Article Table Of Contents
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:
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 2020.
For more Georgia reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Georgia For 2020
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.
Monroe ranks as the 2nd-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 61st-worst commute of any place in the state.
Moultrie is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Moultrie is the 3most dangerous place you can live in Georgia.
Residents in Moultrie have a 1 in 20.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.
When you're considering home prices, you can't do much lower than in Moultrie, where average homes are valued at only$85,900. That's the 12th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.
Forest Park doesn't have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 11.3%, and people average less than $34,839 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $63,200, 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.
Cedartown is the 33rd most dangerous place in the state of Georgia. That's part of the reason it's the 5th worst place in Georgia.
The fact remains, that when you're within Cedartown city limits, you have a 1 in 20.4 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Cedartown also has the 40th highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.2%? Or that homes are only valued at $80,000?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Cedartown.
Brunswick seems to be the have's and have not's. While the annual average income levels here are respectful ($25,896), about 1 in 12.0 people here are without jobs. Homes are valued at only $94,200.
But the biggest eye opener is the sheer crime here. It seems as if just about everyone in town without a job is pillaging the community. Brunswick has the 11th highest crime rate in Georgia, where 1 in 91 people has a statistic chance of being attacked, raped or murdered each year.
Plus, 1 in 18.6 people are robbed.
If you're headed past Brunswick and stop for gas, make sure you lock your doors.
You can sure expect that College Park is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 7th in our analysis. It is. In fact, College Park has the 8th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 156 violent crimes here in 2020, and residents have a 1 in 14.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in College Park, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits -- the unemployment rate sits at 10.2% which is the 23rd worst in Georgia.
Nothing to do but watch the Bulldogs every fall.
Eastman is home to the world's first Stuckey's roadside convenience store. At least they have that.
The real issue with Cordele is blight. Families here live well below the poverty line.
Public education in Thomaston means students get some of the least support from the government. Which means more crowded classrooms and less attention. And, 1 in 10 parents of the kids in Thomaston are unemployed, and those who have jobs make less than $25,000 a year.
The average cost of a home in Thomaston is $60,000.
Thomaston is located out in the boonies about 90 minutes south of Atlanta.
How we determined the worst places to live in Georgia for 2020
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. 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, Swainsboro ranks as the worst city to live in Georgia for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Georgia:
- Johns Creek (Pop. 83,637)
- Decatur (Pop. 23,054)
- Alpharetta (Pop. 64,672)
For more Georgia reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Georgia?