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: Pueblo
> Population: 109,419
> Median home value: $124,700
> Poverty rate: 25.1%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.4%
The presence of institutions of higher education — colleges and universities — can create employment opportunities and often results in greater regional educational attainment. There are just two colleges or universities in Pueblo County, among the least of any county when adjusted for population.
Just 18.4% of the adults living in Pueblo have a bachelor’s degree, far less than the 39.2% statewide college attainment rate. Lower education attainment rates often result in lower incomes, and Pueblo is no exception. One in four of Pueblo’s 109,000 residents live in poverty, the largest share of any large city in the state. Additionally, the typical household in the city earns only about $36,300 a year, or $27,600 less than the median household income across Colorado.
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.