Quality of life is subject to countless quantitative and qualitative factors — not the least of which is environment.
While living in an ideal city by no means assures personal contentment, conditions like crime, unemployment, and inordinately high living costs can detract from the quality of life in any city.
24/7 Wall St. created an index consisting of over two dozen measures to identify the worst cities to live in in every state. Our list includes cities, towns, villages, boroughs, and Census designated places. We did not include places with fewer than 8,000 residents in our analysis. Because no two states are exactly alike, the kinds of issues affecting the cities on this list vary considerably.
For many of these cities, the problems are serious and deeply entrenched. In 23 of the 50 cities on this list, the violent crime rate is higher than in at least 90% of all other American cities tracked by the FBI — and in another eight, violence is more common than in at least 75% of U.S. cities. The effects of violent crimes like robbery and aggravated assault can extend beyond their immediate victims, often pushing down property values and driving out business. Indeed, in many of these same cities, real estate values are depressed and unemployment is soaring.
In a handful of cities on this list, the situation is less dire. In some less populous states like South Dakota and Wyoming, their worst cities are on this list largely due to their distance from the nearest hospital or a lack of local entertainment options like movie theaters, restaurants, nature parks, and museums.
Though they vary in severity, these conditions can make any city less appealing. It is likely no coincidence that some cities on this list are located in some of America’s fastest shrinking metro areas.