Your quality of life can be tremendously affected by where you live. Unfortunately, not all US cities can offer happiness and comfort. In fact, some of them are the worst when it comes to everyday convenience.
Although it’s actually difficult and quite relative to measure quality of life, there still is a considerable variety of determinable factors that can influence overall quality of life in a specific city or region, such as cultural attractions, air quality, infrastructure, quality of education, strength of job market, safety, and affordability.
In this article, the index to identify the 10 worst US cities to live in is based on leisure, infrastructure, housing, health, education, economy, and crime.
10. MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
Surprisingly, over 1 out of every 4 people in the city lives in poverty. Milwaukee has more than double the state poverty rate, which is 11.8 percent. And like most cities that suffer from poverty, this city has high crime rates as well with more than 1,540 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
As a result of the terrible living conditions, Milwaukee’s population continues to shrink. As a matter of fact, in the past several years, the city’s population count decreased by 0.5 percent, while national population increased by 3.7 percent.
9. BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
Baltimore has the lowest median annual household income of any city in Maryland, with only $47,350.
The poor households of Baltimore deal with an extra burden, however, due to the high cost of living, as the average cost of services and products are around 12 percent higher in this city than they are nationwide. Moreover, the average commute time in Baltimore is more than 30 minutes, which is longer than in most American cities.
8. SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Springfield is the 2nd Missouri city on this list that’s considered as one of the worst places one can live in. The high crime rate is the number one culprit when it comes to overall wrecked-up quality of life in this city.
In 2016 alone, Springfield witnesses more than 1,340 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, which is over triple the nationwide rate of violent crime. Moreover, a significant number of people are suffering financially, in fact, 1 out of every 4 Springfield residents live below the poverty line.
7. ALBANY, GEORGIA
Albany is losing its residents more rapidly than the vast majority of the cities on this list. Actually, the city’s population had decreased by 4.8 percent in the past 5 years. This is likely associated with bleak economic conditions.
Around 32.5 percent of people live in poverty, which makes over double both Georgia’s poverty rate of 16 percent and the national poverty rate of 14 percent. Additionally, the serious financial hardship and the city’s terribly high unemployment rate are just making things worse for residents.
6. WILMINGTON, DELAWARE
Wilmington’s overall quality of life is terribly impacted by the high living cost and low incomes. On average, a regular household in this city has an annual income of only $36,435 a year.
Moreover, 27.7 percent of the Wilmington’s population lives below the poverty line, while the city’s services and products are nearly 17 percent more costly than they are on a national level.
Besides financial issues, Wilmington also has a very high violent crime rate, with nearly 1,800 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, as for 2016.
5. CLEVELAND, OHIO
Cleveland is actually one of the poorest cities in the United States, with a poverty rate of 35 percent. Additionally, this city has the 2nd highest unemployment rate of 6.9 percent among all cities in Ohio.
Cleveland is also a dangerous city, with 1,633 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, as for 2016, not to mention the widespread poverty which makes another reason why the city’s population has decreased by 2.4 percent in the last 10 years.
4. MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
Memphis is one of the top worst cities to live in mainly because of the severe financial hardship and high crime rate. Nearly 27 percent of residents live in poverty, and with a high poverty rate comes a high crime rate.
In 2016 alone, the city witnessed 1,830 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, which is almost 5 times the comparable national violent crime rate.
3. ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
St. Louis is the worst place to live in Missouri and one of the top 3 in the entire country. This is mainly because of the high violence and poverty rates in the city.
In 2016, the city witnessed more than 1,930 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which is the 3rd highest violent crime rate of all US cities. Moreover, St. Louis is suffering from severe economic issues, as about 23.8 percent of residents live below the poverty line.
As a result, St. Louis is losing its people over the years. The city’s population has decreased by 11.2 percent in the past 10 years.
2. FLINT, MICHIGAN
Flint has the highest poverty rate in the county, as a matter of fact, 44.5 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. And there’s also the lagging job market which resulted in a terrible 9.8 percent unemployment rate.
In fact, Flint can be an ideal city for many small business owners and employers both due to because of the small college-educated population and high crime rate of 1,587 incidents per 100,000 residents.
1. DETROIT, MICHIGAN
Detroit successfully ranks as the worst US city to live in because of the economic depression, high unemployment rate, and awfully high crime rate. In fact, over 1 out of every 3 residents lives below the poverty line, 10.9 percent of the workforce is jobless, and there were more than 2,000 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2016.
Unfortunately, Detroit is now home to fewer than 700,000 people after it was home to 1.8 million people during the 50s.