Cities Journal

Top 20 Cities In The U.S. You Should Run Away From


While pondering where to live is meaningful, pondering where NOT to live is equally momentous. During a time when people are flocking to cities like Portland, Raleigh and Dallas for incentives including jobs, cost of living and quality of life, these 20 cities offer little more than the incentive to flee.

1. St. Louis, MO

Having claimed the titles of “Most Dangerous City” and “Most Sinful City” by the Conservative Post and Movoto Real Estate respectively, St. Louis is having a moment…. just not the kind of moment that makes anyone want to live in this epicenter of despair.

While a recent CNN article congratulated St. Louis on being safer now than it was two decades ago, that’s saying a shocking little for the town still ranked second among the country’s most dangerous cities by Forbes. If suicide by murder is your endgame, by all means stick around: with a whopping 35 murders for every 1,000 residents according to the New York Times, you have a good chance of ending up on the wrong side of a gun.

The city started the new year off with a bang, quite literally — reporting 14 homicides in January of 2014 alone, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Criminologists attribute the city’s dismal crime rates to lack of growth within its small borders leading to a concentrated epicenter of crime, but we don’t really need a reason to run the other way. Sure, the Gateway Arch is cool and all, but we’re a whole lot safer at the average McDonald’s.

And don’t even get us started on the cheese. St. Louis denizens are inexplicably obsessed with their Provel cheese. Beloved by locals but despised by the rest of the world, this processed, feet-flavored amalgam of cheddar, Swiss and Provolone can be found corrupting everything from hamburgers to pizza.

Those looking for a hip downtown place to gather with fellow community members need not apply: thanks to urban sprawl, St. Louis has the opposite of a bustling downtown with an astonishing lack of decent restaurants, boutiques, local businesses and coffee shops.

If a downtown did exist, no one would want to be there anyway; or perhaps they just wouldn’t live to tell.

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