Worst Cities to Live in Every State

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Hawaii: Makaha
> Population: 8,832
> Median home value: $407,200 (state: $563,900)
> Poverty rate: 30.1% (state: 10.3%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: N/A (state: 251)

Hawaii has the highest cost of living of any state in the country — and Makaha ranks as the worst city to live in in Hawaii largely because of its unaffordability. Makaha is the poorest city in Hawaii with over 30% of residents living below the poverty line, more than double the 14.6% national poverty rate. At the same time, the typical home in Makaha is worth $407,200, more than double the $193,500 national median home value. The typical home in the city is worth 7.9 times as much as the median annual household income. Nationwide, the typical home is worth 3.4 times as much as the median annual income.

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Idaho: Rexburg
> Population: 27,369
> Median home value: $184,200 (state: $176,800)
> Poverty rate: 41.6% (state: 14.5%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 38 (state: 226)

Housing affordability is a major obstacle to quality of life for many in Rexburg, Idaho. The typical area home is worth about seven times as much as the median annual household income of just $26,341. Nationwide, the median home value is just 3.4 times higher than the median annual household income. Low incomes in Rexburg are highlighted by the city’s 41.6% poverty rate, which is higher than in more than 90% of all American cities.

The area’s low incomes are partially the product of a weak job market. The Census estimates that 6.8% of workers in Rexburg are unemployed, more than double the 3.3% unemployment rate across Idaho.

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Illinois: East St. Louis
> Population: 26,678
> Median home value: $55,000 (state: $179,700)
> Poverty rate: 43.1% (state: 13.5%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 2,752 (state: 439)

East St. Louis is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. There were 2,752 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city in 2017, more than five times the statewide violent crime rate of 439 per 100,000. Crime is often concentrated in poorer areas, and in East St. Louis, 43.1% of the population lives below the poverty line. Crime can also have a stifling effect on commerce and in East St. Louis, the unemployment rate stands at 8.3%, well above the 4.8% state rate.

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Indiana: Gary
> Population: 77,416
> Median home value: $66,300 (state: $130,200)
> Poverty rate: 35.8% (state: 14.6%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 621 (state: 399)

More than one in every three residents of Gary, Indiana, live below the poverty line, more than double the 14.6% state poverty rate. Crime tends to be more concentrated in poorer areas, and Gary’s violent crime rate of 621 incidents per 100,000 people is higher than at least 25% of all American cities. The area’s low incomes are due in part to a high jobless rate. The Census estimates that 8.0% of Gary’s labor force are out of work, more than double the 3.9% state unemployment rate.

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Iowa: Keokuk
> Population: 10,484
> Median home value: $67,400 (state: $137,200)
> Poverty rate: 25.4% (state: 12.0%)
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 867 (state: 293)

As is the case in many of the cities on this list, Keokuk’s population is shrinking. In the last five years, the number of people living in Keokuk fell by 2.5%. Reduced demand for housing has likely dragged down real estate values. The typical home in Keokuk is worth just $67,400, less than half the median home value of $137,200 statewide

Home values are often a reflection of what area residents can afford, and many in Keokuk are struggling financially. More than one in every four area residents live below the poverty line, compared to a 12% poverty rate across the state as a whole.