Deciding on the right city to live in will always require some compromise. A city like New York may have a booming job market, but it is also one of the most expensive places in the country. Alternatively, while a dollar may go a long way in Houston, residents of the the south Texas city are also nearly three times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than the typical American.
While there is no such thing as the perfect city, the United States is full of places with few, if any, strengths. Poor socioeconomic conditions tell a similar story of urban blight in dozens of cities across the country. 24/7 Wall St. created an index of over two dozen measures to identify the worst cities to live in. These cities tend to have high crime rates, widespread poverty, weak job markets, and little in the way of entertainment options or cultural attractions.
Conditions like these tend to be more common in areas with lower educational attainment. In every city on this list, the share of adults with a four-year college degree falls short of the 30.9% national bachelor’s degree attainment rate. In 19 of these cities, fewer than one in every 10 adults have a bachelor’s degree.
Though the cities on this list span every region of the country, they are overwhelmingly concentrated in the South and the West. Only a dozen of the 50 cities on this list are in the Midwest or Northeast.