We used science and data to determine which cities in the Wolverine need a little TLC right about now. This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. (Updated for 2017!)
Thrillist just ranked Michigan as the best state in the nation, which should really come as no surprise to anyone. With its four legitimate seasons, natural wonders, regional diversity and seemingly endless waterfront, it’s no wonder that Michigan would top all 49 of the lesser states on any list you might want to throw together. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home.
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things, like: Good education, Lots of jobs, Low crime, Low poverty, Nice homes, High incomes, High population density (Lots of things to do), Short work commutes, Health insurance. (The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.)
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2017. Here are the 10 cities in the Great Lakes State who have it a little rough right now.
Unemployment rate: 18 %
Avg Home Value: $32,253
Any city that could produce someone like Iggy Pop would be expected to be a little on the rough side, and Muskegon doesn’t disappoint in that regard, although it does disappoint its residents.
Incomes in Muskegon rank the seventh lowest in Michigan, its crime rate and student-teacher ranks are both in the state’s bottom ten percent, and its unemployment and home values are in the bottom 20 percent. Even though Muskegon spends more money per student than almost any other city in the state, this is the one city in Michigan where you have to ask whether holding lakefront property is worth it.
So, that’s the list. Granted, Michigan is still the reigning best state in the country, and you can be proud to dwell in Michigan no matter where you live. Even if you live in Flint, things could be a lot worse; you COULD be living in Ohio.