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20 Worst Cities in America

·13 min read

In this article, we will take a look at the 20 worst cities in America. You can skip our comprehensive analysis of these American cities, and go directly to the 5 Worst Cities in America.

Today 55 % of the world population (4.2 billion) live in cities. This pattern is likely to persist. Nearly 7 out of 10 people in the world will live in cities by 2050, with the urban population more than tripling from its current level.

Today's cities in the United States are unquestionably complicated. Many US cities are bustling locations with museums and other cultural attractions, nightclubs, theatres, restaurants, and residents from all walks of life. Many college grads travel to cities for a variety of reasons, including job prospects, recreational opportunities, and the sheer exhilaration of living in a big city. On the other hand, several US cities are wracked by poverty, filthy and decaying housing, high crime rates, unemployment, congestion, and polluted air. Many Americans would like to live somewhere other than in a metropolis.

Whether you're considering a cross-country trip or simply relocating from one city to another, city safety is likely one of the most important factors to consider. When relocating, factors such as employment opportunities, educational opportunities, economic landscape and crime rates in the region play a major role in the decision-making process. These factors are also very important for businesses that are considering in expanding in these cities.

2020 has been a year of unexpected changes. The spread of Covid-19 has created a new normal. The usual city hustle life changed to a life in quarantine which shifted the focus back to creation of comforts in homes. States across US are more focused now on offering a better quality of life; in terms of safety, employment opportunities, better healthcare services, and a generally clean environment.

Covid-19 has affected cities across the US. The quick spread of the coronavirus and the resulting shutdowns and stay-at-home orders struck a catastrophic blow to numerous businesses and industries in the United States around a year ago. This set in motion a massive increase in unemployment from March to April 2020, which was unparalleled in the post-World War II era, climaxing at 14.8% in April. The COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting economic collapse increased the number of jobless Americans by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020.

Since the Spring of 2020, the jobless rate has decreased dramatically, falling to 3.5 percent recently. However, the COVID-19 recession was marked by labor market upheaval. Workers in low-wage occupations were particularly heavily struck by job losses during the pandemic. From April 2019 to April 2020, employment in low-wage occupations fell 33.9%. In middle-wage occupations, there was a loss of 14.1%. In April 2020, there were 2.6% more people working in high-wage occupations than in April 2019. During this time, employment in high-wage occupations climbed little. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the psychological toll of losing a job is evident. Seven out of ten unemployed adults say they've felt more stressed than normal as a result of being unemployed, and 56% say they've had more emotional or mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression.

Hispanic workers, younger workers, and those without a bachelor's degree have all seen an increase in unemployment. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the unemployment rate in the United States was 6.5 percent in December 2020, nearly 3 percentage points higher than it was in December 2019 (3.4%).

Unfortunately, the majority of the consequences of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns have been shockingly negative — a steadily rising death toll, job losses, unemployment, and a coming global financial catastrophe are among the most widely reported difficulties worldwide. However, stop in ordinary life in reaction to COVID-19 has resulted in a few favorable improvements. For example, a significant reduction in carbon-based emissions have resulted in lower levels of air pollution. Despite COVID-19's numerous negative consequences, the air quality example indicates that the virus has brought about a few unexpected, but extremely significant, benefits to everyday life.

Has there been a shift in crime in the United States (US) as a result of COVID-19, is a very popular question. Researchers are intrigued and curious to study the data.

Violent crime is divided into four categories by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The UCR Program defines violent crimes as those that entail the use or threat of force. According to FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2019, an estimated 1,203,808 violent offenses were reported across the country, down 0.5 percent from 2018. The number of violent crimes per 100,000 people was predicted to be 366.7, down 1.0 percent from the previous year's estimate and down 9.3 percent from the previous year's estimate.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, violent crime rose in 2020 in the US. If the FBI's preliminary data for 2020 is accurate, the United States will have recorded more than 20,000 killings in 2020 (6.22 per 100,000 people), the highest number since 1995. (8.22 homicides per 100,000 people). This is the highest annual increase in homicides on record, with predictions ranging from a 25% to 30% increase over 2019 levels.

20 Worst Cities in America
20 Worst Cities in America

igorstevanovic/Shutterstock.com

Our Methodology

Unemployment has increased in the US post-Covid-19. We have compiled a list of 20 worst cities to live in America. We carried out an in-depth search on the rate of unemployment in the country as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the basis of our findings, we have filtered out the 20 worst cities in America.

With this context in mind, let's now discuss our list of the 20 worst cities in America using the unemployment rates following the pandemic.

20 Worst Cities in America

20. Corpus Christi, Texas

Unemployment Rate: 8.4% of the Labor Force

In terms of violent crimes, the FBI's 2019 database rates Corpus Christi as the 43rd most dangerous city in America. The cost of living in the city according to data reports is 83.1%. The median house income of the city is $146, 200 compared to an average income of $195,000 of Texas. The crime rate of the city 43.86%, making it a dangerous city to live in.

It is ranked 20th on our list of the 20 worst cities in America.

19. Hammond, Louisiana

Unemployment Rate: 8.4% of the Labor Force

For safety, Hammond is in the 26th percentile. This means 74% of the cities in US are safer than Hammond. Unemployment rate in Hammond in the month of June was at 8.4% which is considerably higher than the national rate of 5.9% indicating less than ideal economic conditions. The violent crime rate in Hammond was 61.8 which is astonishingly higher from national average of 22.7. Hammond is at 19th on our list of 20 worst cities in America.

18. Las Cruces, New Mexico

Unemployment Rate: 8.4% of the Labor Force

The second largest city of US, Las Cruces has a poverty rate of 24.4%. Crime rates of the city are amongst highest in America, with a rate of 42 per 1,000 people. One in every 24 people is a victim of violent or property crime in this city. According to the latest statistics the city continues to struggle with ongoing healthcare crisis due to covid-19, the death toll is at 505 deaths and 26,804 cases have been reported in the month of August.

The city is ranked at 18th  on our list of 20 worst cities in America.

17. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois

Unemployment Rate: 8.5% of the Labor Force

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin has a poverty rate of 11.8% in a population of 9.46 million. The median house-hold income of the city is $58,247 which is less than the national average of $62, 842. With the unemployment rates rising to 8.5% and the violent crime rate at 25.1%, it is ranked at 17 in our list of 20 worst cities of US.

16. Waterbury, Connecticut

Unemployment Rate: 8.6% of Labor Force

Waterbury is at 16th on our list of 20 worst cities in America. The city has a poverty rate of 24.3 percent. Poverty affects one out of every 4.1 Waterbury residents. According to FBI crime statistics, in comparison to the rest of Connecticut, Waterbury has a higher crime rate than 99 percent of the state's cities. While housing expenses of the city are 6% lower than the national average, the utility prices according to the statistics are 8% higher.

These factors make the city less desirable place to live in.

15. Flagstaff, Arizona

Unemployment Rate: 8.7% of Labor Force

Flagstaff was ranked 115th in the most current cost-of-living study, produced by the Council for Community and Economic Research in 2017. This indicates that the cost of living is 15% higher in Flagstaff as compared to the national average. Unemployment rates increased to 8.7% from long term average of 7.02% indicating deteriorating economic conditions. Healthcare sector of the city struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic, the city reported 339 deaths due to corona in the month of Aug 2021 and 19,566 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The city is ranked at 15th  on our list of 21 worst cities in America.

14. Pueblo, Colorado

Unemployment Rate: 8.7% of Labor Force

Pueblo's safety rating is in the 22nd percentile. This indicates that 78% of cities in America are safer to live in. This coupled with a high unemployment rate makes the city less than ideal to live in. Pueblo has a poverty rate of 24.4 percent. Poverty affects one out of every 4.1 Pueblo inhabitants. Lesser job opportunities, lower safety and poverty statistics place the city at 14 on our list of 20 worst cities in America.

13. Modesto, California

Unemployment Rate: 8.8% of Labor Force

Although placed at a central location, often making commute easy, Modesto is not an ideal city to live in. Modesto has one of the highest crime rates in America. Crime rate in Modesto is 42 per 1,000 people. Unemployment rate in the city increased by 0.8% rising from 8.0% in May to 8.8% in June. Future job growth is expected to be 29.5 percent over the next 10 years, which is lower than the US average of 33.5 percent.

Unemployment rate places Modesto at 13 on our list of 20 worst cities in America.

12. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana

Unemployment Rate: 8.9% of Labor Force

New Orleans-Metairie is at 12th on our list of 20 worst cities in America. Unemployment remained high admist the covid-19 crisis. The number of jobless individuals in New Orleans peaked at 100,676 in April 2020. In the metropolitan region, there are currently 49,898 fewer jobless individuals.

In December, average hourly wages remained unchanged from the previous month and are on level with last year at this time. More jobs opened up in the health-care industry.

According to data, the city ranked first in the country for homicide cases per capita in the second quarter of 2021 (April-June).

With employment and crime rates peaking it definitely makes it to our list of 20 worst cities in America.

11. Yuba City, California

Unemployment Rate: 8.9% of Labor Force

On our list of 20 worst cities of US, Yuba is at 11. The city is noted for its agreeable weather, spectacular natural surroundings – including the Sutter Buttes Mountain Range and the Feather River – and a unique blend of urban and rural appeal. In Yuba City, 17.6% of the population is poor. Yuba City has a poverty rate of one in every 5.7 residents.

The city reported a total of 3 murder, 28 rape, 52 robbery and 158 cases of aggravated assaults in 2019 according to FBI.

10. Madera, California

Unemployment Rate: 9.1% of Labor Force

Madera is known as "The Heart of California" because of its location near the state's geographic center. In Madera, 26.8% of the population lives in poverty, which is higher than the national average of 12.3 percent. Females aged 25 to 34 are the most likely to be poor, followed by Females aged 6 to 11 and then Males aged 6 to 11.

In Madera, the chances of becoming a victim of violent or property crime are 1 in 39. It is ranked at 10th on our list of 20 worst cities in America.

9. Fresno, California

Unemployment Rate: 9.4% of Labor Force

Fresno is 9th on our list of 20 worst cities in America. Agriculture thrives throughout Fresno. The area is covered in farmland that produces a wide range of crops such as grapes, almonds, tomatoes, and oranges. Despite of its thriving agricultural outlook, 9.4% of the labor force remains unemployed. The poverty rate in Fresno is 28.1 percent, while roughly 80 percent of residents lack a bachelor's degree.

Since the beginning of 2021, 22 people have been murdered in Fresno.

8. Kokomo, Indiana

Unemployment Rate: 9.4% of Labor Force

Kokomo is dubbed the "City of Firsts" as a result of its industrial and technological successes. Despite its achievements, the poverty rate in Kokomo is 20.4%. One out of every 4.9 residents of Kokomo live in poverty.

In Kokomo, the chances of becoming a victim of violent or property crime are 1 in 31. The city reported a total of 5 murder, 25 rape, 48 robbery and 314 cases of aggravated assaults in 2019.

The city is ranked at 8th on our list of 20 worst cities in America.

7. Rockford, Illinois

Unemployment Rate: 9.5% of Labor Force

Rockford, often known as the Forest City, is currently noted for a number of cultural and historical landmarks. Rockford has a poverty rate of 22.2 percent. One in every 4.5 Rockford inhabitants lives in poverty.

Rockford has one of the highest crime rates in America, with a rate of 46 per 1,000 population. There is a one in 22 probability of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in this city. According to FBI 338 cases of violent crime were reported in 2019.

The city is ranked at 7th on our list of 20 worst cities in America.

6. Odessa, Texas

Unemployment Rate: 9.7% of Labor Force

6th  on our list of 20 worst countries in America is Odessa. The city is recognized for its cowboy culture, as well as the slew of oil rigs that dot the horizon. Odessa has a poverty rate of 11.8 percent. Poverty affects one out of every 8.5 people in Odessa.

Odessa has one of the highest crime rates in America, with a rate of 41 per 1,000 population. There is a one in 25 probability of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in this city. According to FBI 1,280 cases of violent crime was reported in the Odessa in 2019.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Worst Cities in America.

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Disclosure. None.20 Worst Cities in America is originally published on Insider Monkey.