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An analysis from financial news publication 24/7 Wall St., lists Atlanta, Memphis, Tennessee, and five cities in Ohio among the worst 50 cities in the country.
The new report, which assessed livability in about 600 U.S. cities with a population of 50,000 or more in 2016, compared cities across nine major categories: crime, demography, economy, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure and leisure.
Analysts examined specific measures for each category, such as median household income adjusted for cost of living, high school standardized test scores, air quality and weather, access to quality hospitals, number of recreational centers per capita or commuter traffic congestion.
“Quality of life is subjective, and difficult to measure,” 24/7 analysts wrote in the report. “Still, there is a wide range of quantifiable factors that can impact quality of life in a given area.”
Of the 50 cities on the list, 39 have higher than average violent crime rates, as well as unemployment rates above the 4.9 percent nationwide annual average.
Detroit, called “the poster child of American post-industrial urban decline” by researchers, was deemed the worst city in the country. According to the report, more than one in three Detroit residents live below the poverty line. The city’s unemployment rate is at a steep 10.9 percent.
Detroit’s violent crime rate is also higher than most cities. The Michigan city, along with Las Vegas, saw more than 2,000 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2016. The national violent crime rate: 386 per 100,000 Americans.
Flint, Michigan, which made headlines last year for its toxic water crisis, came in second on the list with 9.8 percent unemployment rate, the highest poverty rate of any city in the country (44.5 percent) and a violent crime rate of 1,587 incidents per 100,000 people, triple the state’s rate.
Home to a population of about 472,506 residents, 22.4 percent of whom live below the poverty line, Atlanta’s substantial economic and population booms in recent years have been clouded by the city’s high violent crime rate. The city had three times the national violent crime rate in 2016, with 1,084 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Atlanta residents.
Atlanta was also named one of America’s top 25 murder capitals in 24/7 Wall St.’s 2016 report, based on FBI data.
Memphis’ high crime rate accounted for its ranking at No. 4. According to the report, there were 1,830 violent crimes in the city for every for every 100,000 residents in 2016, five times higher than the U.S. crime rate. More than a quarter of the city’s residents live in poverty, nearly double the 14 percent U.S. poverty rate.
Five cities in Ohio -- Cleveland, Youngstown, Dayton, Canton and Toledo -- made the list. In the top five is Cleveland, which has a 35 percent poverty rate and 1,633 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in 2016. It also has the second highest unemployment rate of any city in Ohio. The lack of jobs may explain the 2.4 percent decrease in the city’s population.
Dayton’s low annual household income landed it at No. 29 on the list. At $28,894, it’s the sixth lowest among all large cities in the country. Home values are also low: the typical home is worth $66,000, and standardized test scores in Dayton public schools are below those elsewhere in the state.
The full list of cities ranked the worst, according to 24/7 Wall St., is below.
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