Breaking Down The 50 Worst Cities To Live In

Written By: Jaymi Naciri
Monday, October 17, 2016

People looking to buy a new home or potentially >

You know, those cities where the home prices so far exceed the national average you need the income of a small, oil-rich country to afford to buy there?

Or one whose real estate market and/or job market is stagnant, or worse?

Or one with a crime rate that is enough to scare off literally potential buyers?

There are also lists that outline where not to buy for these and various other reasons, like this one from 24/7 Wall St. that whittled down 550 cities into a scroll of "Americas 50 Worst Cities To Live In." Their methodology was based on data "in nine major categories: crime, demographics, economy, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure, and leisure."

Many of the cities on the list are expected - places like Detroit that have been hard-hit by the economy and show few signs of recovery more on that below. But, you might be surprised by the No. 1 city on their list of: Miami.

Miami Herald

"No city in the United States is worse to live in than Miami," they said. "The citys median home value of 245,000 is well above the national median of 181,200. However, with a median household income of only 31,917 a year, well below the national median of 53,657, most of these homes are either out of reach or a financial burden on most Miami residents."

Unlike the images of seaside mansions and bikinied beachgoers that may spring to mind when you think of Miami, it turns out the city is not all glitz and glamour, thanks to a mindboggling disparity between the tippy-top of the citys wealthyand everyone else.

"According to recently >

Second on the list, the aforementioned Detroit, whose problems have been well-documented. Low home values and a high poverty level, not to mention the citys bankruptcy in 2013, make progress a challenge. But the high crime rate and educational issues might be the most upsetting factors.

"Although its hard to pick out the citys biggest problem, crime is a worthy contender," said Area Vibes, who named Detroit No. 1 on their list of worst cities. "A criminality rate thats 155 above the national average will have residents huddled in their homes after dark. Detroits struggles extend to the >

Detroit was also No. 3 on Neighborhood Scouts website of the Most Dangerous Cities. This site breaks out crime rates by violent and personal, and then further breaks down the data by type - a useful tool for those who want specific info >


The rest of the "worst" according to 24/7 Wall St. include:

3. Patterson, NJ - "Like many American industrial cities, Patersons economy is no longer prospering as it once was," they said. "More than 30 of the areas residents live in poverty, nearly double the national poverty rate."

4. Hawthorne, CA - "The poverty rate is not as high as in some other cities on the list, but the home values that are just astronomical make it near impossible for many of Hawthornes residents to afford a home," said Cities Journal. "It should also be pointed out that Hawthorne is a very polluted city where the air is hazardous about 15 percent of the year. The national median is about 6 percent."

5. Fall River, MA - "The median household income in Fall River is only 35,037, just roughly half the income a typical Massachusetts household earns and about 18,500 less than the income the typical American household earns," said 24/7 Wall St.

6. Birmingham, AL - Low home values, low incomes and a poverty rate of 30.5 - almost double the rate across the country - put Birmingham on the list.

7. Memphis, TN - Despite its deep musical roots, Memphis has experienced hard times of late. About a third of those in the city are living in poverty and violent crime is nearly five times higher than the national rate.

8. Flint, MI - The city of Flint, Michigan "has seen more than its fair share of struggles in the past few years, said Business Insider. "Its known as one of the most dangerous cities in America, and the poverty that afflicts the city is part of the reason its residents have been exposed to such dangerous levels of lead," which led to a state of emergency in the city. Flint has the second - highest poverty rate of any city in the U.S., at approximately 40.

9. Cleveland, OH - At just 24,701 a year, Clevelands median household income is the second lowest in the country, and its 39.2 poverty rate the fifth highest.

10. Gary IN - "Gary was called the murder capital of the world in the 1990s, but violent crime is down dramatically in Gary in recent years," said Forbes on their list of Most Miserable Cities. Still, the city is "plagued by high foreclosures and migration out of the city."

In fact, 24/7 Wall St. reports that, "Garys population is shrinking faster than that of any other U.S. city. The number of people that call Gary home has dropped by 26.7 in the last decade and by 25.5 in the last five years. A declining population is not especially surprising given the citys bleak economic conditions."

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Updated: Monday, September 23, 2019

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