50 Worst Cities to Live In

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20. Youngstown, Ohio
> Population: 65,051
> Median home value: $44,600
> Poverty rate: 40.7%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 13.2%

A typical Youngstown household earns only $22,321 a year, the lowest median household income of any city in the country. More than 40% of city residents live below the poverty line, a higher poverty rate than in any other U.S. city. Financial insecurity is not the only problem with which Youngstown residents struggle. There are 656 violent crimes a year in the city for every 100,000 residents, far more than the 366 incidents per 100,000 people violent crime rate nationwide.

Poor economic and social conditions are leading to rapid population decline in Youngstown. In the last five years, the city’s population has shrunk by 10.2%.

19. Wilmington, Delaware
> Population: 71,808
> Median home value: $180,100
> Poverty rate: 26.8%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 31.1%

Wilmington is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. There are 1,637 violent crimes in Wilmington for every 100,000 city residents, about 4.5 times the national violent crime rate. City residents also suffer from unfavorable economic conditions. The typical area household earns only $40,998, far less than the $53,657 the typical American household earns. In addition to lower incomes, a dollar does not go as far in Wilmington as it does nationwide. Goods and services cost 17.1% more in Wilmington than they do across the country on average.

Poor economic and social conditions in the Delaware city are likely driving people away. In the last five years, Wilmington’s population declined by 1.8%.

18. Rockford, Illinois
> Population: 148,996
> Median home value: $87,400
> Poverty rate: 24.5%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 22.3%

Property values in Rockford, Illinois are strikingly low. A typical home in the city is worth only $87,400, far less than the $181,200 a typical home is worth nationwide. A declining population is likely not helping property values in the area. In the last five years, the city’s population has shrunk by 6.2%. The prevalence of crime may be one reason people are leaving Rockford. There are 1,235 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in Rockford, a higher violent crime rate than in all but a few other U.S. cities.

While Rockford is fraught with problems, it is a relatively inexpensive place to live. Goods and services are roughly 12% cheaper in the city than they are on average across the country.

17. Mount Vernon, New York
> Population: 68,455
> Median home value: $344,800
> Poverty rate: 16.9%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.4%

Westchester County, New York, is one of the wealthiest in the United States. Not all parts of the county, however, are prosperous. The median household income in Mount Vernon is only $47,414, well below the national median income of $53,657. The cost of living in Mount Vernon is 35.6% higher than it is across the country as a whole, further adding to the financial burden for some residents. Relatively high home values and property tax rates contribute largely to the area’s high cost of living. The median home value in Mount Vernon is $344,800, far more than the national median home value of $181,200. Residents also pay 2.7% of the value of their property in taxes, more than double the national percentage of 1.2%.

16. Canton, Ohio
> Population: 72,274
> Median home value: $69,900
> Poverty rate: 33.4%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.4%

Home in Canton, Ohio are among the least valuable in the country. The typical area home is worth only $69,900, less than in all but eight other U.S. cities. Incomes in the city are also among the lowest in the country. The typical area household earns only $29,497 a year, roughly $20,000 less than the typical Ohio household and more than $24,000 below the $53,657 nationwide median.
More than a third of city residents live in poverty, more than double both the state and national poverty rates.

Another problem faced by Canton’s residents is the prevalence of crime in the city. There are more than 1,000 violent crimes per 100,000 people in the city, close to three times the national violent crime rate.