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: Canton
> Population: 71,895
> Median home value: $62,700
> Poverty rate: 31.6%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.4%
In Canton, Ohio nearly one-third of residents live in poverty, more than double the 14.8% statewide poverty rate. Prevalent poverty has wide-reaching effects on a city’s overall standard of living and economy. For example, violent crime rates tend to be higher in poor cities and Canton’s violent crime rate of 1,129 incidents per 100,000 residents is nearly four times worse than Ohio’s violent crime rate.
Low educational attainment in an area can coincide with many other negative quality of life-outcomes, including lower incomes and higher unemployment. In Canton, just 14.4% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, less than half the 30.6% U.S. bachelor’s attainment rate.
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.