Worst Small Towns In Massachusetts For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in Massachusetts are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Massachusetts.

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Most Americans have never been to Massachusetts. However, as the people who live there know, Massachusetts is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Massachusetts has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Bay State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 95 of Massachusetts's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Massachusetts where you'd never want to live:

So what is the worst small town to call home in massachusetts for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Shelburne Falls is the worst small town to live in Massachusetts.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Massachusetts has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Massachusetts or the worst places to live in Massachusetts.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Massachusetts For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,756
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $210,500 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (16th worst)
More on Shelburne Falls:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,837
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $151,300 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (7th worst)
More on Orange:  Data

West Wareham, MA

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,173
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $196,600 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (37th worst)
More on West Wareham:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,662
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $177,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (44th worst)
More on Winchendon:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,239
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $182,400 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (4th worst)
More on Millers Falls:  Data

South Dennis, MA

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,684
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $288,800 (37th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (20th worst)
More on South Dennis:  Data | Photos

Groton, MA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,147
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $357,000 (59th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.8% (1st worst)
More on Groton:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,811
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $197,500 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (17th worst)
More on Monson Center:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,963
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 12)
Median Home Value: $223,200 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (2nd worst)
More on Ocean Grove:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,365
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $209,200 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (33rd worst)
More on Holland:  Data

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Massachusetts, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in Massachusetts for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 95 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Massachusetts

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Bay State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Massachusetts, according to science:

  1. South Duxbury (Pop. 3,613)
  2. Dover (Pop. 2,533)
  3. Nahant (Pop. 3,495)

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Massachusetts

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Shelburne Falls 1,756 7.9% $210,500
2 Orange 3,837 9.8% $151,300
3 West Wareham 2,173 5.7% $196,600
4 Winchendon 3,662 5.2% $177,300
5 Millers Falls 1,239 11.0% $182,400
6 South Dennis 3,684 7.7% $288,800
7 Groton 1,147 15.8% $357,000
8 Monson Center 1,811 7.9% $197,500
9 Ocean Grove 2,963 12.6% $223,200
10 Holland 1,365 6.0% $209,200
11 Turners Falls 4,100 4.5% $200,100
12 West Brookfield 1,330 3.3% $193,100
13 Smith Mills 4,717 6.0% $287,100
14 Lee 1,841 9.5% $241,500
15 North Plymouth 3,787 4.8% $308,400
16 Dennis Port 3,373 5.9% $325,500
17 East Dennis 2,366 8.0% $468,800
18 Shirley 1,782 5.0% $255,000
19 West Dennis 2,179 5.7% $419,100
20 West Chatham 1,272 0.0% $582,700
21 Townsend 1,372 3.1% $210,500
22 Provincetown 2,628 7.1% $622,900
23 Devens 1,913 6.2% $302,900
24 Chatham 1,480 6.6% $797,400
25 Weweantic 1,880 2.3% $251,000
26 Granby 1,318 1.6% $223,800
27 Great Barrington 2,492 3.4% $329,300
28 East Brookfield 1,124 3.7% $227,200
29 Pepperell 2,573 6.6% $272,300
30 Northfield 1,237 4.3% $243,800
31 Acushnet Center 3,136 5.2% $246,600
32 Belchertown 2,841 5.1% $248,400
33 Lenox 1,998 7.4% $298,000
34 Wareham Center 3,690 3.4% $233,100
35 North Lakeville 2,936 2.6% $343,200
36 Northwest Harwich 4,033 5.9% $391,700
37 Orleans 1,867 5.1% $435,500
38 Baldwinville 1,894 2.0% $188,300
39 White Island Shores 2,322 3.2% $260,200
40 Vineyard Haven 1,887 4.5% $546,100
41 North Seekonk 2,534 7.9% $287,100
42 Dennis 2,360 7.5% $506,400
43 Norton Center 2,879 6.7% $338,000
44 Salisbury 4,927 4.8% $356,500
45 Bellingham 4,652 11.3% $254,100
46 Barre 1,068 4.8% $202,000
47 North Westport 4,515 2.8% $288,700
48 North Eastham 1,548 0.8% $460,300
49 Harwich Port 1,739 3.7% $527,800
50 North Brookfield 2,269 4.1% $248,200
51 Williamstown 4,446 5.5% $365,900
52 Buzzards Bay 3,431 4.2% $282,800
53 Lunenburg 2,023 10.2% $248,900
54 South Lancaster 1,588 4.6% $283,900
55 Falmouth 3,508 1.9% $498,600
56 Bourne 1,169 10.6% $505,400
57 Marion Center 1,070 7.3% $714,000
58 East Pepperell 1,592 2.8% $279,200
59 Green Harbor-Cedar Crest 2,565 7.8% $386,800
60 Ayer 2,604 5.1% $289,600
61 Marshfield 4,976 5.4% $391,600
62 Brewster 1,757 3.9% $456,800
63 Harwich Center 1,511 9.4% $393,500
64 South Deerfield 1,859 0.0% $295,100
65 Sandwich 2,866 4.6% $359,900
66 Ipswich 4,384 3.5% $409,700
67 Sagamore 3,673 4.9% $391,600
68 Marshfield Hills 2,337 4.5% $627,300
69 Littleton Common 3,402 6.1% $359,000
70 Fiskdale 3,166 1.1% $318,600
71 Pocasset 3,069 2.2% $340,200
72 Raynham Center 4,522 3.5% $338,900
73 East Harwich 4,859 1.5% $382,600
74 Upton 2,529 9.1% $337,200
75 Hopedale 3,488 5.1% $298,000
76 Wilbraham 3,385 0.0% $319,800
77 Teaticket 1,597 5.2% $353,600
78 Rutland 2,121 3.2% $218,700
79 East Douglas 2,908 2.2% $277,500
80 Westborough 3,986 2.8% $378,700
81 Hatfield 1,352 0.8% $299,200
82 East Sandwich 3,478 4.8% $486,200
83 Hopkinton 2,844 9.1% $486,900
84 Sturbridge 2,169 0.0% $268,600
85 Millis-Clicquot 4,350 1.7% $327,400
86 Mattapoisett Center 3,594 4.0% $469,200
87 North Falmouth 2,698 6.1% $518,700
88 Forestdale 4,403 3.3% $334,600
89 Monument Beach 2,984 0.0% $382,800
90 Duxbury 1,668 8.5% $979,400
91 The Pinehills 1,350 3.9% $616,400
92 North Pembroke 3,255 2.2% $387,000
93 South Duxbury 3,613 4.1% $805,700
94 Dover 2,533 2.2% $937,700
95 Nahant 3,495 1.4% $628,200

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