The 10 Worst Small Towns In Massachusetts For 2022


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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst small places to live in Massachusetts.

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 101 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 2022? 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 2022

1. Shelburne Falls

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,659
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $235,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (13th worst)
More on Shelburne Falls:  Data

2. Millers Falls

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,158
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $179,200 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (11th worst)
More on Millers Falls:  Data

3. Onset

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,049
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $276,700 (23rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.5% (worst)
More on Onset:  Data

4. Monson Center

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,688
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $212,400 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (14th worst)
More on Monson Center:  Data

5. West Wareham

West Wareham, MA

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,398
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $167,500 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (37th worst)
More on West Wareham:  Data | Photos

6. Orange

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,882
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $159,200 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (5th worst)
More on Orange:  Data

7. Winchendon

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,673
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $199,800 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (25th worst)
More on Winchendon:  Data

8. North Plymouth

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,258
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $342,200 (44th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (3rd worst)
More on North Plymouth:  Data

9. Dennis Port

Dennis Port, MA

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,523
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $326,800 (42nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (39th worst)
More on Dennis Port:  Data | Photos

10. Townsend

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,276
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 19)
Median Home Value: $250,300 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (69th worst)
More on Townsend:  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 2022

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 2016-2020 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 - 101 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. The Pinehills (Pop. 4,531)
  2. Cordaville (Pop. 2,884)
  3. Hanscom AFB (Pop. 2,119)

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 1,659 9.0% $235,600
2 Millers Falls 1,158 9.8% $179,200
3 Onset 1,049 20.5% $276,700
4 Monson Center 1,688 9.0% $212,400
5 West Wareham 2,398 4.9% $167,500
6 Orange 3,882 13.3% $159,200
7 Winchendon 4,673 6.3% $199,800
8 North Plymouth 4,258 14.0% $342,200
9 Dennis Port 3,523 4.8% $326,800
10 Townsend 1,276 2.7% $250,300
11 Wareham Center 2,631 6.3% $320,000
12 Baldwinville 2,137 19.1% $227,800
13 Ocean Grove 2,434 10.3% $223,600
14 West Brookfield 1,511 3.7% $242,200
15 Smith Mills 4,706 3.2% $302,400
16 Turners Falls 3,682 2.9% $211,100
17 Groton 1,127 4.0% $384,000
18 Acushnet Center 3,403 6.1% $249,700
19 North Lakeville 3,226 3.4% $355,000
20 North Westport 4,787 2.2% $300,800
21 Lenox 1,984 4.8% $279,300
22 Holland 1,430 2.8% $248,600
23 White Island Shores 2,409 6.0% $291,100
24 Brewster 1,347 13.9% $396,100
25 Pepperell 2,685 6.0% $300,000
26 Belchertown 3,037 6.7% $261,500
27 South Dennis 2,895 1.8% $323,300
28 Fiskdale 3,015 5.7% $302,300
29 Granby 1,183 1.8% $240,400
30 Northwest Harwich 4,123 7.1% $454,700
31 Norton Center 2,758 5.8% $342,700
32 Vineyard Haven 1,903 2.9% $587,600
33 Orleans 1,519 3.5% $429,200
34 Wilbraham 3,251 1.4% $297,500
35 Dennis 1,962 6.9% $480,500
36 South Lancaster 1,575 10.1% $324,900
37 Pocasset 2,596 3.5% $392,900
38 Ayer 2,551 3.5% $311,400
39 Bellingham 4,216 4.3% $283,200
40 Devens 2,007 1.9% $329,000
41 North Eastham 1,741 11.4% $544,700
42 Provincetown 2,730 7.6% $720,600
43 East Brookfield 1,273 2.0% $235,600
44 Harwich Port 1,906 2.2% $549,000
45 West Chatham 1,224 0.0% $638,000
46 Hopedale 3,643 8.5% $316,800
47 Lee 1,508 5.6% $248,000
48 East Dennis 3,068 4.3% $491,400
49 Falmouth 3,751 1.7% $578,400
50 West Dennis 2,479 1.4% $397,300
51 Lunenburg 1,593 3.7% $272,900
52 Harwich Center 1,383 8.6% $426,900
53 North Brookfield 2,423 1.3% $209,100
54 Westborough 4,024 3.1% $413,300
55 Great Barrington 2,213 1.5% $378,000
56 South Deerfield 2,150 4.4% $347,400
57 Marshfield Hills 2,389 0.0% $606,300
58 Buzzards Bay 3,208 1.7% $323,500
59 North Seekonk 2,158 6.8% $299,300
60 Ipswich 4,826 5.2% $437,700
61 Bourne 1,377 8.5% $436,800
62 Rutland 1,749 5.2% $258,700
63 East Pepperell 1,916 3.2% $324,300
64 Forestdale 3,744 2.8% $371,500
65 Littleton Common 3,370 8.5% $394,400
66 Marion Center 1,061 9.1% $655,900
67 Chatham 1,550 2.7% $1,016,900
68 Sturbridge 2,101 0.0% $293,600
69 Shirley 1,716 0.0% $259,600
70 Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock 4,843 4.7% $375,800
71 Sandwich 2,928 5.4% $385,700
72 East Sandwich 3,628 4.0% $496,800
73 Raynham Center 4,561 3.8% $373,400
74 Williamstown 4,565 2.6% $371,800
75 Upton 2,279 11.3% $385,200
76 Weweantic 1,287 2.0% $258,200
77 East Douglas 2,985 1.6% $303,800
78 Hatfield 1,154 0.7% $362,700
79 Essex 1,697 2.6% $560,100
80 Mashpee Neck 1,403 2.8% $400,000
81 Sagamore 3,792 3.9% $413,000
82 Teaticket 1,608 2.2% $375,500
83 East Harwich 4,756 1.8% $460,100
84 Topsfield 3,046 4.3% $621,200
85 Hopkinton 3,864 7.1% $569,600
86 Dover 2,518 12.2% $986,000
87 Millis-Clicquot 4,455 1.8% $380,300
88 Monument Beach 3,173 0.0% $376,000
89 North Falmouth 2,572 4.2% $550,200
90 Duxbury 1,723 4.5% $1,036,300
91 Mattapoisett Center 3,193 1.2% $497,400
92 North Pembroke 4,159 2.3% $386,200
93 South Duxbury 3,338 5.1% $788,000
94 Nahant 3,512 2.2% $582,600
95 Boxford 2,925 3.1% $696,700
96 West Falmouth 1,836 3.7% $645,200
97 Rowley 1,803 2.8% $471,500
98 Hanson 1,880 1.5% $350,000
99 The Pinehills 4,531 0.5% $569,300
100 Cordaville 2,884 1.8% $614,600

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