In these times of international conflict, a crashing economy and our nation in an uproar over who is going to lead us back to the "promised land," we Americans hold our heads high and remain proud. We are proud of our country, proud of our heritage and proud of the cities in which we live. But before waving our flags and boasting of a care free society, we should probably take a good look at the rate of decline in several of our beloved country's most well-known cities. Hold on to your hats, because the following will be a list of America's 10 worst places to live in 2012 with a population over 100,000. Warning; it ain't gonna be pretty.
- 1. Springfield, MAScore: 66/100
© lazytom - flickr
Springfield, MA is nicknamed "the city of firsts." This is a little slice of irony since it is first on the list of worst cities in America. For those who are still interested in taking up residency in Springfield, there are a few things to be considered. The steady decline of the manufacturing industry has caused the unemployment rate to rise to the top of the charts. Because of this, hundreds of homes are abandoned and left in ruins. Many of these abandoned homes are taken over by either drug traffickers or gang members. Along with the likes of these questionable characters comes an epidemic of violent crime. Suffice it to say, this would not exactly be the perfect place to raise a family. Learn more about Springfield, MA.
- 2. Detroit, MIScore: 66/100
© jmsmith000 - flickr
If you're looking for a nice warm secure feel to your town, Detroit is not the city for you. Known as "America's most dangerous city," Detroit's violent crime list has reported that the city has 1,800 violent crimes per 100,000 residents every year. The streets are steadily becoming over-run by thugs and gang members who are willing and eager to knock down a nice old lady for the meager contents of her purse. Unless you are prepared to either fight for your life or endure a painstaking initiation into a gang, it is advised that you find a safer city to reside in; because this is definitely one of the worst cities in America. Learn more about Detroit, MI.
- 3. Flint, MIScore: 66/100
© corneveaux - flickr
In part because of its extreme poverty level, the city of Flint, MI makes it to the worst cities list of shame. Known as one of America's most miserable cities, Flint is topping the charts in unemployment and coming dangerously close to Detroit's mind blowing crime rate. I suppose all of those unemployed people had to find other means of supporting themselves. To top things off, Flint arguably has some of the most corrupt politicians in the United States. If this doesn't sway your decision to raise a family there, just take a look at the ever rising cost of real estate. Shouldn't property be affordable in run down crime ridden areas? Learn more about Flint, MI.
- 4. Hartford, CTScore: 67/100
© ragesoss - flickr
Known by its residents as "the hartbeat," Hartford is famous for two things; their once adored hockey team the Whalers, and a whole slew of insurance companies. Unfortunately, the Whalers jumped ship and the ever dwindling insurance companies are following behind. This was not good news for Hartford residents since they were likely to be in desperate need of insurance after their cars were vandalized, houses were robbed or they had been wounded in a random gas station shoot out. In short, this is not a city that you would want to take your children sightseeing in; unless of course they have strong stomachs and an urge to get a taste of the darker side of life. You decide. Learn more about Hartford, CT.
- 5. East Los Angeles, CAScore: 67/100
© amayzun - flickr
If you are looking to live in East LA, you may want to know that old "Tinsel Town" is notorious for its unbearable traffic jams. Every single road trip turns into a seemingly endless ride. While you're on these road trips it's a good idea to keep the windows rolled up because East LA tops the charts in having the worst ozone pollution in America. Breathing excessive amounts of this can cause throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, congestion, chest pain and a number of other respiratory problems. If that's not enough, gang violence is so ramped here, the hospitals allow military doctors to come and practice treating gunshot wound victims. Learn more about East Los Angeles, CA.
- 6. Philadelphia, PAScore: 67/100
© lhoon - flickr
If you want to reside in Philadelphia, you will have to accept the label of "least attractive people in the United States." This is according to a survey taken by Travel and Leisure magazine. Another survey suggested that residents of Philadelphia are the least friendly in America. In past years the city has been shamefully chosen the fattest, most obscene, miserable and most dangerous city in America. Currently air pollution is a growing problem, unemployment is on the rise, and the crime rate has sky-rocketed. To ease the tension of all of these dishonors, you can go to an Eagles or Phillies game where you can really let loose with some of the "meanest sports fans in America." Learn more about Philadelphia, PA.
- 7. Cleveland, OHScore: 67/100
© 25165196@N08 - flickr
Not so proudly named by Forbes magazine "the most miserable city in the United States," Cleveland is not exactly the perfect place to raise the kids. The major factors behind this are high taxes, political corruption, lousy weather, and; shall we say, below par sports teams. As far as housing is concerned, there are several residences to choose from. Unfortunately, thousands of them sit in ruins; abandoned and boarded up. This was due in part to a federally funded "Afford-a-Home" program where the government put down payments on homes for low income people who could never afford the mortgage payments. Go figure! Learn more about Cleveland, OH.
- 8. Paterson, NJScore: 67/100
© lhoon - flickr
Ranked number 8 on the worst places to live list is Paterson, NJ. This may have something to do with the ever growing poverty level or the mass number of abandoned buildings that sit untouched all across the city. From the looks of things here, it is not surprising that the unemployment rate continues to grow almost as quickly as the crime rate. Speaking of the crime rate, the number of violent crimes in Paterson is 77% higher than the New Jersey average. One out of every 94 people in Paterson will be a victim of violent crime, you can't like the odds of that! Learn more about Paterson, NJ.
- 9. Buffalo, NYScore: 67/100
© e-lame - flickr
In Buffalo or the "Snowbelt City," the population has fallen more than 50% over the past fifty years. The steady decline of residents here is indicative of the dwindling industrial base. According to a yahoo study, Buffalo, NY comes in second on a list of "hardest cities to find a job." Other major deterrents to residing in Buffalo are the notoriously corrupt city government, high crime rate, urban decay, growing unemployment rate, home foreclosures and treacherous weather conditions. With all of these problems, it is not surprising that this city has an unusually large amount of drug and alcohol abusers. Learn more about Buffalo, NY.
- 10. Anchorage, AKScore: 67/100
© dougbrown47 - flickr
If you like to go out and about very often, Anchorage is not a good choice of residency for you. There is only one major highway to and from this city. More often than not, that highway is caked with unplowed snow. When the snow has been plowed, there are hundreds of accidents waiting to happen in the form of black ice. Although there are a few other cities that can be colder, at least the residents of those cities get a break from the chilling weather. There is only one way to describe the weather conditions in Anchorage; extreme. Learn more about Anchorage, AK.
You can refer to our Best Places to Live report for real-time, up-to-date and interactive top 100 best and worst list of cities. The report is sortable, and it allows you to discriminate by the population as well as your preferred state.