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 122 cities with a population over 5,000, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Georgia:
- Swainsboro (Photos)
- Monroe (Photos)
- Forest Park (Photos)
- Moultrie (Photos)
- College Park (Photos)
- Clarkston (Photos)
- Fort Valley (Photos)
- Vidalia (Photos)
- Brunswick (Photos)
- Cedartown (Photos)
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Georgia? That would be Swainsboro.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more Georgia reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Georgia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Georgia
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Georgia
How we determined the worst places to live in Georgia for 2019
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 122 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 122 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 — Swainsboro. 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.
The residents in Swainsboro are unemployed at a very high rate of 9%, which is tied for the ninth highest in the state, and three full percentage points above the national average. But that’s just the beginning.
Swainsboro has the 12th highest crime rate in Georgia, and just about double for the state average. Residents have a 1 in 167 chance of being the victim of a violent crime here, meaning a rape, murder or aggravated assault. For a small town of just over 7,000 people, that’s pretty scary.
Plus, residents earn about $24,000 a year, and a family of four would be on the verge of poverty.
Swainsboro is located out in the middle of nowhere, about an hour east of Macon.
If you live in Georgia, you may or may not be surprised that Monroe ranked, at least on paper, as the 2nd worst place to live in the state. It has the 14th highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 34th most dangerous.
Incidentally, Monroe is the 34th most densely populated city in Georgia. Draw your own conclusions.
Forest Park is the 3rd worst city in Georgia for 2019. When you’re comparing other cities to Forest Park, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.
Forest Park is the 22nd most dangerous place in Georgia, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 11.9%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($58,300), and residents earn just $33,208 a year.
If you’re looking to live in Georgia, Moultrie might not be the best choice as it places 4th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.
The unemployment rate here is 10.3%, and households bring in a combined $24,173 a year in income. That’s not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of Georgia.
Crime is the 24th highest in the state in Moultrie as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.
If you live in College Park, you’re either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because science says it’s the 5th worst place to live in the state.
You’ve got the 6th highest crime rate in Georgia, which saw 222 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 12.8 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 64 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of College Park.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. College Park sports the state’s 23rd highest unemployment rate (12.1%), and families bring in a combined $29,087 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $154,700.
The city of Clarkston is the 6th worst place you can live in the state of Georgia in 2019.
It’s unlucky for Clarkston, which has the 26th highest unemployment rate (11.6%), the 43rd lowest household incomes ($35,934) and the 37th lowest home prices in the state ($110,200).
Basically, a lot of people in Clarkston are out of work. And crime is certainly a factor here as well. Although it’s not one of the most dangerous places we’ll look at, it’s in the top 20%.
Add it all up, and this is truly one of the worst places you could live in Georgia.
Fort Valley, GA needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 19.5%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 49th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 27.6 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
There’s a country club in Vidalia. For a town of 11,000 financially-challenged residents, that seems a bit?.odd.
Out of all the places to live in Georgia, Brunswick ranks as the 9th worst — not something to brag about.
Brunswick’s unemployment rate stands at 9.6%. While the income levels out here are some of the lowest in the state. Residents earn a combined $24,417 a year in salaries. That’s not enough to really get ahead in life.
Additionally, the homes are the 25th cheapest in the entire state at $91,800. Again, some people like the cheap cost of living, but housing is priced on demand, and the fact is, there’s not a lot of demand to live way out in Brunswick. Plus, what do you do for fun here anyway?
Crime is the 21st worst in the state. You have a 1 in 18.4 chance of being robbed here and a 1 in 93 chance of being attacked or raped. Yikes.
Cedartown’s situation is very similar to others on the list; bottom of the barrel scores in unemployment, income, and crime, with decent education statistics keeping it from the very top of this list.
Cedartown has the 40th worst crime index of any place in Georgia, and has the 21st lowest income.
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, Swainsboro ranks as the worst city to live in Georgia for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Georgia:
- Johns Creek (Pop. 83,397)
- Decatur (Pop. 22,022)
- Alpharetta (Pop. 63,929)
For more Georgia reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Georgia
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Georgia
- 10 Safest Places In Georgia
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Georgia
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Georgia