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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
Here in Monticello, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in New York. That's not a good combination.
Located in Sullivan County, you have a 1 in 62.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Monticello city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (13.3%). That's good for the highest unemployment rate in New York.
Newburgh ranks as the 2nd-worst place in New York due to a variety of factors, placing in the bottom third for unemployment, median income, and crime.
On top of that, residents have the 81st-worst commute of any place in the state.
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.
The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Rochester. The only real difference is Rochester is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.
However, the unemployment rate in Rochester is at 11.3%, which is the 3rd worst in New York. And households earn a combined $33,399 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Rochester is merely $82,000.
Rochester is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.
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 a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Endicott is the 4th most dangerous place you can live in New York.
Residents in Endicott have a 1 in 24.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.
When you're considering home prices, you can't do much lower than in Endicott, where average homes are valued at only$87,600. That's the 22nd-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.
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.
The city of Poughkeepsie is the 7th worst place you can live in the state of New York in 2020.
It's unlucky for Poughkeepsie, which has the 5th highest unemployment rate (10.6%), the 40th lowest household incomes ($42,296) and the 77th lowest home prices in the state ($194,900).
Basically, a lot of people in Poughkeepsie 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.
Sure, it's in a beautiful area, and there's lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you're measuring desirability, it's the 8th worst in New York.
Salamanca residents had a 1 in 28.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Salamanca is through the roof, as more than 9.4% of the population can't get a job. At least their mortgages aren't too high; at $66,400, Salamanca has the 3rd-lowest home prices in the state of New York.
There's probably not many people in New York that would be surprised to see Binghamton on this list. In fact, if Binghamton wasn't somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.
Here are the statistics. Binghamton has the 4th worst crime rate in New York. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 326 violent crimes in Binghamton in 2020. Residents here had a 1 in 139 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.
The home values in Binghamton are the 25th cheapest in the state ($89,400), the unemployment rate is the 4th highest (10.9%), and the annual household income is 7th lowest in New York, at $31,905. That's basically at the poverty level for a family of four.
When you're looking at science and data, Lockport is the worst place you can live in New York. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate here is 6.6%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $90,100, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 24.8 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That's not fun, either.
Lockport is a far drive south from Louisville.
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?