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 161 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,100 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of New York:
- Rochester (Photos)
- Monticello (Photos)
- Newburgh (Photos)
- Niagara Falls (Photos)
- Binghamton (Photos)
- Buffalo (Photos)
- Utica (Photos)
- Syracuse (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 New York? That would be Rochester.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more New York reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In New York
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New York
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In New York
How we determined the worst places to live in New York 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 161 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 161 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 — Rochester. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in New York.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Rochester, part of Monroe County, is the 1st worst place to live in New York for 2019.
. Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $32,347, and crime 14th worst in New York.
Additionally, the poverty level is 33.1% in Rochester.
you’re looking to live in New York, Monticello might not be the best choice as it places 2nd in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.
Monticello doesn’t have the worst crime in the state, but it’s sure up there. And when you factor in one of the lowest household incomes in the state and a sky high unemployment rate, Monticello may not be your first choice for a vacation.
Newburgh’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.
Newburgh has the 33rd worst crime index of any place in New York, and has the 25th lowest income.
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $77,400 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (9th worst)
More on Gloversville: Data
Gloversville is right next door to Johnstown. Both areas are really undesirable, when looking at it from a scientific perspective. However, Gloversville takes the cake as the worst of the worst.
The issue with Gloversville is crime and homes that are some of the least expensive in the state. For an average price of $77,400, you can live in Gloversville. Does that tell you how bad it is here?
Additionally, Gloversville currently has a huge problem with robberies. If you’re within Gloversville city limits, you have a 1 in 41.6 chance of being robbed. Perhaps it’s the high unemployment rate (11.1%) or the low income levels ($35,397 per household), but you simply can’t let your guard down if you live here.
Niagara Falls is the 2nd most dangerous place in the state of New York. We’re not talking about falling over the cliffs. And yes, pick pocketers preying on unsuspecting tourists is probably a high number of those crimes. But the fact remains, that when you’re within Niagara Falls city limits, you have a 1 in 21.0 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.
Does that sound like a fun place to live? Did you know Niagara Falls also has the 23rd highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.4%? Or that homes are only valued at $69,900?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s little demand to live in Niagara Falls.
Binghamton ranks as the 6th worst place to live in New York for 2019.
While the unemployment rate is high (but not terrible), crime is a real factor here. It’s the 4th most dangerous place you can live in New York, according to the latest FBI numbers. If you live here, you have a high chance of being a victim each year.
Residents here earn about $31,103 a year. That’s in the bottom half of what people in New York normally make.
Located on your way to somewhere else you’d want to be, Buffalo has few options for some sort of entertainment.
The main issues here are economic and education. The unemployment rate is also sky high here (8.8%) and homes are the 14th cheapest in the state ($77,800).
Say what you want about ‘cheap living’, the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s absolutely no demand to live in Buffalo.
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $89,800 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (17th worst)
More on Endicott: Data
Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Endicott ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 30th cheapest in the state here at $89,800. Say what you want about low cost of living. What the data says is that cheaper homes means less demand. And there isn’t a lot of demand to live in Endicott.
The median income levels here are the 20th lowest in the state of New York, at $35,371. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And almost 10.2% of people in Endicott were without jobs according to the latest numbers.
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.
When you’re looking at science and data, Syracuse is the 10th 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. Syracuse is the 24th most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 30.0 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.
Homes here average $91,100, which is the 32nd lowest 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 Syracuse.
Income levels are just about $34,716, the 17th lowest in New York.
When you add it all up, Syracuse really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.
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, Rochester ranks as the worst city to live in New York for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New York:
- Floral Park (Pop. 16,269)
- East Hills (Pop. 7,114)
- North Hills (Pop. 5,524)
For more New York reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Places In New York
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In New York
- 10 Safest Places In New York According To Science
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In New York
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In New York