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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 123 cities with a population over 5,100, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Georgia:
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 Camilla.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.
For more Georgia reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Georgia For 2021
When you're looking at science and data, the city of Camilla is the worst place you can live in the state of Georgia. Let's see why.
You may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 13th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.
Residents in Camilla had a 1 in 23.7 chance of being robbed in 2020. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Camilla, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.
Camilla's other issues are a very high unemployment rate (19.9%) and income levels of its residents ($34,143).
Forest Park'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.
Forest Park has the 8th worst crime index of any place in Georgia, and has the 33rd lowest income.
When you're looking at science and data, Clarkston is the worst place you can live in Georgia. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate here is 10.2%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $122,900, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 33.8 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That's not fun, either.
Monroe needs some tough love as it ranks as the 4th worst city to live in Georgia for 2021. There's not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it's not a place you might want to move to.
And the crime in Monroe is the 89th highest in the state, where 1 in 37.9 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
Moultrie ranks as the 5th worst city in Georgia. Located in Colquitt County, Moultrie has the 5th lowest income levels in the state of Georgia ($27,129), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 12.3%.
Welcome to Morrow, which might be one of the poorest areas in Georgia. Residents average $52,372 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 8.9% of Morrow residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $112,100 and the unemployment rate hovers near 9.2%.
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.
College Park is one of the poorest cities in the state of Georgia. This city has 6.9% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $35,470 a year.
Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. College Park has the 4th highest crime rate in Georgia. While the numbers aren't staggering (Georgia is a relatively safe place when you compare it to the rest of the country), it's still undesirable when you consider that there are far safer (and more stimulating) places to make your home in the Peach State.
Crime might actually be even worse in Bainbridge, as residents here have a 1 in 140 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. Since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you were friends with lived in Bainbridge, 2 of them would have been raped, beat up or murdered last year.
Albany ranks as the 10th-worst place in Georgia due to a variety of factors, placing in the bottom third for unemployment, median income, and crime.
On top of that, residents have the 115th-worst commute of any place in the state.
How we determined the worst places to live in Georgia for 2021
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 123 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 123 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 -- Camilla. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Georgia. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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, Camilla ranks as the worst city to live in Georgia for 2021.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Georgia:
- Milton (Pop. 38,759)
- Sandy Springs (Pop. 107,072)
- Alpharetta (Pop. 65,590)
For more Georgia reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Georgia?