Worst Cities in the United States 2024

Location preference is typically a subjective matter. Many factors determine this, such as climate, culture, state location, people, and more. Despite this, some cities objectively have the least favorable conditions and are, therefore, the worst cities in the US.

To determine the 50 worst cities in the United States, Business Insider used Census data from 1,000 US cities. Factors analyzed for each city were population change from 2010 to 2018, the percentage of people in the workforce, median household income, percentage of people without health insurance, median commute times, and the number of people living in poverty. Population change was weighted at 40%, people in the workforce at 10%, median household income at 10%, people without health insurance at 15%, median commute times at 15%, and percent of people in poverty at 10%.

Based on this data, the ten worst cities in the United States are:

  1. Gary, IN
  2. Port Arthur, TX
  3. Detroit, MI
4. Passaic, NJ 5. Newark, NJ 6. Pine Bluff, AR
7. Flint, MI 8. Camden, MI 9. Warren, OH
10. Huntington Park, CA

Gary, Indiana is the worst city in the United States. Between 2010 and 2018, Gary lost 6.3% of its residents. Of its 75,000 current residents, only half are in the workforce with a median income of only $29,293 and 35.80% of the population live in poverty. Gary once had a booming manufacturing economy, but as the industry declined, so did the number of jobs.

The highest percentage of people in the workforce in the 50 worst cities is only 70.10% in Plainfield, New Jersey. Flint, Michigan has the highest poverty rate of 41.20%. Each of the 50 cities on the list has a median household income of at least $10,000 below the U.S. median of $63,179.

Of the 50 worst cities, 10 are in California, nine are in New Jersey, and six are in Florida. The cities have a few common factors, such as the devastation from natural disasters, high crime and addiction rates, few job opportunities, and often a lot of abandoned housing.

The full list of cities and data for each metric used can be found here.

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Worst Cities in the United States 2024