10 Worst Places to Live in America
You don’t need the US Misery Index to tell you that things are bad in some parts of the US. Unemployment is near or at all-time highs in many parts of the country, foreclosures continue to happen at unprecedented rates and there are some very real indicators that we are heading toward a double-dip recession.
Factors like unemployment, poverty, and crime are inevitable in American cities with large populations. However, there are some cities which do have a substantial crime rate and unemployment levels, making them America’s most dangerous cities. The worst cities in America to live are generally sorted out according to factors such as the crime rate, unemployment, population, traffic, and poverty level. In the following, you will go through a list of few worst cities in America. Although I haven’t been to all of these places, I’ve seen enough pictures to know that I probably don’t want to visit, let alone live there.
- 1. El Centro, California
The desert city, which is located in Imperial County just across the border from Mexicali, has a jobless rate triple the national average of 9.5% thanks to the seasonal fluctuations of field laborers. Field work is the county’s third-largest employment sector after government, transportation and utilities, according to AOL News.
- 2. Detroit, Michigan
It’s a dubious distinction to be the most stressful city in America, but it’s one that Detroit can now claim, according to Portfolio.com, a national business and news website for small business executives.
The site looked at unemployment rates, personal finance data, environmental, health and living standards and crime rates to compile the ranking of 50 cities.
According to the rankings:
Detroit is burdened with a hefty unemployment rate, 14.3 percent at midyear, the third-worst figure in the nation’s 50 largest markets. It’s also among the 10 places with the most murders, the most robberies, the most heart attacks, the most families in poverty, and the fewest sunny days.
- 3. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland has an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent and home prices have fallen nearly 20 percent from their peak a few years ago. It also has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S. and low amounts of sunshine. Sharp unemployment increases in Greater Cleveland; however, most counties across the state have higher unemployment rates than those in the region.
- 4. Stockton, California
Stockton ranks in the bottom four we looked at: commute times, income tax rates, unemployment and violent crime. Only New York City has a higher income tax rate than what Stockton, and all California residents, are forced to pay.
Stockton was ground zero for the housing boom and now the subsequent bust. Home prices more than tripled between 1998 and 2005 and then came crashing down last year. Stockton had the country’s highest foreclosure rate last year at 9.5%, according to RealtyTrac.
- 5. Las Vegas, Nevada
High unemployment and a housing foreclosure nightmare make it unbelievable that Democrat Senate Majority leader Harry Reid would have a chance of re-election in 2010. If he does, the people of Nevada have no one to blame but themselves for their continued plight.
Las Vegas was one of the hardest hit cities when the housing bubble burst.
In fact, the metro area was at the epicenter of the mess, with the highest foreclosure rate in the country in 2009, according to a report on by RealtyTrac. So many homes are empty that some neighborhoods either have no one around or one lone resident.
- 6. Buffalo, New York
Buffalo has also struggled with de-industrialization and the recession didn’t help: The city’s unemployment rate has actually gone up recently, to 8.2 percent from 7.6 percent last August. Other reasons the city made the list were bad weather and low amount of sunshine, high taxes and high crime rate, according to city-data.com
- 7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is the unhealthiest city in the country, as measured by the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual fitness index. The index looks at 30 fitness indicators, including obesity and exercise rates, death rate from cardiovascular disease, acres of park land, number of primary care physicians per capita and percentage of residents who bicycle or walk to work.
- 8. Los Angeles, California
California’s unemployment rate reached a new high in March, hitting 12.6%, bolstering fears that unemployment will remain a persistent problem through at least the end of the year. The unemployment rate in February was 12.5%.
California was tied with Rhode Island for the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation, after Michigan and Nevada, according to data released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate in March was 9.7%.
- 9. Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a point last month, to 9.1 percent.
The state added 26,100 jobs between August and September. While most of those were in public education — people who normally go back to work this time of the year — private sector employment also was up by 4,100.
- 10. Miami, Florida
Miami has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country as well as one of the highest property crime rates. Making Miami even more stressful is the long commute time, a high unemployment rate, and a high rate of divorce. Despite these factors, Miami residents manage to maintain a positive mental attitude. Miami has enjoyed a large population migration due to its weather, housing boom and location to the Caribbean. Within the last five years, the average price of a house went from $150,000 to $265,000.