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: Lubbock
> Population: 249,051
> Median home value: $126,900
> Poverty rate: 22.4%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 26.8%
The typical household in Lubbock, Texas earns only $45,551 a year, about $10,000 less than the median income across the state. The city’s poverty rate underscores the prevalence of financial hardship in Lubbock. Some 22.4% of people in the city live in poverty, well above the 15.9% statewide poverty rate and 14.7% nationwide poverty rate.
Like many cities on this list, Lubbock is not an especially safe place. With 967 violent crimes in 2015 for every 100,000 area residents, violent crime is more than twice as common in Lubbock as it is across both Texas and the nation as a whole.
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.