down a shopkeeper half his size. That’s the type of animalistic garbage that exists in St. Loser Missouri. A place that would be better off left to the Mississippi River and be washed away.

  23. I am thankful the method of determining livability was mentioned at the beginning of this article. Please change the method. Getting the most for your dollar should have a high priority. That includes your tax dollars. Also it is insulting to assume a city is bad place to live because of the small percentage of College educated people. Many honorable individuals make a living with out a college education. They are skilled in trades and services. Thanks for considering my suggestion. I will look for cities that have a cheap cost of living and a government that is effective some where else.

  24. Hi Nick,

    Although data is a factor to consider when ranking cities, it really is a shame that your same standards are not used with your analysis. Using “data” to back up your own assumptions of the area and inferences is not only bad “science” but also assumes your opinions are those of an expert. You’re not an expert, and unless you or your co-founder has gone into these areas, I would refrain from speaking so ill of them. Given that your website was founded by a Pomona College alumnus, I would expect much, much more by way of analysis.

    Rather than have people rely on your data and VERY bad analysis of the data, I hope people go into these communities and appreciate them for their richness in history and diversity. Finally, racism exists. And underinvestment in communities of color (I believe all of those listed on this list of WORST places in America are heavily communities of color) so how about you think more critically next time before posting yet another list that is void of any critical thought.


    Claremont College alumna
    Columbia Law graduate
    Former San Bernardino resident

  25. You do realize all this doesn’t take into account the volatile times we live in. Overnite, the best places can become the worst places, and vice versa.

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