Cities Journal
City Life

These Are The Worst Cities In The U.S.


Here at Cities Journal, we often find an interesting study or research and we build a nice little article around it for you to enjoy. This research usually looks at a particular facet of the urban life in the many metropolitan areas around the United States.

Today, however, we are doing something different. We will be looking at the worst cities in the U.S. Even more precisely, these are the worst places to live in the country, according to the people from 24/7 Wall St.

In their most comprehensive study yet, they looked at 550 cities in the U.S. with more than 65,000 residents and they collected data from all over the place, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Education, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, among others.

They also looked at a number of factors, divided into the following nine major categories: demographics, crime, economy, environment, education, health, infrastructure, housing, and leisure. The indices for all of these categories were formulated very precisely and the results have been normalized to provide accurate data according to which the cities could be ranked.

According to them, the worst place to live in the United States is none other than Miami, Florida, and for a number of reasons. For one, the median home value is $245,000, which is much higher than the national average, making it almost a dream for the city’s residents who have a median income of just under $32,000. The national median for the household income is more than $53,000, by the way.

Miami is also a city with extremely pronounced inequality and more than a quarter of the city’s population live in poverty. Finally, the crime rate in Miami is 1,060 per 100,000 residents, which is a few times the national average. In short, you don’t have any money, you cannot afford a place to live, you have to watch the disgustingly rich parade their wealth, and you are just waiting to get robbed.


The second worst American city to live in is Detroit, Michigan. Motor City earned this place due to widespread poverty, with almost 40 percent of its residents living in deprivation. While homes are affordable in Detroit, the reason for this is that the real estate market has all but imploded. The city has been in such a dire financial situation these last few years that it filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Things are somewhat looking up, but the manufacturing jobs are most likely gone forever which makes Detroit one very depressing American city.

The third worst city in the United States and another one that was hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs is Paterson, New Jersey. This city, which once thrived thanks to its textile industry, has lost much of its jobs, which raised the poverty rate to about 30 percent. The homes did not lose value, making it extremely difficult for its residents to purchase homes. Finally, it is also a city with an alarmingly low rate of people with at least a bachelor’s degree at under 1 percent.

Hawthorne, California, is the fourth worst place to live, according to the people from 24/7 Wall St. and it is a combination of high home prices and low income that makes this city a particularly bad choice. 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 Hawthorne’s residents to afford a home. 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.

The fifth worst city in the U.S. is Fall River, Massachusetts, where people only make $35,000 on average, much lower than the national average and less than half of what people make in the rest of the state. When this is combined with the high prices of services and goods, it leads to almost 23 percent of the city’s residents living in poverty. It is no surprise that crime rates are also high in Fall River, or more precisely 3 times the national average.

The following five cities also made it to the Top 10: Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; Flint, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio, and Gary, Indiana.

Make sure to check out the rest of the list here.

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