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:
- Newburgh (Photos)
- Monticello (Photos)
- Rochester (Photos)
- Lockport (Photos)
- Poughkeepsie (Photos)
- Binghamton (Photos)
- Niagara Falls (Photos)
- Buffalo (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 Newburgh.
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 — Newburgh. 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.
Newburgh needs some tough love as it ranks as the 1st worst city to live in New York for 2019.
Crime in Newburgh is the 33rd highest in the state, where 1 in 38.1 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
Additionally, the income is almost dead last in New York.
If commute time is important, Newburgh residents have the 74th longest commute of any residents on our list.
Monticello, NY needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 101st worst in the state, which is very high considering Monticello is so far removed from the rest of New York.
If you know anyone in Monticello, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in New York, Rochester came in 3rd. Let’s see why.
The city has very bad crime (14th worst) and an employment rate that’s nearly the highest for cities of its size 12.0%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $89,800 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (17th worst)
More on Endicott: Data
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in New York, Endicott ranks 4th worst. Let’s see why.
Here in Endicott, crime is the 4th highest in the state, and 1 out of 23.2 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.
That’s not the first place you think of making home, is it?
Additionally, you have a 1 in 126 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That’s really high.
When you look at adult education in New York, the folks in Endicott have the 62nd highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Endicott undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.
The unemployment rate is the 17th highest in New York, at 10.2%. That’s actually on par with the national average, which means New York has some hard workers.
Lockport, NY needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 6.6%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 2nd highest in the state. You have a 1 in 21.0 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
Poughkeepsie 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.
Poughkeepsie residents earn the 37th-lowest salaries in the state. At $40,840 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $190,400, which means there isn’t a lot of demand.
Crime is the 58th highest in New York per capita, and the unemployment rate here is 2nd highest in the state, at 12.7%.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
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.
The unemployment rate in Binghamton is a sky high 11.7%, which is the 8th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Binghamton is $31,103. That means 33.3% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn’t horrible here, but you have a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within city limits every year.
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.
you’re looking to live in New York, Buffalo might not be the best choice as it places 10th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.
Buffalo 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, Buffalo may not be your first choice for a vacation.
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, Newburgh 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:
- Sea Cliff (Pop. 5,085)
- North Hills (Pop. 5,524)
- Massapequa Park (Pop. 17,223)
For more New York reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire 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