The Worst City In Each State Are Not Part Of The American Dream

While many Americans are looking for that big home and white picket fence, there are a lot of undesirable cities around the country. Between poverty, natural disasters, and even being straight-up boring, the whole of America isn’t exactly created equal.

From Pahrump, Nevada, to Alliance, Nebraska, here are the worst cities in each state.

Newburgh, New York

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DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images
DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

When a city in New York has more crime per capita than Manhattan, it’s not going to be a good place to live. In 2019, Newburgh reported 317 violent crimes, almost double that of Manhattan.

On top of that, the poverty rate is a staggeringly high 31.2%, about double that of the rest of the state.

Muscoy, California

Impact of warehouse development in San Bernardino, CA.
Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California might be the Golden State but that doesn’t mean every city in the state is beautiful. In fact, Muscoy is downright horrible. Residents of the tiny city say crime runs rampant through the streets because there is nothing to do in town.

In 2019 alone, 1,500 violent crimes were reported.

Alliance, Nebraska

The Total Eclipse of the Sun crossed the entire United...
Will Powers/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Will Powers/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It might be home of Carhenge, a Stonehenge-like structure build of automobiles, but the landmark is more of a visiting site when it comes to Alliance, Nebraska.

People don’t really want to put down roots in the city, as the lack of jobs has the poverty rate at 13.1%, a higher percentage than the state total.

Helena-West Helena, Arkansas

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reddit

With a median household income of $19,896, Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, is one of the poorest cities in the United States.

With little to do in the town and a poverty level that is a little over 40%, it’s not surprising that the city has lost half of its population in the last 60-plus years.

Camden, New Jersey

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TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Unfortunately, Camden, New Jersey, has a long history of violence, corruption, and drugs. In 2019, 1,159 violent crimes were reported to the police, not making it a very attractive city to visit let alone live in.

As of 2021, the poverty rate is a staggering 36.8%, over double that of the rest of the state.

Lansdowne, Maryland

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Wikimedia Commons

Lansdowne, Maryland, has a lot of issues. First, with the poverty level being 27.9%, the city as a whole doesn’t fare well for its 8,409 residents. Not only that, but with the small population, crime is through the roof.

In 2019, more than 4,700 acts of violent crime were reported.

Clifton, Colorado

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Wikimedia Commons

Clifton, Colorado, is a quiet area. But that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t have its fair share of issues. In recent years, drugs have run rampant throughout Clifton, with 164 violent crimes reported in 2019.

It’s a warning for people who are thinking about moving somewhere in Colorado — steer clear of Clifton!

Beloit, Wisconsin

Dam and power plant on Rock river, Beloit, Wisconsin
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

While Beloit, Wisconsin, has one of the best main streets in the country, it’s only fun for those who don’t fall below the poverty line and are employed. All in all, it’s not great for a lot of locals.

The poverty rate in the city is a solid 24.1%, with the median household income being a low $87,400.

Wilmington, Delaware

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ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images
ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Wilmington might be the largest city in Delaware, but it isn’t one people want to live in. It’s actually one of the poorest places in the state, with a quarter of its 70,166 residents under the poverty line.

Not only that, but since the ’90s, crime has skyrocketed a solid 148%.

Spanish Lake, Missouri

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Michael B. Thomas/AFP via Getty Images
Michael B. Thomas/AFP via Getty Images

Don’t let the pretty name of Spanish Lake fool you; this Missouri city isn’t somewhere people want to live.

According to the St. Louis Beacon, “Spanish Lake is an apocalyptic ghost town where jobs are scarce, homes are foreclosed, education options are diminished, and mass transit has been reduced to a crawl.”

Pahrump, Nevada

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Paul Harris/Getty Image
Paul Harris/Getty Image

While Pahrump, Nevada, is only an hour away from the lights of Las Vegas, it’s not a good enough reason to build a life there. According to many residents, “puff dirt” has their homes sinking into the ground!

Also, young people should steer clear of this city, as a third of the population is well over 50 years old.

Denison, Iowa

Denison, Iowa
Scott Morgan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images
Scott Morgan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Once the meatpacking plants across Denison, Iowa, cut wages, many people left the city, as there were no jobs left to sustain a suitable lifestyle.

With the five-year unemployment rate at a solid 10.7% (state: 3.9%), it’s no wonder Denison is considered one of the worst cities in the country.

Huron, South Dakota

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Huron, South Dakota, isn’t a horrible place to live if all a person wants to do is work in a meatpacking plant. There’s only a 1.3% unemployment rate in the city, which is great.

But there is literally nothing else to do in Huron. It’s all about work, sleep, and maybe going to the new Walmart Supercenter.

Cloquet, Minnesota

Downtown_Cloquet
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Wikimedia Commons

Once the home of a booming lumber industry, Cloquet, Minnesota, really has nothing much going for it now, aside from its freezing cold winters. And that’s really not a selling point for the city.

Due to the lack of jobs, the poverty rate is 4% higher than the state’s 10%.

Fair Oaks, Georgia

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Wikimedia Commons

The first hint that Fair Oaks, Georgia, isn’t one of the “must live” cities in the United States should be the fact that a majority of the state’s residents have no idea it even exists.

And if that isn’t enough to deter people, the 32.6% poverty rate might do the trick.

East St. Louis, Illinois

Abandoned brick factory building, East St. Louis
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

East St. Louis, Illinois, is continually making it on lists of the most dangerous places to live in the United States. In 2016, the city had the highest murder rate in the entire country!

When a place is known for violent crime to the highest degree, it’s typically considered one of the worst cities in the country.

Parkland, Washington

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16 WAPT News

Parkland, Washington, might be home to Pacific Lutheran University, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good city. The median household income is about $100,000 below the state average, with the poverty rate being 16.7%.

Also, only about 17% of adults over 25 years old have a four-year college degree, which isn’t great for unemployment rates.

Bastrop, Louisiana

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Tammy Crockett/Pinterest

Unfortunately, residents of Bastrop, Louisiana, put all of their hopes and dreams on some big-name employers in the area, namely the century-old International Paper Co. mill and a Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant.

After both plats shutdown, the poverty rate skyrocketed to 47.9%. Now, it’s considered one of the worst cities in the country.

Robstown, Texas

Families of migratory workers in front of their row shelters, FSA, labour camp, Robstown, Texas. 1942
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There isn’t much to do in Robstown, Texas unless the person moving there enjoys partaking in some of the worst drugs around. According to Caller Times, this city has one of the highest overdose rates in the entire state.

It doesn’t help that the poverty rate is 41.1% to the state’s 15.5%.

New Kingman-Butler, Arizona

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Zillow.com

Besides the temperate weather, New Kingman-Butler, Arizona has pretty much nothing going for it. There is little to do in the city, and the employment opportunities are few and far between, leaving the poverty rate at 28.0% compared to the state’s 16%.

Not only that, but the median household income is a low $34,243.

Middletown, Ohio

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Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Middletown, Ohio, doesn’t really have the charm of the rest of the state, thanks to the slow and steady decline of their industry in the past few years. Now, 25.4% of the city’s residents live below the poverty line.

The horrible winters also aren’t going this particular city any favors!

Kalifornsky, Alaska

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Realtor.com

Kalifornsky, Alaska, might be beautiful, but the scenery isn’t worth the amount of money it takes to live there, according to residents. And with the median household income around $88,984, the fact that the housing is too expensive is really saying something.

Not to mention, Alaska’s “sun all of the time” during part of the year isn’t really for everyone.

Selma, Alabama

Shop Selling Alcohol By The Rail Tracks Selma
Barry Lewis/InPictures via Getty Images
Barry Lewis/InPictures via Getty Images

Unfortunately, Selma, Alabama, is one of those cities that just can’t catch a break. The poverty rate is a staggeringly high 41% compared to the rest of the state’s 17.5%.

And the five-year average for unemployment is 15.7% to the rest of the state’s 6.6%. Not only that, but locals say there is really nothing to do there.

Manchester, New Hampshire

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Jodi Hilton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

New Hampshire is one of the more expensive states in the country, leading to a huge homelessness problem in cities such as Manchester. This particular city has a poverty rate of 14.8%, which is double the rest of the state.

Even those who are employed have a hard time making ends meet since the median household income is only $60,711.

Avon Park, Florida

Florida Town Considers Crackdown On Illegal Immigrants
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Avon Park, Florida, leaves little to be desired for young people and retirees alike. Smack dab in the middle of the state, there is pretty much no entertainment and no beach to speak of.

The one thing Avon Park has going for it is the fact that the housing is very cheap (there’s no wondering why…)

Havre, Montana

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Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Montana is a very cool state, excluding the city of Havre. Honestly, with only three major stores, it’s hardly even a city. There really is nothing to do there.

The local newspaper even took a turn for the worst, shutting down completely a few years ago. Now, the median household income is around $48,294.

Chaparral, New Mexico

Dirt Cemetery Falls Into Foreclosure
David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images

Chaparral is a city in New Mexico that really needs a facelift. A staggeringly high 43% of residents live in poverty due to a lack of well-paying jobs. This leads people to ditch a traditional house, purchase a plot of land, and live in mobile homes.

The median household income of $24,665 doesn’t help matters.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Johnstownview
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Wikimedia Commons

Located on the Rust Belt, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, isn’t really where people want to move. While it is considered a friendly city, drugs and crime have made their presence known in the past few years.

Tack on the 38.7% poverty rate and the median household income of $24,561, and it is most definitely one of the worst cities in the country.

Middlesboro, Kentucky

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Wikimedia Commons

The quirky city of Middlesboro, Kentucky, doesn’t have much going for it, aside from being the home of the country’s oldest continuously played golf course and ragtime music. But those two things aren’t going to get Middlesboro on any “fun city” lists.

The city has a 40.6% poverty rate and a median household income of $25,488.

Minot, North Dakota

Record Flooding Forces North Dakota Residents To Evacuate
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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Between the horrible weather and small population, Minot, North Dakota, isn’t really a place people want to move to. But what the city lacks in entertainment and charm they make up for in a cheap and low housing market.

Even so, it’s not exactly a city people think of when they want to go somewhere fun.