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, NY needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 10.2%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 33rd highest in the state. You have a 1 in 38.1 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
Monticello places 2nd in our ranking of the worst places to live in New York. Here, 18.1% of the adult population lack’s even a high school degree. That makes Monticello have the 26th highest adult drop out rate in New York.
Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $83,700 each — the 21st lowest in New York.
As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of demand to live here.
While numbers in New York are clearly better when you compare them to the rest of the nation, the fact is when you compare New York cities against one another, you see big differences.
Home values in Rochester average $79,400, which is the 17th lowest in the state. Say what you want about ‘cheap living,’ the fact is homes are priced by demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Rochester.
Plus, 33.1% of the population here lives below the poverty line.
Plus, the crime rate is the 14th highest in the state here. Every year, when you’re within Rochester city limits, you have a 1 in 26.4 chance of being robbed. That’s a lot of broken into cars and homes.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $89,800 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (17th worst)
More on Endicott: Data
This may or may not be a surprise to you, but Endicott is the 4th most dangerous city in New York. For such a small city, there are an astounding number of property crimes. Residents here have a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of some sort of robbery when within city limits every year. That’s lots of stolen cell phones, guns, snowmobiles and lobster traps.
Besides the crime, there are a few other factors why Endicott might be one of the worst places to live. The home values here are pretty cheap. Why is that not a good thing? Because the salaries of people working in Endicott are really low. People here earn about $35,371 a year per household.
Additionally, the public schools in Endicott are some of the lowest funded in the state.
When all is said and done, you could find much more desirable places to live in New York than in Endicott.
Lockport is the 2nd most dangerous place in the state of New York. That’s part of the reason it’s the 5th worst place in New York.
The fact remains, that when you’re within Lockport 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 Lockport also has the 72nd highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.6%? Or that homes are only valued at $88,500?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s little demand to live in Lockport.
Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Poughkeepsie ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 80th cheapest in the state here at $190,400. 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 Poughkeepsie.
The median income levels here are the 37th lowest in the state of New York, at $40,840. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And almost 12.7% of people in Poughkeepsie were without jobs according to the latest numbers.
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.
Here in Binghamton, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in New York. That’s not a good combination.
Located in Broome County, you have a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Binghamton city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (11.7%). That’s good for the 8th highest unemployment rate in New York.
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.
Buffalo 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.
Buffalo residents earn the 15th-lowest salaries in the state. At $34,268 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $77,800, which means there isn’t a lot of demand.
Crime is the 8th highest in New York per capita, and the unemployment rate here is 30th highest in the state, at 8.8%.
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