10 Worst Places to Live in America … Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas & Miami Among Many


The 10 worst places to live in America as per WalletPop using a variety of criteria, including unemployment rates, health data, the number of foreclosures, crime statistics, climate and other measures of misery. High on the list and a common thread in many of these places is political corruption.

1. El Centro, California – Population: 41,241

Welcome to the home of the highest unemployment in the United States at 27.5%. OUCH!

One in four people here are out of work and the city holds the not-so distinguished honor of having the highest unemployment rate — 27.5%.

The desert city, which is located in Imperial County just across the border from Mexicali, has a jobless rate triple the national average of 9.5% thanks to the seasonal fluctuations of field laborers.

2. Cleveland, Ohio – Population: 431,363

Cleveland heads the Forbes list of “most miserable” US cities. What would Howard the Duck & Cherry Bomb say?

LeBron James isn’t the only person leaving Cleveland. The U.S. Census estimated that 2,658 people left the city in 2009, the largest numerical drop among America’s major cities.

Forbes also put Cleveland atop its list of most miserable U.S. cities, factoring in its high unemployment (although at 9.1% it’s below the national average), high taxes, lousy weather, political corruption and lousy sports teams — and that was before LeBron decided to leave.
Nicknamed the “Mistake by the Lake,” Cleveland ranked near the bottom when looking at corruption on the Forbes list. “Northern Ohio has seen 309 public officials convicted of crimes over the past 10 years,” according to the Forbes story, which cites data from the Justice Department. “A current FBI investigation of public officials in Cuyahoga County (where Cleveland is located) has ensnared more than two dozen government employees and businessmen on charges including bribery, fraud and tax evasion.”

Cleveland also ranks in the top third of all metro areas for foreclosure rates. The city has thousands of abandoned homes, in part because it provided down payments through the federally-funded Afford-a-Home program to many people who could not afford their mortgage payments.

3. Detroit, Michigan – Population: 871,121

Conveniently enough, Detroit is #4 with a bullet on Forbes “most miserable” city’s list.

Detroit is America’s most dangerous city, with 1,220 violent crimes per 100,000 people, according to violent crime statistics from the FBI’s latest uniform crime report, issued in 2008. It’s heavy reliance on the stumbling auto industry hasn’t helped matters much. Motown also boasts high foreclosure and unemployment rates

4. Las Vegas, Nevada – Population: 552,539

High unemployment and a housing foreclosure nightmare makes it unbelievable that Democrat Senate Majority leader Harry Reid would have a chance of re-election in 2010. If he does, the people of Nevada have no one to blame but themselves for their continued plight.

Las Vegas was one of the hardest hit cities when the housing bubble burst.
In fact, the metro area was at the epicenter of the mess, with the highest foreclosure rate in the country in 2009, according to a report on by RealtyTrac. So many homes are empty that some neighborhoods either have no one around or one lone resident. That doesn’t make for much of a neighborhood block party. Nationwide, 2.21% of housing units received a foreclosure filing in 2009, compared to 12% in Las Vegas.

5. Oklahoma City, Okla. – Population: 560,332

Oklahoma City is the unhealthiest city in the country, as measured by the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual fitness index.

6. Los Angeles, California – Population: 3,849,378

If you don’t really care about breathing, Los Angeles is a great place. The metro area that stretches from Long Beach to Riverside has the worst ozone pollution in the country, according to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report for 2010. Along with being tops in ozone pollution, L.A. is ranked third in year-round particle pollution, and fourth in short-term particle pollution.

7. Phoenix, Arizona – Population: 1,512,986

Beyond the controversial immigration measure, Arizona’s housing market still remains a mess. According to RealtyTrac’s latest foreclosure report, Phoenix and its surrounding area remains among the top 10 worst metro markets when it comes to foreclosures. However, in May, foreclosure activity in the city was down 9% from May 2009, offering a tiny sliver of hope.

Phoenix also ranks poorly among metro areas in per capita income growth.

8. Newark, New Jersey  – Population: 281,402

Forget referencing the violent crime, Newark is a complete mess as seen by the joke of cutting toilet paper from the City budget.

Where to start for one of the worst cities in America? Newark has been likened to Detroit, but with its own political and social dysfunction. More than a quarter of its population lives below the poverty line, the state has the most Superfund toxic-waste sites in the nation, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker is trying to close a $70 million budget deficit by cutting items like toilet paper.

9. Miami, Florida – Population: 362,470

If you don’t care about crime and safety, education, economics, housing, cultural attractions, and health … then Miami is the place for you. Cal it an upgrade for LeBron James as he moves from #2 Cleveland to #9 Miami.

Detroit is listed by Children’s Health magazine as being the worst place to raise a family, but right behind it is Miami. If a city isn’t a good place to raise a family, that likely means its also a terrible place to live. Factors the magazine used to come to its conclusions, included crime and safety, education, economics, housing, cultural attractions, and health.

Miami rates #6 on Forbes most miserable city’s list due to crime and corruption.

10.  Memphis, Tennessee – Population: 670,100

When it comes to Memphis there are two words to describe it and they are not Elvis Presly. They are violent crime and political corruption.

Memphis has one of the worst violent crime rates in the country, and was ranked third by Forbes in its list of miserable cities for corruption by city officials.

As for political corruption, reportedly nearly one public official per month over the last decade has been charged with public corruption.

Memphis comes in at #3 on Forbes “most miserable” US city’s list.

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  • Comments

    20 Responses to “10 Worst Places to Live in America … Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas & Miami Among Many”

    1. wolfgang on August 7th, 2010 6:46 pm

      I can speak for Memphis as my daughter spent a year there and while visiting, I heard a reporter say they have approximately 2 carjackings a day there. Every place you see gated communities and bars on windows at ungated places. Convenience stores are all bars and bullet proof glass.

    2. Derek on August 7th, 2010 7:19 pm

      Should be noted that each of the cities on this list except for Oklahoma City are Left-wing.

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    4. USS Yorktown on August 8th, 2010 7:41 pm

      Instead of Oklahoma City, which is rather trivial compared to other cities on the list, it should be South Hadley, where Phoebe Prince was harassed to suicide and the town did nothing. It is also making America look bad. The rest I am not surprised by them.

      I read that San Francisco has one of the lowest under 18 population in the nation.

    5. Merrill on August 9th, 2010 1:33 pm

      Sorry Derek,
      Phoenix is NOT left wing. Phoenix thinks Louis the fourteenth was too liberal.

    6. Chris Smith on September 13th, 2010 1:32 pm

      Las Vegas, Nevada One of the worst cities in america the quality of people is @ an all time low here . Shady place 4 shady people Yes ..indeed . Vegas is a place i tell my friends to visit but never live there what a mistake . Not 4 raising a family or relationships. The town was not developed correctly and is an eye sore . Been here now for 7yrs soon . Rude people and has to be the most self absorbed city in america next to LA . But I have to say I like LA far more than Vegas . Neonturd. Poeple born and raised here after 1980 dont have a clue and think vegas is a great place to be . Wow wake up u okky locals your city sucks . It’s track housing and fake people make this place a stressful place to live . Cant wait to leave …yes locals k*ss my *ss. ha n lol…..

    7. w.a.r. on February 9th, 2011 9:00 am

      The people who run these cities might want to stop stealing from each other before there is no city to care for. The pols need to stop stealing from their cities.

    8. jennifer limon on February 15th, 2011 10:25 pm

      Incredibly easy to say what you want without having to be credible, hmm?

    9. Rob on March 2nd, 2011 11:03 pm

      As a Miami native, I can tell you this town runs no differently than Rio de Janeiro. Miami is no stranger to constant inefficiency, a rapidly diminishing middle class, and a prejudice which rivals that of Alabama. Home to the nation’s worst drivers, highest rate of HIV transmission, and we’ll overlook the fact that you are given dirty looks for not speaking Spanish.
      There is, however, South Beach, the very pearl of the city. We have no culturally or intellectually stimulating activities, but we do have a vast resource of promiscuous people. Although for our male visitors, please beware, unless you’d like to pay child support for the next 18 years.

    10. chesare garzia on March 18th, 2011 11:56 pm

      i live in las vegas and let me tell you is a one of the moust beutifull place to live 24 hours open
      youcan do eny thing 5 minutes you can be in italy, france, midle est, india, mexico. roma, exetera, we are happy casinos and hotel are 100% full year around is the best paying city in the USA.

    11. Patricia Dotson on March 30th, 2011 12:56 pm

      where does dayton ohio fall in crime please show current crime stats.

    12. Jenny on June 7th, 2011 10:09 pm


    13. jackei on June 14th, 2011 7:46 am

      Hey!!! in Alabama at least we know those who are prejudice. They don’t try to hide it. We know our enemies!!!!

    14. hhhggffdddf on July 9th, 2011 4:22 pm

      I have lived in el centro for 10 years and now I have asthma and my son has a heart condition I am never going back there i would never advise you to live there

    15. Ronnie Blackburn on November 20th, 2011 8:54 am

      We need to bring God back, let him run things, we are not doing a good job.

    16. Chris on November 29th, 2011 6:02 pm

      I can tell you that I have lived in Las Vegas for over 8 years now. I love Las Vegas. The reasons why I love Vegas is because there is always work. There are so many hotels here and each hotel has about 9,000 employees. Now I know that we are in a recession and alot of people got laid off. But that happened all over the country. There are still jobs here in vegas.

      The weather is always nice. It hardly rains. It is very hot June – September but there is no humidity at least.

      There are restaurants everywhere. Whatever food you want to eat at whatever time of day or night you want to eat. And the prices are reasonable.

      Yeah people are very self absorbed. You got self absorbed people but you also have nice people. And you also have visitors who come in from different countries who come here to party and just have a good time. They are nice people.

      Since the housing bubble now you can get a $300,000 house for $100,000. I dont know about you guys but that sounds like a steal to me!!!

      You got UNLV and you are close to Las Vegas International Airport.

      And last but not least there is ALWAYS something to do. Shows, music concerts, actors walking around. Since I have been here I have seen the entire U.S. basketball allstar team, Cedric The Entertainer, Eddie Murphy, George Wallace, the cast from 90210, Coby Bryant, Tom Cruise, and alot more others. There is always music concerts, every major artist comes to Las Vegas.

      There are communites that are built up now because now there are so many families. I have not seen so many parks for kids. There are more parks for kids here and huge parks with tons of acres for the kids.

      Las Vegas has built up in a big way. It caters to both tourists and locals.

      Oh yeah, and we are close to California, Utah, and Mexico. only 4 hour drive or 45 minute flight.
      SM: Most likely Las Vegas made the list was the high unemployment rate, bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosure rates. Home values have plummeted.

    17. txlady on January 31st, 2012 10:09 pm

      We are couting the days until we have put our horrible experiences in Las Vegas behind us for good..rue the day we ever moved here and will NEVER come here again. Sick, sick, sick in every way. Homeless living underground in tunnels, burning furniture there and litering up the place, beggars and other types of panhandlers in the downtown area and very dangerous. Stay away if you have any self worth.

    18. Elmore Frundrick on September 15th, 2012 6:20 pm

      Dayton, Ohio was not on the list because it is too insignificant to be considered. Make now mistake, though, Dayton is a hellhole on par with Gary, Indiana and Camden New, Jersey.

      The only thing distinguishing Dayton from the two above-mentioned cities is the high degree of Appalachian poor white trash who live there.

      Dayton is a triple threat of few, lousy paying jobs, a total lack of culture, and the fact that the few people who are not meth-heads or welfare queens have left in droves over the last 30 years.

      If you really want to see urban decay, do go to Dayton, OH.

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