The 20 Most Miserable Cities in the US

This year, Forbes has created and released the list of what cities in 2013 were the most miserable. These cities were rated on a 9 Metric System, judging each city’s percentages on taxes, home prices, foreclosures, unemployment, violent crimes, long commutes, weather and other variables. In lowest to highest, here are the 20 most miserable U.S. cities this year.

20. Youngstown, Ohio

Though only number 20 on the most miserable list, this city has steadily struggled for 21 years with large out-migration rates since the close of the steel mill many years ago.

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19. Gary, Indiana

Though this city has drastically decreased its violent crime rates in the last decade, Gary still struggles with outpourings of people leaving and high foreclosure rates.


18. Poughkeepsie, New York

With long commutes, rating number 6 in the U.S. at 31.9 minutes to and from work, terrible weather and high property taxes, this is still one of the best worst cities in the U.S.

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17. Cleveland, Ohio

This city has a terrible out-migration rate that has kept up since 2010, 3rd only to Detroit and Flint Michigan in that statistic.

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16. Atlanta, Georgia

The miserable citizens of Atlanta suffer from horrific home values and foreclosure rates, with the pricing of houses being 42% off. They also have terrible traffic.

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15. Atlantic City, New Jersey

Once a thriving metropolis, this dying city is slowly declining in revenue, and unemployment rates are shooting up, now at 14.4%.

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14. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This northern city has some of the most brutal winter weather in the country, with Januarys chock-full of 13 degree lows. They also have really bad property taxes.

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13. Camden, New Jersey

What gives this city the number 13 for most miserable in the U.S. is that it has 42.5% of the people living under the poverty line, making it the worst city for that particular statistic.

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12. St. Louis, Missouri

When you measure each city on the 9 metrics of misery that were used for this test, St. Louis and Detroit Michigan were the only 2 cities that were in the bottom 50% of every category, with net migration being the “champion” ratings that put this city at number 12.

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11. Toledo, Ohio

With such a slow rate of jobs opening up, the lack of work has caused the out-migration rate to skyrocket in Toledo, putting it right at number 4 on a list of the worst net migrations in U.S. cities.

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10. New York, New York

This grand city is at the very top of the worst cities to commute in. It also has the most amount of complaints as far as taxes, from banks paying or not paying to the residents’ taxes, the highest in the U.S.

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9. Lake County, Illinois

According to the income per capita, Lake County is a very rich city, one of the richest in the U.S. But unfortunately, this suburb of Chicago also has a down of 29% in home prices since 2009, and of course has bad winters and lots of driving.

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8. Stockton, California

Stockton gets the great “honor” of having the worst foreclosure statistics in the country AND to be the biggest city that has ever had to file for bankruptcy. The icing on the cake? Also one of the top 5 cities that has the worst crime rate and unemployment.

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7. Warren, Michigan

This metro city which includes Farmington Hills and Troy has dealt with a very bad cave in of property value, particularly in homes; the latest 5 years have seen it at 53% off, one of the worst in the country.

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6. Vallejo, California

This 6th most miserable city is actually in the best shape it’s been in for 3 years, having been bankrupt from 2008 to 2011. The after effects of this terrible economy for the city include much unemployment and a great deal of foreclosures on homes.

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5. Modesto, California

2012 brought about one of the largest foreclosure rates, with 6,859, which constitutes 3.8%, recorded houses being closed upon. Modesto also deals with 15% unemployment stats.

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4. Chicago, Illinois

Anyone living in this bustling and popular city has to deal with crazy traffic and tedious commuting, freezing winters and miserable property values, high foreclosure statistics and the 6th worst out-migration rate of all the large cities in the US.

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3. Rockford, Illinois

This northern city has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country at 11.2%, has very high property taxes, and the core of manufacturing business have been getting steadily worse for over 20 years.

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2. Flint, Michigan

As people pour out of this city to look for work, Flint is diminishing in size and state workers are forced to destroy homes that are no longer lived in. This city is also #3 for violent crimes in the US, and is second only to Detroit in worst out-migration statistics.

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1. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit makes the top miserable city by having the highest violent crime rate in the country with 10.52 crimes for every 1,000 people, despite the 5% drop two years ago, and the costs of homes in this city have reached the worst in the country at 35% off since 2010.

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