Most Americans have never been to Wisconsin. However, as the people who live there know, Wisconsin is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Wisconsin has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Badger State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 229 of Wisconsin’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Wisconsin where you’d never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Wisconsin for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Little Round Lake is the worst small town to live in Wisconsin.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Wisconsin 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.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin for 2019
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 2013-2017 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 – 229 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.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $81,800 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.6% (1st worst)
More on Little Round Lake: Data
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $110,700 (64th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.6% (2nd worst)
More on Lac Du Flambeau: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $62,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (14th worst)
More on Hurley: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $103,900 (47th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (25th worst)
More on Crandon: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $87,100 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (8th worst)
More on Keshena: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $94,000 (33rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (3rd worst)
More on Centuria: Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $82,100 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (18th worst)
More on Adams: Data
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $89,100 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (77th worst)
More on Wittenberg: Data
Rank Last Year: 36 (Up 26)
Median Home Value: $89,400 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (74th worst)
More on Cornell: Data
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Wisconsin
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Badger 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 Wisconsin, according to science:
- Merton (Pop. 3,574)
- Bayside (Pop. 4,450)
- Maple Bluff (Pop. 1,441)
For more Wisconsin reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Wisconsin
- 10 Safest Places In Wisconsin
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Wisconsin
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Wisconsin
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Wisconsin
|1||Little Round Lake||1,338|
|2||Lac Du Flambeau||1,725|
|52||St. Croix Falls||1,918|
|72||Black River Falls||3,537|