Americans take into consideration a number of factors when deciding where to live, including the quality of schools, the strength of the local economy and job market, the area’s safety and culture, as well as its climate. Cities that perform well by these measures are more likely to attract new residents, and those that do not tend to drive residents away.
Comparing entire cities to each other can be problematic, particularly since living conditions can vary from one neighborhood to the next. Still, as much as a city can be judged on the whole, some cities face widespread problems that detract from residents’ overall quality of life.
> Worst city to live: Memphis
> Population: 655,760
> Median home value: $94,400
> Poverty rate: 26.2%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 24.9%
One of the largest cities to make this list, Memphis struggles with several issues that make it a less than desirable place to live. Chief among these is one of the worst crime rates of any major city. The city’s annual violent crime rate of 1,740 incidents for 100,000 residents, which is close to five times the national rate, is by far the highest in the state. Additionally, the city’s property crime rate of 5,631 for every 100,000 residents is more than double the national rate.
Memphis’ housing is relatively inexpensive, but like many cities on this list, that likely largely reflects the ability of Memphis’ citizens to pay. Over one-quarter of the population lives in poverty, the highest poverty rate of any large Tennessee city, and the typical household’s income is less than $37,000, about $10,000 less that the median income across Tennessee.
American cities are often held to the standards of national averages, or against all of the other cities in a country. However, for the residents that actually live in these places, a more appropriate point of comparison are those cities that can be found nearby, in the same state.
To determine America’s worst cities to live in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the largest U.S. cities. Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified the worst city to live in each state.