20 U.S. Cities You Do Not Want to Live In


Location, location, location; it’s not just something that someone made up. It’s all about the location when it comes to just about everything in life. From where you reside to where you work, from where you dine to where you enjoy a night out, it’s all about the location. And it’s not just the specific neighborhood or street, either, it’s the location as a whole. The city, the state, the continent and even the side of the country on which you live is important. There are so many beautiful places in which to reside across the country, but there are also many that are not as good as others. Read on to find out in which 20 US cities you want to cross off your list of potential homes.

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Atlanta, Georgia

Hotlanta, as people like to call it, is a very dangerous city in which to live. It’s a beautiful southern city in which you will find plenty of southern hospitality, but you will also find a high crime rate and some serious drug issues. The city is in a place that allows for very easy access to drug transport around the southern portion of the United States, which is one of the reasons the area is so dangerous. It’s something to consider, even if the cost of living here is relatively low.

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Stockton, California

The city is already known for its high crime rate but when the city had to file for bankruptcy a few years ago, things just got that much worse. Without the funds to keep cops on the street, the violence and crime became much worse. The city is so poor that it can’t afford much at all, and that’s had a huge effect on the way that the city is run. It’s one of the most miserable and most dangerous cities in the country, which is why you do not want to call Stockton home.

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Memphis, Tennessee

It’s one of the most famous places in the south, and people would love to live here. It’s close enough to Nashville to be near the stars, but far enough away to be relatively comfortable. However, the crime rate here is very high. This is not a huge city in comparison with other cities in the country, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the crime rate and the number of violent crimes that are reported each year. Additionally, the numbers are not falling with time.

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Buffalo, New York

The good news is that Buffalo’s murder rate is lower than it has been more than a decade, and that has to do with increased drug crack downs. However, the bad news is that more than 30% of the people who live in this city live well below the poverty line. The job market is not overly impressive here. The foreclosure rate is high, and many who live here claim they are so unhappy that they  just wish they could move somewhere else.

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Birmingham, Alabama

It might not seem like a very dangerous place to live. Alabama is known for being a very laid-back state in the south, so you might expect to see a lot of southern cooking and people rocking in their chairs on the front porch, but it’s got a very high crime rate. The poverty level here is more than 10% higher than it is in the entire state, and it has a lot to do with drugs. The drug trade here is big, and it causes the addition of a lot of drug-related violence, making it one of the worst places in which to live.

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Chicago, Illinois

This one comes as a surprise to many people, but it seems that the Windy City doesn’t have all that much to offer when it comes to happiness. The people who live here complain about long commutes and bad weather, angry commuters and a generally unhappy existence. It’s a beautiful city in which you can have a great deal of fun, but it appears that people are happier just visiting the city than actually calling it home.

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Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is a city in which the crime rate is quite high. Additionally, the city has lost a lot of its appeal in recent years, becoming well-known for its drug issues and violence. Many of the people who live here live in exceptional poverty and cannot seem to get by without resorting to a lifestyle that is just not what people want to live, and it’s become a place in which people do not want to raise their families. In fact, many of the people who live here say they’d get out if they could.

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Baltimore, Maryland

When a city is ranked in the top 15 as far as violent crimes in the entire country, you do not want to live here. A lovely city, Baltimore is beautiful. But it is crime-laden and dangerous. It’s frequently ranked one of the most dangerous cities in which to live. The area has a high number of violent crimes as well as a high number of drug issues. The good news is that the violent crimes here do not include rape, but that’s not enough to make you want to call this location home.

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Cleveland, Ohio

A city that was once vibrant, it’s become something of a desolate location. The crime rate has risen dramatically, and the city has all but shut down in many places. When the recession hit, it hit this city quite hard, and it’s been difficult on those who call it home. The biggest reason many people do not want to live here is the crime rate, which has a lot to do with drugs and other drug-related violence. There are 1,363 crimes for every 100k residents in the city, which is very high.

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Rockford, Illinois

This is ranked of the unhappiest cities in the country, and it’s for many reasons. The economy here is unimpressive, the job rate is unimpressive and the housing situation is unimpressive. The city has frequently been ranked as one that is on the decline, and many people who do live here are not doing well enough to be able to leave and move somewhere in which they might be able to start a more enjoyable, better life for themselves.

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St. Louis, Missouri

This is a city in which many people love to call home, but the crime rate is terrible. There are crimes that occur on a regular basis thanks to the drug trafficking that goes on here. Perhaps the biggest reason that people consistently rank St. Louis as one of the worst cities in which to live is the fact that the city is ranked fourth in murders across the country. It’s a terrible thought, and many people will avoid the area specifically for that reason.

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Houston, Texas

The people who live here are going to tell you that the area is gorgeous, and it is. Houston is beautiful and there is a lot to do and a lot that the city has to offer. However, it’s a dangerous city in which many people find themselves victims of crimes. It’s one of the most dangerous cities in the state, and it’s also one of the most dangerous cities in the country. For that reason alone, you probably want to cross this city off your list of places to live one day.

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Los Angeles, California

This is a beautiful area, and the crime rate is not as high as you might expect it to be in a big city. However, the reason that so many people say that LA is a terrible place to live is the sheer amount of congestion in and around the city. The people who live here are not big fans of the traffic they have to fight, the constant stops and even the many different gangs that have been active in and around the city for a longtime.

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Oakland, California

Just across the bay from the beautiful San Francisco, this is actually a terrible place to live. It’s the number one city for violent robberies in the country, and that’s not something that people want to deal with. It’s big in the drug trade, which makes it the kind of city that you just don’t want to call home because you do not want to raise your kids here. It’s not someplace you should add to your list of potential future home sites.

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El Paso, Texas

Located just across the border from of the worst cities in Mexico, El Paso is dangerous by association. Ask many of the people who live here and they will tell you that the city is scary and that they don’t really like to go anywhere alone, especially at night. Ask others and they will tell you that it’s one of the nicest places to live and that they love their home. The general consensus, however, is that it’s not the best place to call home in Texas.

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Miami, Florida

As a whole, there is nothing wrong with Miami. It is a big drug location because of its proximity to the water and South America, but it’s not terrible like some of the other cities in the country. However, people who call Miami home do hate the traffic, the tourists and the fact that they cannot seem to get anywhere in a hurry. There is often a lot of complaint, too, about the language barrier, which is often more difficult to understand in Miami than anywhere else.

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Camden, New Jersey

This Jersey city has very high crime rates, higher than most of the other cities in the country. For this reason, it’s not uncommon to hear about people leaving this area for somewhere safer and happier. But on that note, many people assume that Jersey as a whole is a dangerous location, and it is not. It’s actually a lovely state in which many people are quite happy and very much in love with their home. Don’t judge the entire state but the existence of one unfortunate location in the state.

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Daytona Beach, Florida

I’ve been a Floridian my entire life, and I’m going to agree wholeheartedly. At one time, this beach was great. However, it’s become a hotbed of disaster. The crime rate is high, the spring break allure is too much, and the fact that the city is often inundated with people who come to visit for various reasons and the fact that anyone can drive on the beach just really drags it downhill. Add to that the fact that the job market is not that impressive and that the area has really fallen into disrepair and you have every reason not to want to live here.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Now, this is a big city. When it comes to big cities, you have to expect more crime than anywhere else in the country. And Philly is located on the list of most dangerous cities in the country, though it’s not in the top 10 or even 20. The city is in the top 100, which is not so bad, but then you consider how many cities there are in the country and suddenly it does seem a bit worse for the wear. People here are happy, but it seems that people elsewhere are much happier.

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Orlando, Florida

Again, as someone who has spent 32 years of my life near Orlando, I get it. It’s filled with tourists and it’s always packed. You cannot get anywhere in a timely fashion and nobody here can drive. But that’s not what makes Orlando so bad. What makes Orlando bad is the fact that on neighborhoodscout.com, a site that rates cities for families looking to move, the city is rated a 2 in terms of safety. That doesn’t sound so bad until you consider the fact that 100 is considered the safest.

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  1. This article is pure opinion. I understand an editorial writer is essential an opinion writer but the bias is obvious. This writer is from Florida and obviously dislikes the state she is from therefore at least 3 of the 20 cities were listed. Next point is where on this list was New York City? you are talking a city with a high cost of living and large homeless population. How about San Francisco, yes it is pretty and a tourist hotbed but again it is so expensive there are people living in their cars, vans and RV’s. Where was Newark, NJ, New Orleans, or LA? The information listed about Cleveland and St. Louis is incorrect and sounds like it is based on stereotype and what people say vs what was witnessed. Cleveland is actually growing, the only reason for the depopulation is that the county and suburbs is where many are living and the city did not annex the suburbs.
    The point is that a person can find good and bad in most areas, but in order to make a decision on livability, you have to spend time there.

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