These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In New York For 2018

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

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

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

After analyzing more than 328 of New York’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in New York where you’d never want to live:

  1. St. Regis Falls
  2. Lyon Mountain
  3. Sand Ridge
  4. Redwood
  5. Madrid
  6. Winthrop
  7. Red Creek
  8. Smithville Flats
  9. East Randolph
  10. Hammond

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since New York 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 New York or the worst places to live in New York.

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

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in New York, 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 crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 328 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.

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1. St. Regis Falls

Population: 398
Median Income: $36,667
Median Home Value: $44,600

2. Lyon Mountain

Population: 323
Median Income: $28,839
Median Home Value: $48,000

3. Sand Ridge

Population: 642
Median Income: $37,614
Median Home Value: $74,800

4. Redwood

Population: 702
Median Income: $33,333
Median Home Value: $80,500

5. Madrid

Population: 684
Median Income: $37,917
Median Home Value: $83,400

6. Winthrop

Population: 324
Median Income: $50,495
Median Home Value: $53,000

7. Red Creek

Population: 661
Median Income: $33,359
Median Home Value: $71,500

8. Smithville Flats

Population: 460
Median Income: $36,188
Median Home Value: $86,300

9. East Randolph

Population: 561
Median Income: $24,531
Median Home Value: $77,500

10. Hammond

Population: 335
Median Income: $31,750
Median Home Value: $63,300

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In New York

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Empire 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 New York, according to science.

  1. Best: Grand View-on-Hudson
  2. 2nd Best: Hewlett Neck
  3. 3rd Best: Woodsburgh

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Places In New York
  • These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In New York
  • These Are The 10 Safest Places In New York According To Science
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In New York

    City Rank Population Home Price
    St. Regis Falls 1 398 $44,600
    Lyon Mountain 2 323 $48,000
    Sand Ridge 3 642 $74,800
    Redwood 4 702 $80,500
    Madrid 5 684 $83,400
    Winthrop 6 324 $53,000
    Red Creek 7 661 $71,500
    Smithville Flats 8 460 $86,300
    East Randolph 9 561 $77,500
    Hammond 10 335 $63,300
    Altona 11 789 $66,000
    Lakeville 12 736 $124,600
    Kennedy 13 415 $68,200
    Silver Springs 14 916 $74,600
    Downsville 15 614 $102,100
    Fowlerville 16 292 $97,700
    Panama 17 428 $84,600
    Hailesboro 18 761 $144,500
    Hunter 19 352 $168,300
    Rensselaer Falls 20 369 $65,000
    Prattsville 21 279 $130,700
    Richburg 22 546 $53,000
    Sharon Springs 23 518 $107,100
    Cold Brook 24 318 $73,500
    Springwater Hamlet 25 464 $78,700
    Smyrna 26 266 $73,100
    Canaseraga 27 597 $57,100
    Savannah 28 437 $60,800
    Brushton 29 716 $82,700
    Hermon 30 401 $74,800
    Cleveland 31 708 $82,400
    Chateaugay 32 663 $80,500
    Rushville 33 716 $111,600
    Oxbow 34 125 $81,800
    Constableville 35 269 $75,000
    Narrowsburg 36 278 $156,300
    Star Lake 37 730 $66,500
    Nelliston 38 499 $81,800
    Remsen 39 513 $75,000
    Campbell 40 672 $86,000
    Millport 41 490 $70,200
    Belfast 42 866 $57,000
    Antwerp 43 575 $101,600
    Harrisville 44 620 $74,100
    Woodridge 45 995 $121,600
    Cohocton 46 900 $73,300
    Chestertown 47 443 $189,900
    Dresden 48 446 $88,400
    Cherry Creek 49 452 $57,500
    Pottersville 50 290 $93,100
    Verona 51 695 $96,600
    Sinclairville 52 701 $75,200
    Lisle 53 267 $90,000
    Sherman 54 692 $72,100
    Kysorville 55 163 $46,300
    Cumminsville 56 134 $42,800
    Central Bridge 57 221 $79,300
    Savona 58 781 $82,200
    Old Forge 59 585 $205,500
    Riverside 60 611 $74,100
    Perrysburg 61 411 $92,500
    Lodi 62 363 $59,900
    Unadilla 63 866 $94,800
    Clayville 64 306 $84,600
    East Kingston 65 506 $140,900
    Pike 66 188 $55,000
    Glen Aubrey 67 324 $127,700
    North Rose 68 496 $92,400
    Groveland Station 69 260 $77,700
    Colton 70 395 $99,100
    Ripley 71 972 $58,200
    West Chazy 72 822 $114,700
    Prattsburgh 73 717 $81,500
    Dekalb Junction 74 586 $109,200
    Gainesville 75 169 $69,700
    Pine Hill 76 246 $161,300
    Belmont 77 921 $63,100
    Farnham 78 365 $98,900
    Rushford 79 320 $53,600
    Lorraine 80 109 $91,300
    Deferiet 81 341 $99,500
    Fleischmanns 82 308 $131,000
    Richville 83 330 $76,900
    Hunt 84 122 $59,100
    Margaretville 85 606 $175,000
    Romulus 86 479 $72,300
    Bloomingburg 87 428 $226,600
    Hartwick 88 634 $155,100
    Castorland 89 365 $128,900
    Port Leyden 90 772 $84,700
    Barker 91 757 $91,500
    Ovid 92 646 $94,500
    Phoenicia 93 267 $204,100
    Busti 94 389 $97,200
    Marathon 95 848 $102,000
    Lime Lake 96 774 $110,000
    Sylvan Beach 97 754 $92,900
    Pine Valley 98 797 $110,600
    Limestone 99 380 $67,700
    Burke 100 193 $87,800

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    13 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In New York For 2018

    1. Living in the suburbs of Panama (#5), not in the town proper, I’d say the stretch comes in measuring a town by a few numbers. You would be hard pressed to find a more caring community filled with hard working people. Least densely populated? Maybe the over 1000 of acres of state lands has something to do with that, along with the farms, and larger land plots owned by residents. I’d be tempted to check out the other towns on this list if I ever have to move on from here.

    2. Boy, you missed the boat on many of these. And there are several smaller towns that never made this list. You probably all live in high rise apartments in the city. Snobs.

    3. Panama is in fact, a village, not a town. Charted in 1861. We are located in the Town of Harmony. Panama is also zoned…meaning that no farms can be located in the village unless they existed before zoning, as they were grandfathered in. (The exception being 4-H animal projects) If the farms are sold out of the family that currently owns them, they will not be able to be farmed without a variance. There are large farms in the surrounding area, many have been in families for generations. “Not much inside entertainment to be had.” Our school has one of the top music programs in the area. The auditorium is filled to standing capacity for concerts, musicals and plays. The area churches come together to present a spring musical. Basketball, volleyball, swim meets are attended by everyone, young and old. Our boys basketball team was recently ranked 3rd in the state, our girls basketball team, 2nd in the state. Not bad for a school of 750 students, preK-12. We have a dodge ball tournament that is second to none each year. The kids love it! And if you can’t find much ‘inside entertainment’, that’s a good thing, seeing that we are surrounded by thousands of acres of state lands, which contain hiking trails and in the winter cross country ski trails, as well as having an extensive network of seasonal roads. Miles of groomed and maintained snowmobile trails are found around the village also. We are about 13 miles from Peek and Peak Ski Resort. And let’s not forget Panama Rocks. A geological wonder. An ancient ocean floor which can be hiked and climbed. It is the pride of Panama. Our volunteer fire department is top rate. Their call response time is one of the (fastest) top in the county. In fact, it is being included in a study as to how this is possible…easy….when the siren goes off, many volunteers drop what they are doing and head to the call. Many have an agreement with their employer to do so. Being a volunteer, you don’t get time off from your job after you’ve been out all night fighting a fire. I’ve seen many men and women walking bleary-eyed into work after being out all night trying to save someone’s property. When responding to a call, there is a very high possibility that you know that person, are good friend of that person or even related to that person. Numerous fund raisers and dinners have been given by the people in and around this village for those that have had house fires, injuries or illnesses that have kept them from work. You can always count on the people to just ‘show up’ and help out if you need it, and haven’t even asked for it! Just passing the hat at a basketball game for someone who recently lost their house to a fire collected more than $500..I am proud to say that I am a third generation Panamanian. If I was ever to move, I would check out the other towns that made your infamous list. They sound just like the paradise that I live in and have raised my children in. If you would like to read about the history of our village, please purchase the book, Remembering Panama, Glimpses of the Past by Pamela A. Brown and Heather J. Schneider. You’ll know why we stay here.

    4. “Than you’d better get in shape. ” **Then** How am I supposed to trust a journalist that can’t even write?
      I live in Brushton. Low crime rate, fresh air, and quiet…and no, I don’t go to any of the churches around here.

    5. Although I have never lived in Altmar, I have visited there on several occasions and except for the world-class salmon and steel head fishing, the presence of the best snow mobile trail system in the eastern U.S. and an annual snowfall that requires that the trails be groomed every other day, I would pretty much agree with your rating.

    6. I’ve lived in the Utica area for 70 years and never heard of Nelliston. I go north and south of Utica a lot, and never saw any Nelliston south of Utica. When I looked it up it’s actually 35 miles to the East of Utica. As a scientist I’d say that isn’t a very accurate depiction.

      Further, the assumption that low population density is a bad thing, is clearly unscientific and illogical. Would you rather have a thousand people living within a block of your home, or ten?

    7. So people packed together in high density with crazy high home prices, would give a higher score? I think that is a value judgement that some may like, others of us would totally reject. I understand the crime and the unemployment measures.

      But come on, in these towns you can buy a decent home for well under 100k, and in some really pretty areas of NY. Physical beauty should also have been taken into account. Just some thoughts.

    8. How ignorant is all u, if u was og u know Hempstead is the most dangerous, og, gang filled town in all of NY. We gots the crips, blood, bdk, gdk, bd, gd, ms13, 18 st, vatos locos, and alot of other gangs u ain’t heard of. I rep no set, but Ik the seriousness of gangs & I’m warning all of u that ain’t from the ‘Stead & fk Uniondale. U all wannabes, u ain’t never gonna be Hempstead.

    9. How is hooville(Hoosick falls) not on this list? With our poison water, crooked ass judges, failing infrastructure, and lack of employment.

    10. I actually love small town living and upstate NY has a lot of beauty I would take any of these towns over Elmira NY any day.. these places seem beautiful and affordable

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