20 Most Miserable Cities in America!

Mitch
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If you’re searching for sunshine and rainbows, you might want to backpedal. But if you’re the type who revels in a bit of schadenfreude or perhaps is looking to feel a little better about your own neck of the woods, then you’re in for a treat.

Gary, Indiana

WeaponizingArchitecture via Wikimedia Commons

Known for its once-thriving steel industry and the birthplace of the Jackson 5, Gary has seen better days. Recent data shows a high unemployment rate of 6.3% and a poverty rate hovering around 36%, which is indeed concerning. However, the city is actively working to reinvent itself, with initiatives aimed at boosting economic growth and improving living conditions.

Cleveland, Ohio

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Clevelandguy at en.wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons

It’s plagued by an above-average unemployment rate of 6.1% and a poverty rate that sings the blues at a high of 34.7%. Residents will tell you about the gnawing crime problem – the city’s crime rate is 95% higher than the national average. Not to mention, Cleveland endures some of the harshest winters in the nation.

Detroit, Michigan

via Wikimedia Commons

Detroit’s struggle is no secret, with a staggering 39.4% of the population living below the poverty line, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Unemployment rates are significantly higher than the national average, and let’s not forget the city’s infamous bankruptcy filing in 2013 — the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Rockford, Illinois

M. Readey via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s set the scene – a staggering 22.4% of the population is living in poverty, with a median household income of only $44,252. Coupling that with an unemployment rate of 7.5% (way above the national average if you needed a hint), it doesn’t take a genius to see why Rockford is on our ‘miserable cities’ list.

St. Louis, Missouri

Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons

With a staggering unemployment rate of 5.7%, it’s no wonder this city has won itself a top spot on our “miserable” list. Not to mention the crime rate that’s 82.76% higher than the national average – yikes! St. Louisans have a 1 in 52 chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime. And speaking of property, the median income here is a paltry $41,107.

Port Arthur, Texas

Carol M. Highsmith via Wikimedia Commons

This charming locale boasts a median income of $32,000, half the national average. The city is also notorious for its crime rate, which is 33% higher than the national average, and an unemployment rate of 8.8%.

Springfield, Massachusetts

PioneerRealtor via Wikimedia Commons

Ah, Springfield, Massachusetts! With an unemployment rate lingering around 7.8% and a median income of just $36,981, it’s not exactly the epitome of the American dream. Its crime rate is also significantly higher than the national average, and the weather is as unpredictable as the lottery, with hot, humid summers and severely cold winters.

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Roland Klose via Wikimedia Commons

Here, you’re more likely to have your car broken into than find a job, with an unemployment rate of 7.6%. And let’s not forget the weather — just imagine the sticky heat of the Deep South mixed with the charm of tornado season. To top it all off, the median income sits at a humble $30,838.

Salem, OR

Tdorante10 via Wikimedia Commons

Lt. Treven Upkes from the Salem Police Department reports 5,815 crimes in 2020. Shivering yet? The city’s unemployment rate is 5.6%, and the median household income hovers around $53,000, substantially less than the US median. And let’s not forget about the gray, drizzly weather.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

KeanoManu via Wikimedia Commons

You’re likelier to spot an alligator here than a thriving job market. The unemployment rate here hovers around a grim 7.5%, far outpacing the national average. Its crime rate is 45% higher than the national average, and the median household income is a rather uninspiring $52,315, almost $10,000 less than the national median.

Memphis, TN

WillyBearden via Wikimedia Commons

This city boasts an unfortunate crime rate 3.7 times higher than the national average. Not funky enough? With a 5.4% unemployment rate and a median household income of $41,228, it’s not exactly a ‘land of opportunity.’ The weather ranges from face-melting summers to teeth-chattering winters, with an annual average temperature swing of around 20 degrees.

Birmingham Alabama

acnatta/Andre Natta profile via Wikimedia Commons

Birmingham boasts a steaming average temperature of 92°F in the summer months, which might just match the sweat on the brows of the city’s 7.1% jobless population. With a crime rate 112% higher than the national average and a median income of $33,770, it’s no wonder the city has earned itself a spot on our list.

Dayton, OH

PrettyFlyForaGemini via Wikimedia Commons

The crime rate is a staggering 94% higher than the national average. Yikes! With 133 rainy days annually and an average temperature of 37.5°F in the chilliest month of January, Dayton is no beach paradise. The median household income? A sobering $28,745.

San Bernadino, CA

IIP Photo Archive via Wikimedia Commons

Here, you’re more likely to encounter a dust devil than a job opportunity, with a staggering unemployment rate flirting with 6.3%. And while the average temperature comfortably sits at around 82°F in summer, the median income uncomfortably hovers at $41,027.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Michael Barera via Wikimedia Commons

Boasting an unemployment rate of 6.7%, the only things brewing in this city are financial woes. With a median income of $40,036, it might leave your wallet feeling as chilly as the -10 degrees Fahrenheit winter weather. Milwaukee has a violent crime rate of 1,597 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Youngstown, Ohio

Dblcut3 via Wikimedia Commons

For starters, the unemployment rate is a rather grim 7.9%. And if that isn’t enough to give you pause, the crime rate will – it’s a staggering 173% higher than the national average. The weather? More gray than sunshine, with snowy winters. And the median household income? It’s a sobering $24,133.

Camden, New Jersey

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Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons

With a crime rate 300% higher than the national average, you’re more likely to meet a burglar than your next date. Its unemployment rate flirts around the 10% mark, and that’s on a good day. It doesn’t help that the median household income hovers just above $26,000. To top it all off, expect to shiver through cold, harsh winters and swelter in hot, muggy summers.

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) via Wikimedia Commons

The city boasts an impressive crime rate that’s 80% higher than the national average, while the unemployment rate stands at 7.2%. Yet, the weather isn’t entirely gloomy, with summers reaching a balmy 85 degrees and winters a tolerable 26 degrees. As for the median income? $38,435 is the magic number.

Anderson, Indiana

Publichall via Wikimedia Commons

This city, once a thriving hub of automotive manufacturing, has been hit hard by the closure of General Motors plants. Crime, you ask? Well, it’s skyrocketing, with a rate 96% higher than the national average. The town only gets 185 sunny days per year, well below the US average, and the median household income is a measly $33,574.

Shreveport, Louisiana

Roman Eugeniusz via Wikimedia Commons

Fun fact: you’re about 90% more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in Shreveport than in the rest of Louisiana. The city has a subtropical climate, so think hot, humid summers and mild winters. As for the median household income? A rather underwhelming $37,390.

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  • Mitch

    A computer science enthusiast with a keen interest in technology and games, Mitchelle (Mitch) contributes a cutting-edge perspective to the Frenz Hub writing team, integrating her academic knowledge with her personal passions

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