These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Georgia For 2017

We used science to determine which places in Georgia are the real (Peach) pits.

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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 2017.

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The last time we visited Georgia, we did a comprehensive look at which cities in the Peach State are the cream of the crop. And, since Georgia is widely considered as the finest state in the south, the best in Georgia is certainly quite a distinction.

But today, we’re not going in that direction. We’re going in the opposite direction, in fact. The purpose of this post is to figure out which of Georgia’s cities are the worst.

So, where are the worst places? Where would the least amount of people want to call home, if they looked at all of the factors that we all agree are important?

After analyzing all 120 cities with a population over 5,100, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Georgia:

  1. Clarkston (Photos)
  2. Cedartown (Photos)
  3. Forest Park (Photos)
  4. Moultrie (Photos)
  5. College Park (Photos)
  6. Fort Valley (Photos)
  7. Brunswick (Photos)
  8. Cordele (Photos)
  9. Waynesboro (Photos)
  10. Stone Mountain (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 2017.

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 Georgia for 2017

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 5,100 people were considered — leaving 120 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 120 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

  10 Small Towns In Georgia Where You'd Never Want To Live

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 Georgia — Clarkston. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Georgia.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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1. Clarkston

Clarkston, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,990
Home Values: $91,800 (26th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (17th worst)
Clarkston, GA needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 14.7%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 4th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 8.8 chance of being robbed here every year.

You could find a much better place to call home.

2. Cedartown

Cedartown, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,781
Home Values: $85,000 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (12th worst)
You might have passed through Cedartown once and probably throught it seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.

Here’s what science says about why Cedartown needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 16.1%, residents earn about $26,897 a year, and home prices are just over $85,000. Across the board, those are in the bottom half in the state. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.

And there simply isn’t anything to do in Cedartown.

3. Forest Park

Forest Park, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,953
Home Values: $54,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.1% (20th worst)
Forest Park doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 14.1%, and people average less than $31,228 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $54,100, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Georgia.

And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

4. Moultrie

Moultrie, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,474
Home Values: $83,200 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (65th worst)
Located on your way to somewhere else you’d want to be, Moultrie has few options for some sort of entertainment.

The main issues here are economic and education. The unemployment rate is also sky high here (9.6%) and homes are the 11th cheapest in the state ($83,200).

Say what you want about ‘cheap living’, the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s absolutely no demand to live in Moultrie.

5. College Park

College Park, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,026
Home Values: $159,600 (90th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.7% (13th worst)
College Park takes the 5th worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.

But what gives College Park its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 2nd worst in the whole state.

6. Fort Valley

Fort Valley, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,192
Home Values: $77,800 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.5% (2nd worst)
Fort Valley, GA needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 22.5%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 57th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 27.2 chance of being robbed here every year.

  These Are The 10 Worst (and best) Dressed Cities In Georgia

You could find a much better place to call home.

7. Brunswick

Brunswick, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,794
Home Values: $91,800 (26th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (28th worst)
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Georgia, Brunswick came in 7th. Let’s see why.


The city has very bad crime (21st worst) and an employment rate that’s nearly the highest for cities of its size 13.4%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.

8. Cordele

Cordele, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,140
Home Values: $84,900 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.9% (5th worst)
The real issue with Cordele is blight. Families here live well below the poverty line.

9. Waynesboro

Waynesboro, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,801
Home Values: $78,100 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (74th worst)
If, by some reason, you were driving through Waynesboro, after stopping to ask for directions, you may have noticed that things aren’t so peachy keen here.

It’s tough out there for people to stay afloat when their income levels are so low ($23,117) and they can’t get good jobs (8.4% unemployment rate).

Waynesboro ranks as the 9th wost place in Georgia.

10. Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,991
Home Values: $81,900 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.6% (25th worst)
Stone Mountain, part of DeKalb County, is the 10th worst place to live in Georgia for 2015.

. Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $36,729, and crime 4th worst in Georgia.

Additionally, the poverty level is 24.3% in Stone Mountain.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Georgia

If you’re looking at areas in Georgia 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, Clarkston ranks as the worst city to live in Georgia for 2017.

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

  1. Alpharetta (Pop. 62,054)
  2. Decatur (Pop. 20,605)
  3. Johns Creek (Pop. 82,203)

For more Georgia reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Georgia

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Clarkston 11,990 14.7% $91,800
2 Cedartown 9,781 16.1% $85,000
3 Forest Park 18,953 14.1% $54,100
4 Moultrie 14,474 9.6% $83,200
5 College Park 14,026 15.7% $159,600
6 Fort Valley 9,192 22.5% $77,800
7 Brunswick 15,794 13.4% $91,800
8 Cordele 11,140 19.9% $84,900
9 Waynesboro 5,801 8.4% $78,100
10 Stone Mountain 5,991 13.6% $81,900
11 Monroe 13,476 12.9% $110,600
12 East Point 35,357 17.1% $88,400
13 Sylvester 6,146 11.4% $88,900
14 Americus 16,345 22.3% $83,700
15 Swainsboro 7,456 16.4% $59,700
16 Cairo 9,759 15.2% $113,300
17 Thomson 6,697 14.2% $89,400
18 Albany 76,466 19.0% $98,200
19 Camilla 5,083 23.1% $80,700
20 Eastman 5,375 14.1% $87,300
21 Eatonton 6,486 7.2% $76,400
22 Riverdale 15,650 16.5% $81,200
23 Waycross 14,258 10.0% $65,700
24 Vidalia 10,627 13.6% $106,800
25 Conyers 15,577 12.8% $97,300
26 Griffin 23,312 13.2% $107,600
27 Doraville 10,650 7.9% $136,700
28 Adel 5,281 8.3% $98,400
29 Barnesville 6,609 21.3% $105,400
30 Fitzgerald 9,032 11.5% $83,000
31 Lovejoy 6,450 15.7% $91,300
32 Lagrange 30,356 13.4% $116,700
33 Tifton 16,656 6.1% $130,500
34 Folkston 5,313 18.3% $91,500
35 Jesup 10,163 11.6% $104,000
36 Thomaston 9,032 12.0% $86,500
37 Sandersville 5,831 11.5% $87,400
38 Douglas 11,750 6.6% $96,100
39 Commerce 6,575 10.3% $104,100
40 Rome 36,278 12.2% $123,200
41 Bainbridge 12,576 6.8% $129,000
42 Dallas 12,363 11.7% $118,600
43 Austell 6,994 13.4% $108,200
44 Dublin 16,181 7.5% $96,700
45 Covington 13,507 11.5% $111,100
46 Milledgeville 18,971 12.8% $106,300
47 Hapeville 6,649 9.1% $103,500
48 Morrow 6,982 11.0% $86,700
49 Toccoa 8,302 15.3% $91,400
50 Locust Grove 5,666 10.7% $104,400
51 Savannah 142,919 12.3% $142,000
52 Fairburn 13,697 8.0% $115,600
53 Hampton 7,188 18.2% $107,700
54 Carrollton 25,515 12.0% $127,300
55 Buford 13,244 7.3% $158,900
56 Norcross 16,103 7.7% $160,900
57 Chamblee 27,654 6.0% $210,700
58 Douglasville 31,917 11.6% $134,000
59 Villa Rica 14,435 11.6% $119,500
60 Thomasville 18,612 13.3% $125,200
61 Gainesville 37,115 5.7% $139,200
62 Lawrenceville 29,738 11.2% $121,700
63 Winder 14,928 11.9% $123,400
64 Cumming 5,588 11.9% $174,100
65 Auburn 7,409 9.3% $103,300
66 Dalton 33,496 10.0% $122,500
67 Calhoun 15,948 5.7% $129,700
68 Valdosta 56,504 14.6% $125,700
69 Fort Oglethorpe 9,547 5.6% $116,100
70 Cartersville 19,964 6.8% $137,700
71 Lilburn 12,372 8.8% $157,900
72 Columbus 200,285 11.0% $134,500
73 Statesboro 30,059 12.6% $120,000
74 Glennville 5,150 4.2% $149,700
75 Powder Springs 14,462 12.2% $129,300
76 Lafayette 7,107 7.5% $85,000
77 Canton 24,305 8.7% $161,900
78 Mcdonough 22,830 12.1% $131,900
79 Warner Robins 72,520 11.2% $110,000
80 Hawkinsville 5,546 7.6% $133,900
81 Marietta 58,906 10.2% $211,500
82 Atlanta 448,901 11.5% $209,200
83 Stockbridge 27,328 11.9% $119,700
84 Perry 14,991 13.6% $131,600
85 Bremen 6,224 7.8% $146,200
86 Hinesville 34,287 12.8% $122,600
87 Newnan 35,224 8.3% $178,700
88 Duluth 28,294 8.3% $179,600
89 Kingsland 16,239 7.1% $144,800
90 St. Marys 17,675 9.5% $169,800
91 Dahlonega 6,052 3.8% $377,300
92 Sugar Hill 20,323 9.6% $168,700
93 Snellville 19,199 11.4% $146,800
94 Jefferson 9,771 7.1% $156,100
95 Grovetown 12,521 13.6% $143,300
96 Acworth 21,512 10.0% $152,300
97 Loganville 10,855 9.5% $143,700
98 Rincon 9,487 3.5% $158,600
99 Port Wentworth 6,619 5.5% $156,800
100 Peachtree Corners 39,910 7.1% $280,100
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82 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Georgia For 2017

  1. You based this on data!?! What a crock…visit these towns and you will find happy people enjoying their lives and family. I am from Sandersville and you are very wrong about it. You act like it is 1,000 miles from anywhere. Crime is low because it is a small town and you know your neighbor and probably their entire family. Talking about a Days Inn at the only exit..what are you talking about? What exit? There isn’t an interstate near there. There are other hotels in town. It is a wonderful town, a community with pride and love. Trust me, I live near Lake Norman, NC now. There are expensive houses and people making lots of money but most have friends based on status and not true lose your money, you lose your friends. In Small towns like Sandersville, they might not have the most money but the whole community comes together to make it a wonderful cute little town. They will treat strangers like friends and make you feel welcome and at home….you can’t judge a town by data. Data doesn’t have a heart and soul like this wonderful little town. Plus you live in Dunham…not a place I would recommend. (And before you say something about me not living in Sandersville because my job brought me to NC..but love my hometown)

  2. I do not live in any of these cities but am aware of them. The author evidently wrote this for shock value or is an absolute idiot.

  3. This article is absurd. If you ever bothered to visit any of these towns you might see how lovely they really are. I’m from Sandersville and proud to live here. We’re not “Crap in the cream”. We’re a great little town with a lot of history and some of the friendliest places you’ll “never” visit. Ridiculous article.

  4. Don’t claim science guides this ignorance-in-the-making. You are scaling and ranking the places where people may not have much money or job opportunities- but they have their families, their worlds, their lives. This isn’t ‘scientific’ of you and your merry band of rankers, this is ‘elitist’. We would gladly invite you into our public schools to discuss the difference with you.

  5. This article is lacking in any factual support and sources that prove the statements to be true. Any individual that lives around the mentioned areas knows there are much worse cities and places than any of the ones mentioned in this article. Crime rates can vary based on population. For example a city of 60,000 is going to have more crime than one of 10,000. This article is the highest for of ignorance at best. Articles like this show that any undereducated individual can create a list.

  6. I have lived in 18 Georgia cities, including your #4 “best”, Sandy Springs. I wouldn’t trade the experiences and friendships my family and I made in your #10 ” worst”, Vidalia, for anything, and I wish we had not moved from there. Some schools don’t need the extra government funding and refuse to give in to current fads to get it. 😉 The heart and soul of a town can’t be measured by data.

    1. I have lived in Vidalia, (the #10 worst city to live in) for 36 years and I have to say I totally disagree with this data. Vidalia is a great place to live and raise your children and now a place my grandchildren are raised. Your data just does not match my 36 years of experience in this city.

  7. As a naitive of Sandersville, I am shocked that my little hometown is one of the worst places to live. Seeing as I was part of a graduating class of 254 very successful individuals I can already tell your “science” is crap. This town is filled with more compassion, history, and character than you can find in all of Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs that you doted as being the best places to live in Georgia. I recommend stopping to talk with some of the many generations of families that have chosen to call Sandersville home, so they can give you the proper tongue lashing you deserve. Some of us that have moved away would trade it all to be back in that tiny town.

  8. Mr Writer of this Artical, I would like to invite you to visit our town before you put us on a list like this. I will personally take the time to show you how wrong you are.

    Vidalia, GA

  9. I currently live in Vidalia, but my family comes from the Bainbridge area. I would have to say I guess you have never taken the time to visit neither of these two towns. Or any of the others on the list. Until you visit them personally and spend at least a week or two in these towns then I don’t think you have right to post any articles.

  10. You people have never been to Vidalia and don’t know what your talking about. You need more than your so called science to know a bad town from a good one. Science doesn’t make a good town or bad one the people do. Vidalia has a bunch of good hard working people. The cream of the crop. So stick your science where the sun don’t shine.

  11. Its very sad to see this in 2015. This list is very accurate, these type of towns have little to no opportunities. The are riddled with poverty. These back hill towns make their biggest revenue from traffic tickets etc. You are more likely to be incarcerated than go to college or get a job starting above minimum wage. The towns listed are even worse places to live if you are a minority…there is still quite a bit of systematic racism at play within these small legal jurisdictions…beware ifbyou have to stop near either of these (again especially if you are a minority)

  12. Half of the places on the list aren’t even real cities. They are Census Designated Places for ultra wealthy neighborhoods in Atlanta that aren’t incorporated. Of course they are all at the bottom of the list and their numbers are skewing the actual relativity of what’s “good and bad scientifically”.

  13. This list is garbage. I have lived in vidalia for 61 years and the only thing I see wrong is that I wish it had more chain restaurants than it does but it does have many privately owned one’s. I don’t see a high crime rate either. Most people will speak to you. Very friendly people.

  14. Diane is absolutely correct about Sandersville and the bases for the article is fraud at best and therefore it has no real value. Nick has no credibility on this subject matter or any other if this is a sample of his work or lack of. I’m happy in Evans, Ga. but had rather live in a town like Sandersville, Ga. with ‘real’ people.

  15. I can’t believe these towns are supposedly the ten worst.I’ve been to all of the town’s mentioned and I have enjoyed every visit. I’d say whoever did this survey needs to ‘re evaluate this.

  16. As someone who works in the Thomaston school system, our classrooms may be more crowded because of funding but the students definitely don’t get less attention. Our teachers work hard everyday to make sure each and every child learns to the best of their ability. We also have some of the best technology around to help them learn. I have worked in other schools that don’t even have half of the support our students get from special ed, to regular ed, to gifted. Our students are pushed to learn and to do their best. We have some of the hardest working and most caring teachers and staff.

  17. I guess numbers don’t lie like you said, but they certainly don’t tell the whole truth. I grew up in Fitzgerald. I love that town and will protect it, but I can’t live there. The economic base has crumbled and with that all the other numbers go swirling in the toilet together. Fitz has a spectacular history that NO other Ga town has. Yankees retired after the Civil War to 1 square mile known as Fitzgerald. It is known for having a healing past where both sides came back to function as one. But the interstate system being then 30 miles (now 21) away put Fitzgerald pretty much off the map. River traffic used to be the economic life line in the 1800s then the trains, then the interstate made it really difficult. There were 4 city fathers in the 70/80’s that really helped Fitzgerald – got the only non-union Delco battery plant (now closed and wiped off the planet), and many other industries, but those guys are gone. Now Fitzgeraldlites are trying to find their footing it the 21st century. There is a decent downtown but that SuperCenter Walmart ruined it if you ask me. Walmart sucked the life out of the downtown. I’d rather see WalMart buy ALL of downtown and turn it into a walking mall, keeping the good facades and running it like a business on the backside. I’ve seen that work — in Regina Canada.
    It’s hard to find fun in Fitz now. There used to be great places to go, but those have died. You have to make your own fun. I love Fitzgerald, but I have a little tear in my eye.

    1. Dan, I certainly agree with you on the WallMart assessment. The store is sucking the blood out of hundreds of small towns in the U.S. They feature poor service and squeez suppliers to the brink of bankruptcy to get the last drops of profit over to their P&L sheets. If small towns realize what a WalMart does to their town, they would help close those stores by refusing to shop there and support the local businesses instead.

  18. I know the internet allows anyone to say anything, but somehow this seems like kicking a man while he is down.

  19. I would argue that less dense population and affordable housing are not bad things. Which private country club is in Vidalia? Vidalia Country Club became a public golf club (Hawk’s Point) years ago. The country club started back when the Piggly Wiggly headquarters were a major presence in Vidalia.

  20. Fitzgerald is my home town, although my family moved away when I was 2 and I didn’t get to move back until I was 43. I spent as much time here as I could in between, and we are happily retired here. Yes, once children finish college, there aren’t a lot of job opportunities to bring them back, but Fitzgerald is a unique place, established in 1896 as a haven for Union soldiers wbo weren’t thriving in the harsh northern winters. The former bitter enemies from the Civil War learned to live together in harmony. All the street names reflect officers from both sides. The two main north- south streets, for example, are Lee and Grant. As others have suggested, you could do a much better job if you’d come spend a few days with us. Then you could do a more accurate assessment.

  21. Apparently you have not visited Millen, that place is awful , run down , nothing for kids , jobs are finally coming there

  22. After reading so many comments attacking the writer of the article it reminds me of an old saying I heard many years ago, “A worm in horseradish thinks horseradish tastes wonderful.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to troll here – my hometown is among the worst in that list but I don’t necessarily disagree with Mr. Johnson. I moved away nearly 30 years ago and the memories of my hometown are great. It was a great place to live, I (and my classmates) got an excellent education and the majority of us have done really well. However, the town hasn’t fared as well as we would have liked it to. It is true, the per capita crime rate has soared over the past 10 to 15 years, the education system has not performed as well and property values are not as high as it has in the past. You can blame it on whatever you like, but it doesn’t change things.

    I am not arguing that all of your towns don’t have good, hard-working citizens and are full of interesting history. I think the point Mr. Johnson was trying to make is – in order to determine the best or worst towns, you must have some common yardstick to measure them by. I believe that population density, per capita crime rates, median income, unemployment levels and home values, among others are a meaningful measure.

    Don’t shoot the messenger when he brings you a message you disagree with.

    1. Sad but true. There are usually 1 or 2 “business persons” who make sure these towns stay where they are so they can control.

        1. Central Georgia is ran by crooked old money and Masons and unless you are one of them work for them or kiss their butts you’re quality of life will suffer. Born here moved away. Back here not by choice. Highly educated and aware and for the most part wisely silent.

  23. Ugh. This comment board doesn’t allow for editing and I have made some mistakes in grammar at the very least. I guess I should learn to proof read twice before I post. The next to last sentence should end with “are meaningful measures.”

  24. This article is one of the stupidest articles I’ve ever read when it comes to cities. My dad’s side of the family is from Swainsboro, GA. I lived there for years as a kid and didn’t have to worry about anything no matter where I was at in the town and no matter how late I was out. My cousin is a state trooper there and I always listened to the scanner to hear what was going on and all you hear about is someone getting pulled over for being drunk, public drunkenness, fighting, and disorderly conduct. Whoever you are that wrote this article why don’t you actually do some work and stay in the places that you are looking up and doing the science on instead of sitting at a fucking computer looking up figures. Obviously you are probably a weirdo and have no fucking life at all. If you have a problem with anything I’m saying oh fucking well. Keep rock and go duck on a dead dogs dick. Thank you and have a nice day.

  25. This article is a crock. Where did you get your stats. I have lived in Emanuel county 90% of my life and Swainsboro is our county seat. What are you considering violent crime? Would I walk the streets of Savannah at night NO! Augusta NO! in fact none of the larger cities. Swainsboro sure… nothing is going to happen to you there. Folks here are happy and healthy. This is small town USA everyone knows everyone and we like it that way. You may list us as the worst but I can’t think of anywhere else I would like to live.

  26. I’m from Bainbridge and I agree that it sucks. The people here aren’t trustworthy. They’ll talk about you behind your back but will be your friend to your face. This town has nothing to do except bowling and a few basketball courts and baseball fields. I wouldn’t suggest Bainbridge to anyone.

  27. You people have no idea what you’re talking about. Sandersville is a very comfortable town, with excellent schools and we don’t even have exit. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep your mouth shut.

  28. Does anybody notice that at least four of the supposed best places are just North of that cancer on the butt of GA called Atlanta. I am not sure about Mountain Park as I have never heard of it. These are somewhat bedroom communities. Many of the people who live there work in Atlanta. These are places with much higher incomes AND much higher taxes.
    All of the 10 worst places are in middle or South GA. We work our butts off down here in order to send tax money to Atlanta. Then our hard earned money is used for roads and other things to help out the rich folks in North Fulton, Gwinnet, Cobb, etc.
    My Grandmother lived in Alpharetta when I was growing up and I still have family there. It would take a lot of money to get me to live there. All the transplants have ruined it.
    I have an idea. Let’s split GA into two or three states. Let us middle/South Georgians keep our tax money down here. Then let’s see what happens to the “best” and “worst” places in GA.

  29. Although there is some questionable statistical analysis going on in determining these results, the part I hate is that articles like this will only push small towns into having fewer opportunities. If a developer is trying to decide if they want to move to one of these small towns, this type of article, with much of the text being incorrect and unsupported, may sway them away. I have lived in 3 towns that make the top 100 list and my hometown, Sandersville, is listed at number 6. Instead of incorrectly pointing out that, “You can’t miss it; there’s a Day’s Inn at the only exit”, you need to actually visit Sandersville to determine that it isn’t near an interstate and there are more places to stay than a Day’s Inn. Judging by sad the photo you picked, you are purposefully trying to sway readers using your journalistic view. Turn the photo around ( and you would see the beauty of the downtown square. By the way, my family was not “strapped for money”, but the low cost of housing helps those who are. Also, I would love to review your statistical analysis, I have a PhD and would gladly demonstrate how easy it can be to falsify data for journalistic purposes.

  30. Ilive in the Tampa Bay area I just recently visted Jessup Georgia stand over a week therevery friendly clean town.I’m actually thinking about moving there

  31. I grew up in Fitzgerald as well . Its a great town , wonderful folks . It will always be home to me… Every small town everywhere isn’t the way it was years ago, mostly due to the economy and Business logistics changes to OUR nation… BUT …. You say what you want Id rather be living in any of the small towns you named. Thank a bunch more of the crime ridden cites in Ga. I wont call any names but two of them start with and A……..For myself I Will take Fitzgerald any day…..

  32. Typical Northern Liberal Rubbish. Where’s the the report on how poverty and crime is on the rise in NYC?

  33. Whoever came up with this article is a dickface and whoever agrees with this article is also a dickface.

  34. Yeah you are wrong about this. I was thinking that Macon would be at least in the top fives because it’s a dump and not a very great place. Be ready for homeless people to run up to your car when you get here and prepare to see lots of hood shit going down. Watch wich gas stations you stop at or what roads you go down because you very well might get rob. hahahaha and hell North Macon was ok until about two weeks ago.

  35. I think this article is based off appearances of these cities instead of actual factors. & they missed sooo many cities! I’ve lived in Georgia my entire life, I grew up in Savannah, later to move on to pooler and now Ellabell. I’ve been to most of these places and they’re quiet & country. Everybodys friendly, just because we don’t have a bunch of restaurants or stores, or malls etc doesn’t mean they’re crappy. I keep migrating further towards the country away from Savannah & life couldn’t be better. Basing things off population is rude, not everyone wants to live in a city with 70,000 people, my town MIGHT have 1-2 thousand people, this is a no stop light town the only food place we have is subway & grocery stores, the next city being Pembroke has a little more but if you ask me that town should’ve been first compared to Swainsboro. Georgia is an awesome place to live and I would never think about leaving. I’ve been to many places up north and no offense but the people up north are much more rude & judgemental, you don’t get that here.

  36. I moved to Vidalia from a suburb of a major city. I feel safe in Vidalia. To assume only poor people live here is wrong. There are a lot of well to do families here. Yes, there are the poor too, but every city has poor too. There is help here to get an education if you want to do so. The sports teams through high school and recreational sports teams are among the best in the state. The thing that makes Vidalia so wonderful is the people and their love for God and one another. Next time you want to bash cities, go visit them, talk to the people. This is a place you want to raise your children. I invite you to come visit.

  37. I grew up in Fitzgerald and as a former resident ,Fitzgerald thrived in the 1970-1990’s until the Delco-plant closed and with that—- the economy went way south.These small towns in which you list as the worst places to live are hurting because there are no business or industries that help with the economic issues.Thus a domino effect happens with the education system and recruiting perspective companies to locate.INSTEAD ON SPENDING SO MUCH TIME PUTTING OUR MILLIONS INTO OTHER THIRD WORLD ,HOW ABOUT OFFERING TAX INCENTIVES BREAKS TO BRING BACK INDUSTRIES TO HELP THE SOUTHERN TOWNS. We don’t have a connected Georgia anything above Macon gets the red carpet treatment-below we are considered red headed step children.Families leave because these small towns can’t function like a bigger city- Well duh huh your survey is a bull crap

    1. Fox, you are dead on with your statements. Looking at the pics of the main-streets of these towns, it is really heartbreaking. It is a sign of the times that these stores are closed due to economics. The mayors or city managers of these towns need to get together to form a coalition to go to Atlanta and demand the governor do something to help these small towns. They are beautiful towns. Life in these towns has got to be better than anything that the rat hole of Atlanta has to offer. One of the biggest reasons for these stores closing is the competition from all the damn malls around Atlanta metro. I live in northern Gwinnett and I would trade living in small town middle and south Ga in a heartbeat. Where I live, there are at least 6 malls. How is mom and pop stores and restaurants suppose to survive? They can’t compete. People that currently live in these small towns KNOW they have a little slice of heaven on earth. They just need a little boost of industry to get people working and taking care of their little town. People of these little town, fight to keep them alive. I pray you do because it would be a shame to let them die.
      You know high tech business, internet business is the boom now. All many people need is a good solid high speed internet connection to work from home. That would really help the small towns because people could have the best of both worlds. High paying job while living in the small town atmosphere. Keeps their money more in the small town area than big ole’ Atlanta.
      People of the small town Georgia, God bless you all. Keep your towns alive!

  38. I came from a way smaller town than Swainsboro and it has no place to eat within the town now . Did in the 1950s. One Resturant ,one soda fountain Malt shop. A few clothing (stores maybe two) couple gas
    stations ,an ice house,,,Yes an ice house. You gotta remember this is in the 50s…
    Gas station there now , a Dollar store has replaced my house where I used to live.
    So where is that one on your list? Empty
    fallen down store. smelly store run by immigrants that you didn’t stay in long for the smell . You must have buzzed right thru there ! Or not at all.”” It was the best little town when I lived there. Clean ,lawn s mowed walked he streets up towe to the post office. Great people lived ther and every one knew each other,,,,,,we loved it!

    It is becoming very apparent that you haven’ been to most of the places you wrote about either. You certainly could not have. Missed this place and others like it that are worse than those you listed.. And Macon is more than an hour away from Swainsboro . You need to update your walk/ abou
    T! That for sure!!

    Me s

  39. Having lived in Bainbridge majority of my 24 years of life, I find this list absolutely laughable and frustrating. I have yet to know anyone that has been raped, beaten, or murdered. I also find it intriguing that with all of the developed businesses and roads, the picture that is used is one of the rare streets Bainbridge has that is run down. I respect journalists in all forms, but I’m not sure how you received your information, if by statistics then maybe the towns should be visited and that factored in as well. And maybe next time you shouldn’t let the condescending remarks and your obvious distaste for southern and/or small cities roll off your tongue so easily.

  40. This article is a clear case of manipulating statistics to get a desired outcome !!! These guys are idiots !!! There are Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics !!!

  41. I was curious why the city of Dacula does not appear on your list of 157. Auburn and Lawrenceville appear, Dacula is between these to cities.

  42. LOL This has got to be a joke. I lived in fort valley for almost 20yrs. “Crime” in these small farming towns? Good one… LOL

    Id rather walk through any of these small towns at night compared to Macon, ATL, Albany and Columbus.

  43. My husband and I CHOSE to move to Bainbridge 35 years ago. Raised 3 college educated kids. We are blessed to have a beautiful river for fishing and water sports. Folks travel from many surrounding counties and states to enjoy it every weekend. Schools have dedicated staff. People will give their all to help their friends, neighbors, and strangers in times of need. I remember maybe 2 or 3 murders in thWe don’t WANT high density ant beds! That’s why we are there!

    1. Everything you just type is based off the color of your skin i know you’re white because im from bainbridge and aint shit sweet about it if you leave from that secure lil mansion you got sitting up on a hill by lake douglas far from the real city and come on down to Hutto Projects or Battle Quarters or maby even FreeWill you will definitely see whats popping. Try looking at Bainbridge thru the eyes of the people down there who really suffer. #Facts

      1. D’Boi, I’m white and can never relate exactly but we both bleed American red. I spent time in federal projects as a kid. We had a plan to get out of them. It’s not to be a way of life, but a safety net. I may have had it easier than you, we’ll never know but you must believe in yourself, expect a lot from yourself and slowly (it will take sacrifice of short-term pleasure) find a way to increase your skills. Self-respect and skills are the way out. Self-respect means that you make choices that improve you rather than bring you down and hold you under the Fed gov’t thumb. Key steps that an able-bodied person can do: Mentally, work for the good of your employer, not against them. If you don’t have an employer, you have to make it a priority to act the part and start somewhere. There’s never any shame for an honest day’s labor regardless of the task. I’ve worked some pretty dirty jobs in my day. Learn your job, do it better than anyone else. Make the boss happy. That applies to every job; even jobs where folks get to live in the big white mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Then exchange some leisure time for self-improvement. You got to keep bettering your skills. Then you can go up to your own lil mansion – whatever that is for you. I feel your anger, but I’d like to see that morph into positive passion.

      2. Who’s fault is that? The city or town or the people living in your community? Are you saying that white folks put up with far less BS in their neighborhoods than black folks are willing to put up with? Seems that is why you are implying.

  44. Clearly, this article was mostly for fun, but let’s continue having some fun. I grew up in Eastman, GA. I’ve also lived in Boston, Mass. Let’s do a little comparison. Suppose my budget for a house is $225,000, and I want to raise my kids in a house, not an apartment. In Boston, this will buy me a home out in Hyde Park that has1872 sq ft @ $120/sq ft on a seventh of an acre lot. It was built in 1968 and is advertised as “needing work.” To get into the city, I’ll walk or drive to the commuter rail station (rain, shine, or snow). I’ll likely walk because there isn’t sufficient parking at the station, and it will be very expensive. After the commute into Boston, I will have to wait in a subway station to catch another train to wherever I need to go. After I get to my stop, I may have to walk several blocks (in rain, shine, or snow) to get to work. I’ll allow at least an hour for all of this travel.

    In Eastman, $225,000 will buy a 2678 sq. ft home at $84 / square foot on a 2.9 acre lot with my own little creek in the backyard on a quiet, safe street with no HOA fees and friendly neighbors. There may not be corporate jobs available, but if I can work online, the possibilities are endless. I can drive anywhere in town within 5 minutes and park there for free. I will make less money working in Eastman, but the cost of living compared to Hyde Park is about 37% lower.

    To be sure, I’ll have a world of cultural activities and fancy restaurants available to me in Boston – most of which are very expensive and will require that I either repeat that commute on the train or take my life into my hands by driving and then pay out the nose for parking. I will likely choose to do this only rarely. If I’m only going to attend such things rarely, I may as well live in Eastman where I can be in Atlanta in about 2.5 – 3 hours. Or the beach in about 3 hours. For that matter, perhaps living in Eastman will encourage me to develop my own artistic or culinary skills. In Eastman, I can shop at Nordstrom online and have a guaranteed parking space in my own garage.

    The public schools in Eastman are ok – they’ve produced a whole bunch of successful people because they turn out students who have initiative and persistence, the two most important qualities for success. If you prefer private school, there are plenty of online options. In Eastman, you can attend the Georgia Aviation and Technical College or even Mercer University. Eastman has a 5-screen movie theater. And nothing to do? Seriously? In Dodge County, you can kayak the Ocmulgee river, ride a bike for hours, water ski, go fishing, ride horses, and enjoy some of the best hunting in the state. Ever heard of playing the piano – guitar – violin – flute – trumpet? Living in EASTMAN, I developed enough skill at the piano to earn a scholarship to undergraduate school and then admission into one of the finest conservatories in the country. If you can’t find a local teacher, Mercer University is only an hour away. Also, more and more good teachers are utilizing Skype which means they can teach students who live anywhere. In Eastman, I might have to drive out of town to hear a classical concert, but Macon’s Mercer U. brings in world class performers, and I can listen to / watch the greatest performers from all over the world online, and even watch masterclasses by some of the world’s finest teachers – free.

    I currently live in the Augusta area. I spend about 5-6 hours each week just getting places in my car, and my husband drives 10-13 hours a week. So, if I lived in Eastman and had to do some driving out of town occasionally to enjoy a few amenities, I think that’s a fair trade-off.

  45. I am Vidalia’s Main Street Director – I have lived in Vidalia/Toombs County all of my life, reared my children and my grandchildren here. I am offended at your comments about Vidalia being the #10 worse town to visit. As a CITY OF EXCELLENCE I want to shame you for such a posting of Vidalia…you obviously have not visited Vidalia and experienced our quaint little “HISTORIC CITY”…like others have said, this is incorrect information and I would like to invite you to visit VIDALIA!
    Our city, the Main Street program and our merchants who have invested in the “Sweet Onion City” have received awards from State & National Main Street for the historic preservation ethics – receiving numerous grants for beautification and it goes on and on to prove our “Excellence”.
    The information/data you posted is “incorrect” and needs updating…
    We have the best in education, sports, safety and a high quality of excellence in the work force…so please check your data!
    We are a wonderful city that works together for the betterment of our community.
    Thank you! Paula Dees-Toole – 16 years Vidalia Main Street “Downtown Vidalia Association”.

  46. I think you should pull out the ‘low density’ population count since it is not a reflection of the quality of life for many that live there. Many people prefer low density! I would never want to live in a grimy city. I live in Cali (formerly from Fitz) and I live in what I call a border town. On the border of San Francisco GMA, but I can see cows past my backyard, BUT I live so close to my neighbor I have heard them argue about who should clean the toilet. Low density is refreshing and preferred by those who can afford to earn enough while living far enough away from the city. More power to them.

    1. Yea all this quiet living and extremely low crime rates are just killing us down here in middle to south Georgia. (Sarcasm off)

  47. I like how the #1 Swainsboro picture actually shows a store front being rehabed! progress proven by Google.

  48. Swainsboro has become a drug infested hell hole. The local police (city and county) are a joke. Dope smokers and lowlifes walk the streets in full view and no one cares. The crime rate is astronomical for a town this size. Swainsboro has a well earned reputation for being one of the most officially corrupt cities in the state. The city fathers are just a pack of small town hick good ol’ boys who wash each other’s backs day after day to make sure they succeed while as many others (the little people) don’t. Wouldn’t trust a one of them if my life depended on it. Trust me when I say that far too many of the top city/county officials are awash in their own personal and not so well hidden scandals. Drunkards, womanizers, and we wouldn’t even want to know what else.

    1. Tell me what large to mid-sized populated metropolitan city in the USA that does not have massive issues with illicit drug abuse, rape, robbery and corruption?

  49. I was born in Macon, and grew up in Forsyth. I have lived in Alaska since 1992, but I still have family in Georgia, and I visit 1-2 times per year. I think it is difficult for most of us to receive criticism, and I can’t say how accurate the data is behind this article, but I think many of the towns on this top 10 list are very depressing places to visit. I have no desire to move back to Georgia, even though it is still very dear to me. I have visited each of the towns on the top 10 list, and I would say towns like Macon, Augusta, and Columbus would have been my numbers 1, 2, and 3. I spent a great deal of time in Macon growing up, and it is as backward, violent, and as depressing as any place in the state.

  50. You missed the mark big time on Moultrie, in South GA. Just based on one criteria alone it would be in the top 5, easily. I still have friends there, grew up there, and visit occasionally and read the daily newspaper frequently. It is mind-boggling at how much crime there is, mainly due to a high concentration of illegal immigrants, and the high black population. Illegals run about 17% there which is high. Daily there are arrests for Hispanics driving without a license, and DUIs usually included. If it is not a “sanctuary city” then it is pretending to be one. I have decided not to go back unless I stay in a motel 25 miles away out on I75. It is just that dangerous. It is a very poor agricultural area with nothing to do except watch high school football in the winter months. Even the coach there just recently said that the “black players needed to get scholarships so they could get out of Moultrie”. That says it all.

  51. There are some people in this world who had rather live in a dirty, crime infested, overcrowded city that to live in the country. And one of them wrote this article. People live in the small towns listed in this article and leave their doors unlocked at night, but they don’t dare to go to Atlanta at night or without carrying their pistol.

    you guys apparently didn’t research very well cause Fairmount, GA would definitely be one of the top five

    1. If it’s based on the size and what’s there then I’m sure you may be right. However, you won’t find a community better than Fairmount when it comes to helping someone in need. Every town has it’s own problems and issues, that’s a given, but there is nowhere else that I would even think about raising my kids than Fairmount.

  53. My advice to the proud Georgians who got all upset and excited by this article is to “Man Up!”. If you were genuinely confident that your town is really great, you’d just chuckle and ignore all the blather. “Someone is wrong on the internet!!!!” seems to be a real big emergency in the sensitive southern cities mentioned.

  54. The article was not based on emotion or compassion or history or any of that.

    I know many in #9 and wholeheartedly agree. I truly think it should have been #1. Yes, most of the people are polite to each other and tourists. Nice, but let’s focus on opportunities for its residents (next to none), economic investment in its residents (next to none), institutionalized racism (are there still two separate proms- whites and everyone else) and I could go on to infinity.

    I have seen people fare better economically, education attainment and access to diversity when they leave Cordele, Georgia.

    Let’s can the heartstrings and tell people the truth.

  55. The fact that Disgusta (Augusta) is not on this list proves it is bulldung. Mosy of these places are friendly quaint small towns. Disgusta is a Hellhole with rampant crime and lots of urban decay. Hw is it not listed?

  56. I have had the opportunity to live all over the United States and there is no place like home. I am a Fort Valley native and would like for you to add on your list that Several major manufacturing corporations have relocated to Northern states therefore taking viable employment with them. However, Fort Valley has produced many successful people who have become military officers, educators, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, accountants just to name a few and who are actively trying to change the blight of the city. Furthermore, Fort Valley State University ,a HBCU, produces the highest number of African American Math graduates in the nation & is a major resource for agricultural research. You should probably visit Lane packing with the endless amounts of peaches or attend a Peach County high school game and see that our city, though not perfect, but definitely NOT dead!!!!!! Maybe YOU should appeal to major businesses to bring their businesses from overseas or ATLANTA to help these smaller cities who were built around manufacturing that you call desperate. This would be a major benefit to my community and not just an article on uninformed facts who lists all of the best cities directly located outside of Atlanta.

  57. If the study considered the percentage of teenage pregnancy , drug use, alcoholism , government “relief”, female obesity, ignorance and chronic public ” Moo Moo” attire and snake handling, then I am shocked Calhoun did not score number one!

  58. Disgusta is the ass crack of Georgia.. and according to wikipedia is one of the city’s official nicknames. Look it up. IF Disgusta does not make a top 10 worst list for Georgia then I know the research is suspect. It is without a doubt, the trashiest, most corrupt and Stink Hole city in Georgia and possibly the entire USA. The whole city looks like a crack den and its inhabitants look like meth addicts or extras from The Walking Dead.

  59. Are there animal control shelters in these small towns or how is the dog/ cat population. I hear there are shelters but NO one is allowed inside to adopt a dog or cat. we are not even told WHERE they are, only that they are 3 hours south of atlanta and the workers do not care about any animal. it sounds like a very poor area, so do they fund animal controls in these Middle GA. towns ?

  60. Bainbridge may not be my pick to live in but there is NO way it’s the second worse city in which to live in GA – not even top 10. It’s affordable, and you have Lake Seminole for recreation and can day trip to the gulf coast at any given moment. Also, 30 minutes from Tallahassee. Bad call putting Bainbridge on the list.

  61. I also have to wonder about the accuracy of this article. I live in McRae GA aannnnddd I’m pretty sure this is the worst town in GA. Most people here work or are housed in prison. Very shady utility fees\taxes. Surprised we didn’t make the cut. Ah! Crime rate is low. Very sleepy place. I’m dying to escape.

  62. This website, while it is very opinionated as you stated, is VERY offensive to the people who live here. I am not sure of your motive for such degrading and offensive comments about these places but what you are doing with this website is horrible.

  63. Disgusta is a Stink Hole. Stink balls big time. I should know, I was mayor of that Stink hole for 9 long years.

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