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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 162 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:
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 2020.
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 2020
Monticello takes the worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons -- below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Monticello its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index -- the 8worst in the whole state.
Newburgh doesn't have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 9.1%, and people average less than $37,900 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $162,600, 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.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $76,800 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (18th 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 $76,800, 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 41.2 chance of being robbed. Perhaps it's the high unemployment rate (8.9%) or the low income levels ($37,416 per household), but you simply can't let your guard down if you live here.
Rochester needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Rochester. That's not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Rochester. Of the 162 cities considered in this ranking, Rochester had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Rochester have New York's 16th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 3rd and 14th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of "Worst City in New York."
If you know anyone in Rochester, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $87,600 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (10th worst)
More on Endicott: Data
You might have passed through Endicott once and probably throught it seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.
Here's what science says about why Endicott needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 9.9%, residents earn about $37,920 a year, and home prices are just over $87,600. Across the board, those are in the bottom half in the state. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.
And there simply isn't anything to do in Endicott.
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.
Poughkeepsie, NY needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 60th worst in the state, which is very high considering Poughkeepsie is so far removed from the rest of New York.
If you know anyone in Poughkeepsie, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
you're looking to live in New York, Salamanca might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2020.
Salamanca 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, Salamanca may not be your first choice for a vacation.
Binghamton is also a pretty crummy place to live, when you look at the numbers. Yes, we're aware that it's beautiful and "fun". But that ignores important things like jobs and income.
Binghamton residents earn the 7th-lowest salaries in the state. At $31,905 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $89,400, which means there isn't a lot of demand.
Crime is the 4th highest in New York per capita, and the unemployment rate here is 4th highest in the state, at 10.9%.
When you're looking at science and data, Lockport 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. Lockport is the 2nd most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 24.8 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.
Homes here average $90,100, which is the 26th 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 Lockport.
Income levels are just about $43,911, the 46th lowest in New York.
When you add it all up, Lockport really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.
How we determined the worst places to live in New York 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 162 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 162 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 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New York:
- Floral Park (Pop. 16,209)
- Massapequa Park (Pop. 17,120)
- Malverne (Pop. 8,535)
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?