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:
- Clarkston (Photos)
- Cedartown (Photos)
- Forest Park (Photos)
- Moultrie (Photos)
- College Park (Photos)
- Fort Valley (Photos)
- Brunswick (Photos)
- Cordele (Photos)
- Waynesboro (Photos)
- 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.
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.
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.
Population: 11,990Home 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.
Population: 9,781Home 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
Population: 18,953Home 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.
Population: 14,474Home 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
Population: 14,026Home 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
Population: 9,192Home 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.
You could find a much better place to call home.
Population: 15,794Home 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.
Population: 11,140Home 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.
Population: 5,801Home 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
Population: 5,991Home 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:
- Alpharetta (Pop. 62,054)
- Decatur (Pop. 20,605)
- Johns Creek (Pop. 82,203)
For more Georgia reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Whitest Cities In Georgia
- If You’re From Georgia This Will Be A Highlight Of Your Day. Guaranteed.
- These Are The 10 Sexiest Cities In Georgia
Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Georgia