Worst Places to Live

A lot of people on the internet are determined to find the worst place in the United States to live. What I find amusing about this is that over time they come to so many different conclusions.

USA Today, the closest thing we have to a national newspaper, is one of the more aggressive predictors. In 2019 it came to the conclusion that the worst place to live was Mendota, CA. I had to look Mendota, CA up to discover where it is. It’s about 30 miles west of Fresno. In 2019 its nearly 11,400 citizens had a poverty rate of about 50%. Only 1.8% of Mendota’s adults had a college degree, the smallest percentage in the United States. Half of the homes there made less than $27,500 that year. The average value of a home in Mendota in 2019 was $139,000 in a state known for high taxes and lots of million dollar properties. Mendota was in the top 25% for crime. Sounds pretty dismal, huh?

So why did Yazoo City, MS come in first just one year later? Did fortunes in the 2 places change all that much in one year? What did USA Today find in 2021, the COVID year? The population of this Delta City is very similar to Mendota, because 11,000 people live in Yazoo City. The average house price there is $68,000, but this is Mississippi and not California. Yazoo’s poverty rate is 42.6%. I could not find what town USA Today found the least desirable in 2021. Maybe it has not filed this report yet with 5 months still to go in this year.

24/7 Wall Street came to the conclusion that the worst city in America to move to in 2019 is Beverly Hills, FL where the average wage earner made less than the one in Mendota, CA.

Facty was more predictable. It concluded that the worst place to live in 2021 is Detroit, MI where a high crime rate mixes with economic depression. It found that this city has declared bankruptcy and the average wage earner makes $45,000 in a country where the average wage is almost $50,000.

In 2019 CNBC decided that the worst state to move to is not California, Mississippi, or Florida but Arkansas. Humble, prosperous Arkansas? Yes, because this state only earned 76 out of 325 points on its Quality of Life score and has high crime and health issues. CNBC concluded that Arkansas had the worst Quality of Life rank in 2018 so deserves to be found the worst state in 2019.

In 2019 businessinsider.com decided that the worst city to live in is Gary, IN. It concluded that Gary is the most miserable city in the United States. It’s so depressed that Gary was considering selling abandoned homes for $1 already two years ago before many cities had lots of their citizens living in tents.

In conclusion I’m wondering why no one ever takes down old news on the internet and why so many people spend so much time coming to different conclusions about the worst places in the United States? If you spend a lot of time determining the worst city one year, shouldn’t you be required to do a follow up the next year?


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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