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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
The city of Monticello is the worst place you can live in the state of New York in 2020.
It's unlucky for Monticello, which has the highest unemployment rate (13.3%), the 6th lowest household incomes ($31,754) and the 37th lowest home prices in the state ($103,700).
Basically, a lot of people in Monticello are out of work. And crime is certainly a factor here as well. Although it's not one of the most dangerous places we'll look at, it's in the top 20%.
Add it all up, and this is truly one of the worst places you could live in New York.
Out of all the places to live in New York, Newburgh ranks as the 2nd worst -- not something to brag about.
Newburgh's unemployment rate stands at 9.1%. While the income levels out here are some of the lowest in the state. Residents earn a combined $37,900 a year in salaries. That's not enough to really get ahead in life.
Additionally, the homes are the 66th cheapest in the entire state at $162,600. Again, some people like the cheap cost of living, but housing is priced on demand, and the fact is, there's not a lot of demand to live way out in Newburgh. Plus, what do you do for fun here anyway?
Crime is the 39th worst in the state. You have a 1 in 43.0 chance of being robbed here and a 1 in 85 chance of being attacked or raped. Yikes.
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 ranks as the 4th worst city on this list.
Rochester has the 14th highest crime rate in New York, where residents have a 1 in 29.5 chance of being robbed every year. Homes are the 16th cheapest in the state ($82,000), and the uninsured rate here is far below average as well.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $87,600 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (10th worst)
More on Endicott: Data
Endicott is the 5th worst city in New York for 2020. When you're comparing other cities to Endicott, things just don't look great, at least according to science.
Endicott is the 4th most dangerous place in New York, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job -- at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 9.9%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($87,600), and residents earn just $37,920 a year.
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.
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 Poughkeepsie. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 10.6% (which is really high), and the median income is $42,296. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren't a complete mess.
Salamanca needs some tough love as it ranks as the 8th worst city to live in New York for 2020. 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 Salamanca is the 33rd highest in the state, where 1 in 28.3 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
Binghamton doesn't have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 10.9%, and people average less than $31,905 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $89,400, 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.
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:
- Best Places To Retire In New York
- 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?