New Jersey Claims 9 Spots In ‘America’s 50 Most Miserable Cities’ List
Business Insider used census data from 1,000 cities across the country to find the 50 "most miserable", based on population change, employment rate, income, healthcare, and other variables.
The state with the most "most miserable" cities is California with 10, but New Jersey is hot on their heels with NINE.
Here are the nine, including what Business Insider had to say about them.
#30 Plainfield, New Jersey
Plainfield has 50,693 people, 70% of whom are working and one-fifth of whom live in poverty. Nearly one-third are without health insurance. It used to be a violent city — in 1990 there were 719 violent crimes, but since then things have improved. Still, in 2016 there were 12 murders.
#29 West New York, New Jersey
West New York has nearly 53,000 people, and it grew by 6.6% from 2010 to 2018. Almost 70% are working, and 22% are living in poverty. Cleanliness and parking are meant to be two of the biggest issues for its new mayor.
#19 Paterson, New Jersey
Paterson has 145,000 residents, 57.5% of its population is working, and 29% live in poverty. It used to produce silk in the 19th century, but it's since struggled. In a cruel twist of fate, the Great Falls, which was used to power factories, ended up flooding the city after Hurricane Irene in 2011. From 2009 to 2016, the city's tax revenue fell by 38%. It's also had problems with blight. At one point it had 1,250 abandoned homes, but that dropped to 770 in 2016.
#17 Trenton, New Jersey
Trenton has a population of 84,000. Almost 60% of people are working, and 27% are living in poverty. It used to be an industrial city with a catchphrase, "Trenton makes, the world takes," but it has since fallen on harder times. Its violent crime isn't increasing, but neighborhood gangs have been known to fight one another, and gun violence is a problem.
#15 Union City, New Jersey
Union City has 68,500 residents, almost 70% of whom are working, while 23% live in poverty. It's only 1.28 square miles, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the US.
#11 New Brunswick, New Jersey
New Brunswick has 56,000 residents, 54% of people are working, and 35% are living in poverty. It has had problems with crime. In 2017, the city's assaults with guns rose 64%.
#8 Camden, New Jersey
Camden has 74,000 residents, and its population fell by 4% from 2010 to 2018. Nearly 57% of people are in the work force, and 37% live in poverty. The average household income is $26,105 — the lowest on this list. It used to be a manufacturing city, but that fell to pieces between the 1950s and the 1970s. It's had a high crime rate and been known as one of the most dangerous cities in the country, but it is improving. In 2017, there were 22 murders, which was the lowest number since 1987, thanks in part to new police procedures.
#5 Newark, New Jersey
Newark has 282,000 residents, 62% are working, and 28% are living in poverty. Like Flint, the city has had problems with lead poisoning its water supply. The city has also struggled with race relations, which bubbled up in violent riots in 1967, and has its fair share of violent crimes, particularly in 2013.
#4 Passaic, New Jersey
Passaic has 70,000 residents — 58% of people working, and a third are living in poverty. Its youth council said the city had problems with drugs, violence, and poor sex education.
Well. That was depressing. I mean, we all knew that Camden and Newark were awful, but throwing in all those other towns was just getting kicked while we're already down.
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