We looked at 10 factors for the 200 largest metro areas and divisions in the U.S. to determine America's Most Miserable Cities. Some are serious, like violent crime, unemployment rates, foreclosures, taxes (income and property), home prices and political corruption. Other metrics we included are less weighty, like commute times, weather and how the area's pro sports teams did. While sports, commuting and weather can be considered trivial by many, they can be the determining factor in the level of misery for a significant number of people.
#20 Gary, Indiana
Gary, located 25 miles from downtown Chicago, has been ravaged by the decline of its industrial base. Foreclosures and high crime continue to plague the area.
#19 Modesto, California
Modesto has been ravaged by the housing bust with 1 out of every 19 properties filing for foreclosure in 2011 according to RealtyTrac. That’s third worst in the U.S. Unemployment remains a problem also with an average rate of 16.7% the past three years.
#18 Vallejo, California
Vallejo emerged from bankruptcy last year after three years of cutting spending and restructuring debt. Fallout from the reduced spending includes a police force and fire department that operate at roughly one-third their capacity from 2004.
#17 Bakersfield, California
The American Lung Association dubbed Bakersfield the most polluted city in the U.S. thanks to its high level of toxic particles or soot. Only 14% of Bakersfield adults have a college degree.
#16 Memphis, Tennessee
Home prices are down only 6% the past three years and Tennessee does not have a state income tax. But a violent crime rate that is second only to Detroit helps lands Memphis on the list.To find out the rest of the cities on their list go HERE.
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