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Posted on: July 29th, 2010
Top Ten Worst US Cities to Live In Once you Move to America

Knowing the worst U.S. cities is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t move to one when you first come to America. There are plenty of ways to measure how successful a city is. Economic growth or economic losses, housing levels, green space, and crime are just a few.

The list below is of the 20 most dangerous US cities, calculated by measuring how much major crime there is relative to the number of people who live there. Specifically, this list uses the highest crime rates for six major crimes (murder, assault, robbery, rape, auto theft, and burglary).

By learning which cities are dangerous, you can help discern the worst cities America has in a more general sense. For example, if crime is high, that indicates that people are desperate for money, which suggests that unemployment is high as well. If unemployment is high, then cities do not have a lot of tax revenue coming in, so there is likely to be less green space and parks. Less green space and parks means that property values will not be as high, so neighborhoods may have challenges keeping quality housing around.

The different aspects that define the worst US cities are all interconnected. The following list measures crime, and that in itself is enough reason to try and move other places, but keep in mind that high crime is a sign of other troubles, too, so make sure to research other aspects of a city before moving your family there, even if crime doesn’t bother you.

Here are the top 10 most dangerous US cities:

1. St. Louis, Missouri.

2. Detroit, Michigan.

3. Flint, Michigan.

4. Compton, California.

5. Camden, New Jersey.

6. Birmingham, Alabama.

7. Cleveland, Ohio.

8. Oakland, California.

9. Youngstown, Ohio.

10. Gary, Indiana.

Interestingly, six of the ten worst cities America has (at least in terms of crime) can be found in the Midwest. In contrast, many of the safest U.S. cities are found on the east coast and the southwest. Economic trends travel differently through different areas of the nation, but the Midwest has a long history of major employment through industry (big factories) and small farms. As industry moves overseas and small farms are priced out by large agribusinesses, the Midwest sees significant job losses that contribute to crime levels in its cities.

How To Avoid The Worst U.S. Cities

If you’re planning to move to the United States and want to make sure you choose a good new home for yourself and your family, do some research about cities first. Compare housing prices to see how strong the economy is (cheaper housing is easier to buy but may indicate financial trouble). Ask friends or family who have already come over where to move in the U.S., based on their experience. Research online to see if a city’s population is growing or declining, as that may also indicate its health.

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