Top 10 America's Most Miserable Cities. You live in one?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2009 5:00 AM GMT
    Just thought it was interesting.
    Forbes.com had just released their 2nd annual list of Top 10 America's Most Miserable Cities.

    "We compiled our rankings by looking at the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., which meant those with a population of at least 378,000. We ranked those metros on nine factors: commute times, corruption, pro sports teams, Superfund sites, taxes (both income and sales), unemployment, violent crime and weather."

    No. 10 St. Louis, Mo.
    The Gateway City scored in the bottom half of all nine categories we looked at for the Forbes Misery Measure. It was the only metro area to pull off that feat.


    No. 9 Miami, Fla.
    Miami has been crushed by the housing collapse. Moody's Economy.com estimates that 26% of mortgages in Miami are delinquent or are likely to be written off as bad debt that can not be collected. Violent crime and corruption are also off the charts.


    No. 8 Buffalo, N.Y.
    If you like snow, Buffalo is your place--to the tune of 90 inches a year, more than any other metro area that has a million people. Buffalo's population has been steadily shrinking since the mid-1990s.

    No. 7 Detroit, Mich.
    Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to four months in jail last year for his sex-and-text scandal. Tough year also for the state's football teams, as the University of Michigan suffered through its first losing season in 40 years and the NFL's Lions failed to win a game.

    No. 6 Flint, Mich.
    The city immortalized in Michael Moore's documentary Roger & Me is plagued by the double whammy of high crime and high unemployment. General Motors employs one-tenth the number of employees in Flint compared to its peak in the 1970s.

    No. 5 Modesto, Calif.
    Unemployment has skyrocketed in Modesto with further pain to come. It is expected to average 16.7% in 2009, up from 11.4% last year. Another drawback: It has the highest car theft rate in the U.S.


    No. 4 Cleveland, Ohio
    Only Denver gets socked with more snow than Cleveland's 52-inch annual average among the 50 largest metros. Clevelanders wait in fear for July 1, 2010, when hoops star LeBron James can switch teams as a free agent.

    No. 3 Chicago, Ill.
    Living costs in the Second City are not much higher than the national average, but the 10.3% sales tax is a killer and is the highest of any city. A winning Olympic bid should move along needed transportation infrastructure improvements.

    No. 2 Memphis, Tenn.
    Memphis scores points for not having a state income tax, but the sales tax is an onerous 9.3%, one of the highest in the country. FedEx is the biggest employer in the area by far with 30,000 employees.

    No. 1 Stockton, Calif.
    Only 15% of Stockton adults have a college degree, which is one of the lowest rates in the U.S. Unemployment is expected to hit 15% in 2010, while housing prices should keep falling back to their mid-1990s level when the median home price was $130,000.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2009 5:02 AM GMT
    Funny thing is I grew up in Modesto (city #5) and now live in Chicago (city #3).
    Actually... no really that funny... kinda miserable really.
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    Feb 19, 2009 5:11 AM GMT

    Move to Cumtamamah in Dubai, UAE. icon_wink.gificon_cool.gificon_lol.gif
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    Feb 19, 2009 7:14 AM GMT
    Look mom! No Omaha in the top 10!icon_lol.gif
  • Viaggiatore

    Posts: 5

    Feb 19, 2009 7:36 AM GMT
    That's an interesting list, but it seems like the criteria are all negatives. Where's music, public trasport, festivals, parks and food? All important things for me...
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    Feb 19, 2009 7:53 AM GMT
    Burlington was voted the best place to live in the Greater Toronto Area. icon_biggrin.gif Gooooo Burlington!

    Suck it Oakville...icon_razz.gif
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    Feb 19, 2009 7:56 AM GMT
    Sean_85 saidBurlington was voted the best place to live in the Greater Toronto Area. icon_biggrin.gif Gooooo Burlington!

    Suck it Oakville...icon_razz.gif


    No one cares about canada.






    icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2009 8:01 AM GMT
    And since you don't have a pic no one cares what you have to say.. icon_razz.gif


    The icon_razz.gif face makes it look like i'm being nice!icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2009 8:02 AM GMT
    Sean_85 saidAnd since you don't have a pic no one cares what you have to say.. icon_razz.gif


    The icon_razz.gif face makes it look like i'm being nice!icon_biggrin.gif


    Oh, please , you've seen my face plenty of times.

    Btw, nice underwear.
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    Feb 19, 2009 8:06 AM GMT
    Parable said
    Sean_85 saidAnd since you don't have a pic no one cares what you have to say.. icon_razz.gif


    The icon_razz.gif face makes it look like i'm being nice!icon_biggrin.gif


    Oh, please , you've seen my face plenty of times.

    Btw, nice underwear.



    HAHAHA word up mofo. icon_biggrin.gif

    miss you muffy..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2009 8:16 AM GMT
    i grew up in between #5 and #6

    if you all dont know they're only like 20 minutes away form each other haha
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    Feb 19, 2009 8:59 AM GMT
    Do you think the 15% of people with degrees are the 15% of unemployed people in Stockton? No wonder it's so miserable there if they've wasted their time at uni! icon_eek.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 19, 2009 12:48 PM GMT
    I didn't expect my city, Wichita, Kansas to be listed. It has a lot of positive things about it.

    Interesting thread, Stephen, except I would have liked to have seen your "top 10 cities list" instead of the bottom....along with a sun shining on your instead of your little rain cloud......
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    Feb 19, 2009 1:06 PM GMT
    chicago does kinda suck, it is a very segregated city, the sales tax rate is killer (at 11%+ in some areas, minimum 10%), parking meters are $3.50 per hour, and corrupt government.

    Housing is relatively expensive too, lots of people working multiple jobs just to make ends meet.

    Suburbs are no better either. In the northern burbs, a little 1,000 sq ft1 bdrm house (crapshack) can easily go for about half a million, with 3% property tax in some areas.

    There are good things, too. But nothing that other cities don't offer, at least that i can find.
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    Feb 19, 2009 1:10 PM GMT
    I am surprised Washington, DC didnt make the list....happy, but surprised.
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    Feb 19, 2009 1:34 PM GMT
    I live 30 miles north of Miami, and this whole area has been hit hard by the mortgage crisis, as Forbes says. I have friends & acquaintances in real estate, and they are badly battered & bruised.

    And the crime really is getting worse, even where we live. A couple of guys tried to mug us in the dark as we came home from dinner last summer, knocked my partner down & hurt him, but I chased them off (with my cane, no less... LOL!).

    So we stay away from Miami, but continue to visit Miami Beach, by day, anyway. A lot of people don't realize they are very different cities. And Fort Lauderdale & Wilton Manors remain fairly safe, with the large retired gay population still spending money locally, keeping things afloat for now.

    Not mentioned in these summaries from Forbes is the terrible Miami area traffic, which approaches the anarchy of undeveloped third-world countries. If you visit here try to avoid having to drive around, and make sure you are heavily insured, both for the car and your medical coverage.
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    Feb 19, 2009 1:43 PM GMT
    I love Cleveland
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    Feb 19, 2009 1:46 PM GMT
    onstagebuffnaked saidI love Cleveland

    Thank goodness! I don't live there, but near there. I don't think it's such a bad place, nor is Chicago.

    Sorry, but I think this list is a buncha crap.
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Feb 19, 2009 2:18 PM GMT
    "who cares about Canada"?

    this may only be tangential to this thread
    but I've thought that Canada is what the States could be if we pulled our heads out.
    several great cities too.

    poor st. louis, there's a lot of cool stuff there at least toward the center, the older parts.
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    Feb 19, 2009 2:21 PM GMT
    So I used to live in Waterbury, CT which, at the time (about 198icon_cool.gif was at the bottom of the Fortune ranking of cities. I then moved to Flint, MI which the next year also became the bottom ranked city in Fortune. I got to Flint right when Roger & Me came out and was pretty horrified.

    After 2 years in Flint, I couldn't take it anymore (depressing) and was about to chuck the business and move back to the Northeast, when I decided to move to Ann Arbor, MI. Ann Arbor is pretty close to Detroit (about 30 minutes west of Detroit), but being a college town, is actually pretty nice. It's an island though compared to much of Michigan (especially northern MI, which is beautiful, but not too friendly for the gays).

    Detroit has some nice areas in it and some great architecture/culture. But it does have a lot of dangerous and scary areas. Really scary.

    It's really too bad that Michigan has two of the "worst" cities in it. It's tough to see what may be able to turn around the state -- financially and the impression people have of it. I tend to think, from a "what does it have to offer", it's best days may be behind it. In reality, without the auto industry, it's a bit difficult to come up with a reason to be in Michigan. I suspect that with that slowly fading out, it will eventually settle down to a state more like Wyoming - nice enough, but without much compelling reason to be there for most folks.

    I'd very much like to be wrong though....

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    Feb 19, 2009 2:22 PM GMT
    samerphx saidI saw this before... I am glad Phoenix is not on the list.


    While Phoenix is not without crime, weather-wise and for other reasons, we should be in the top ten. I can't think of too many happier, more affordable places to live!
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    Feb 19, 2009 3:10 PM GMT
    chaos444 saidi grew up in between #5 and #6

    if you all dont know they're only like 20 minutes away form each other haha


    icon_wink.gif No. 5 is Modesto, Calif. and No. 6 Flint, Mich. pretty sure there more then 20 min away,

    I lived in Modesto too. it sucked. Though I think you mean "between #1 and #5"
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Feb 19, 2009 3:22 PM GMT
    thankfully, no...San Francisco is a great city, but I thought our taxes were high...until I saw CHICAGO...hoy crap...California is hurting so bad I didn't think there was room to move the taxes up...guess I was SORELY WRONG!

    - David icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 19, 2009 4:06 PM GMT
    I live in Buffalo and this assessment is incorrect. Our population has been decreasing steadily not since the 1990's but since the 1950's. We are now half as populated as were then.

    And the snow, people get so worked up about snow but school doesn't get canceled for anything under a foot, there are few traffic delays, and our plows are so well run it is no big deal.
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    Feb 19, 2009 4:44 PM GMT
    Very good point about Miami and Miami Beach being two completely different cities. People don't make the distinction a lot of the time. While there are bad parts of Miami(just like there are bad parts of every big city), you'd have to be suffereing from chronic depression to be miserable in Miami Beach.

    Although the traffic can be bad there, it is NOTHING like the traffic in Atlanta. The only place I've ever seen that was worse than Atlanta is Los Angeles. And that's saying a lot. To me, Miami traffic is a breeze in comparison.

    Comparisons and relativity can trump statistics. Toledo didn't make the list but Miami did based on things like unemployment and housing issues but I would sure rather be unemployed and homeless in Miami than in Toledo.