Worst Cities to Live in Every State

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Source: Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

Colorado: Pueblo
> Population: 109,122
> Median home value: $121,200 (state: $286,100)
> Poverty rate: 24.4% (state: 11.5%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,053 (state: 368)

Pueblo, a city located along the I-25 corridor about 100 miles south of Denver, ranks as the worst city to live in in Colorado. Nearly one in every four Pueblo residents live below the poverty line, more than double the state poverty rate of 11.5%. Crime is often concentrated in lower-income areas, and Pueblo is a relatively dangerous city. There were 1,053 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Pueblo in 2017, nearly triple the state violent crime rate of 368 per 100,000.

Close proximity to grocery stores and healthy food can be critical to quality of life in any city, and in Pueblo, 43.6% of the population struggles to put food on the table because of the low access to grocery stores, well above the national food insecurity rate of 22.4%.

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Connecticut: Bridgeport
> Population: 147,586
> Median home value: $170,300 (state: $270,100)
> Poverty rate: 20.8% (state: 10.1%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 900 (state: 228)

More than 20% of the population of Bridgeport, Connecticut, lives below the poverty line, more than double the 10.1% state poverty rate. The widespread financial hardship is partially attributable to a weak job market. The Census estimates that an average of 9.3% of the labor force in Bridgeport was unemployed over the last five years, well above Connecticut’s 4.8% average unemployment rate over that time.

Bridgeport residents — even those living below the poverty line — face additional financial strain due to the city’s high cost of living. Goods and services are 30.8% more expensive in Bridgeport than they are nationwide.

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Delaware: Wilmington
> Population: 71,276
> Median home value: $165,300 (state: $238,600)
> Poverty rate: 27.0% (state: 12.1%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,596 (state: 453)

Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city, also ranks as the state’s worst city to live in. Crime can be detrimental to the quality of life in any city, and Wilmington is far and away the most dangerous city in Delaware. There were 1,596 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Wilmington in 2017, more than triple the statewide violent crime rate of 453 incidents per 100,000 people.

The city’s median household income of $40,221 a year is well below the state and national medians of $63,036 and $57,652, respectively. And after adjusting for the city’s high cost of living, the buying power of the typical Wilmington household is actually just $34,348.

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Florida: Florida City
> Population: 12,149
> Median home value: $110,800 (state: $178,700)
> Poverty rate: 41.2% (state: 15.5%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 2,276 (state: 408)

Florida City is a small city of less than 13,000 about 35 miles south of Miami. The worst city to live in in the state, Florida City’s unemployment rate of 13.8% is more than triple the 4.2% state unemployment rate. Crime can stifle economic growth in any city, and Florida City has a violent crime rate of 2,276 incidents per 100,000 people, putting it securely in the top 10% most dangerous American cities.

Likely due in part to the city’s high unemployment rate, many residents are struggling financially. Florida City’s 41.2% poverty rate is higher than in over 90% of all American cities.

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Georgia: Union City
> Population: 20,793
> Median home value: $81,900 (state: $158,400)
> Poverty rate: 20.7% (state: 16.9%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,224 (state: 357)

According to Census estimates, 7.4% of workers in Union City, Georgia, are unemployed, compared to a 4.7% unemployment rate statewide. While much of the country has been adding jobs in recent years, Union City has been shedding them. Total employment fell by 1.2% in Union City in the last five years.

Crime can stifle economic development and investment, and Union City is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. There were 1,224 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city in 2017 compared to 357 per 100,000 across the state as a whole. Property crimes like larceny and motor vehicle theft are also common in the city. There were 10,940 property crimes for every 100,000 Union City residents in 2017, compared to 2,860 per 100,000 across the state as a whole.