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The state of New York. You can't possibly attempt to summarize the entire state in a couple of paragraphs. Except we can tell you, the people there are fiercely protective of where they live. And, like most other people in the northeast, they'd most likely you stay out. Even when you're on vacation.
If you've ever been to the state of New York (besides NYC), you'd know why it's a gem. If you haven't been, and actually venture out beyond the confines of downtown, you'd see it's one of the most beautiful places in the country.
But is it all good in The Empire State? Of course not. Just like every other state, New York has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities are the worst you could possibly live in if you make New York your home.
After analyzing 163 of the state's most populous cities (over 5,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of New York:
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 New York? That would be Monticello.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.
For more New York reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In New York
- Cheapest Places To Live In New York
- Most Dangerous Places In New York
The 10 Worst Places To Live In New York For 2021
Monticello doesn't have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 10.8%, and people average less than $31,723 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $106,900, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in New York.
And again, in terms of the overall 'enjoyment' factor, it's not easy to find fun on a Friday night.
Things are starting to get progressively more 'modern' and in line with what you expect in a great state such as New York when we get to Rochester. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 10.2% (which is really high), and the median income is $35,590. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren't a complete mess.
Welcome to Lockport, New York, where 1 in 16.7 people is without a job, and families bring in a combined $45,018 a year.
Crime is the 4th highest in New York, where you have a 1 in 26.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime, and every year, you have a 1 in 111 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered when you're within Lockport city limits.
Newburgh's main issue is crime. It's the 34th most dangerous place in the state of New York. Is that a surprise?
If you live in Newburgh, you have a 1 in 44.1 chance that you'll be the victim of a property crime. That's really high, especially for a city of its size. That's a lot of stolen lawn mowers, cell phones and cameras. Perhaps it's because the folks here live in far nicer homes than some of the other cities to top this list. They're targets.
The unemployment rate is higher than the state average at 6.6%.
If you live in Utica, you're either going to come to the defense of your city and tell us that we're idiots, or you secretly hoped you wouldn't see your city mentioned here. The fact is, Utica isn't necessarily a very desirable place to live, no matter how you look at it. And you probably know it.
Crime is the 13th highest in the whole state, per capita. Income levels are just about as low as you can expect, and homes are just about as cheap as you'll find within 300 miles.
Welcome to Poughkeepsie, which might be one of the poorest areas in New York. Residents average $43,794 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 19.4% of Poughkeepsie residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $196,800 and the unemployment rate hovers near 9.4%.
Binghamton is one of the poorest cities in the state of New York. This city has 10.4% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $34,487 a year.
Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. Binghamton has the 2nd highest crime rate in New York. While the numbers aren't staggering (New York 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 Empire State.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $88,300 (2worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (17th worst)
More on Endicott: Data
When you're looking at science and data, Endicott is the 8th worst place you can live in the state of New York. Let's see why.
First off, the crime here is really high, in comparison to the rest of New York. Endicott is the 2nd most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 23.7 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.
Homes here average $88,300, which is the 2lowest in the state. You can defend 'cheap living' all you want, but the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's not a lot of demand to live in Endicott.
Income levels are just about $41,339, the 28th lowest in New York.
When you add it all up, Endicott really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in New York, Brockport came in 9th. Let's see why.
Located in Monroe County with a population of 8,292, Brockport has the 16th highest unemployment rate in New York. Crime is high for the state as well, coming in as the 14th most dangerous.
Additionally, 25.7% of the population lives below the poverty line.
While numbers in New York are clearly better when you compare them to the rest of the nation, the fact is when you compare New York cities against one another, you see big differences.
Home values in Syracuse average $94,400, which is the 27th lowest in the state. Say what you want about 'cheap living,' the fact is homes are priced by demand, and there's not a lot of demand to live in Syracuse.
Plus, 31.0% of the population here lives below the poverty line.
Plus, the crime rate is the 20th highest in the state here. Every year, when you're within Syracuse city limits, you have a 1 in 32.0 chance of being robbed. That's a lot of broken into cars and homes.
How we determined the worst places to live in New York 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 163 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 163 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 New York -- Monticello. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in New York. 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 New York
If you're looking at areas in New York 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, Monticello ranks as the worst city to live in New York for 2021.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New York:
- Cedarhurst (Pop. 6,642)
- Great Neck Plaza (Pop. 6,957)
- Malverne (Pop. 8,517)
For more New York reading, check out:
- Richest Cities In New York
- Safest Places In New York According To Science
- Best Cities For Singles In New York
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In New York?