Quality of life in an American city often depends on the neighborhood one lives in, as abject poverty and crime can be found just blocks away from prosperity. Still, as much as a city can be judged on the whole, some cities face widespread problems that detract from their residents’ overall quality of life.
Americans take into consideration a number of factors when deciding where to live, including the quality of schools, the strength of the local economy and job market, the area’s safety and culture, as well as its climate. Cities that perform well by these measures are more likely to attract new residents, and those that do not tend to drive residents away.
> Population: 848,423
> Median home value: $123,500
> Poverty rate: 20.6%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.4%
One of the most dangerous cities in the country, there were 1,288 violent crimes for every 100,000 Indianapolis residents in 2015, far more than the violent crime rate nationwide of 373 incidents per 100,000 Americans. With 144 homicides in the city, 2015 was the deadliest year in Indianapolis history up to that point. According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, at least 28% of the murders were drug related.
Serious financial hardship is also more common in Indianapolis than it is across the state. More than one in five city residents live in poverty compared to Indiana’s poverty rate of 14.5%.
To determine America’s worst cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 551 U.S. cities with a population of 65,000 or more as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 worst cities to live.