Plenty of cities making this list were once booming towns. Bessemer, Alabama is one such place. In fact, the city goes by the name “Marvel City”, but, truly, there is nothing to marvel at in this central Alabaman city. In the late 19th century, the city was founded by the coal tycoon, Henry F. DeBardeleben. Bessemer’s steel and coal industries rapidly increased.
However, those days are long gone. Now, the city is struggling under the weight of poverty and crime. Approximately 30% of the city’s population are living below poverty and it has some of the highest rates of crime in the state and country including violent and property crime. In Bessemer, you have a 1 in 30 chance of being a victim of a violent crime.
While the state of Hawaii elicits thoughts of warm weather, fun, and sun, a surfer’s paradise, we can definitely say that is not true of Makaha. Located on the western shore of Honolulu County and about a 44-minute drive from the Hawaii capital, it is just better just to forgo the drive and stay in Honolulu.
Makaha is not just one of the most miserable cities in the state but also in the country. Many of its issues are familiar struggles. Services cost a small fortune. Property is unaffordable. The cost of living is higher than the national average as the annual household income is $51,833. There is an issue with unemployment as about 9.7% of the population is unemployed. Currently, there are further issues with homelessness.
Highland Park, Michigan
Interestingly, this Michigan city was the site of Henry Ford’s first factory. However, it has been more than a century since the days of the industrialist and his model-T cars. Now, this once rural town does not have to contend with issues such as industrialization, but rapid economic decline, increasing levels of poverty, and crime.
Do not be fooled by its small population of roughly 8,904, there are plenty of bad eggs in Highland Park. In 2017, the city reported 1701 violent crimes per every 100,000 residents, making it one of the highest in the country. The poverty levels are also shocking. The average household earns $15,699 meaning it is more than $40,000 below the national average. Overall, those living in poverty total 49%.
One of the major draws of Bastrop, Louisiana is that it has a Walmart. That is not saying much for this northern Louisiana city. With its small population of approximately 11,365 people, this population really has to pull up its socks. Interestingly, the city was founded after a Dutch embezzler made the city his getaway.
Perhaps, its history has been a bit too influential on its people. Bastrop has some of the highest crime rates, but what is really grim news is that about 43% of its residents are living below the poverty line. One of the main issues the city has been struggling with is the closure of International Paper. Thus, with a dwindling economy, and high rates of poverty and crime, Bastrop is quite a miserable city.
Being a small Southern town, you would be wrong to think that Anniston, Alabama is a peaceful place. It is not. Though there are only roughly 22,000 inhabitants, just under a third of them are living in poverty. As poverty and crime go hand in hand, it is unsurprising that the city is struggling with debilitating levels of crime.
The statistics indicate that there are 3,434 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. Individuals living or visiting the city have a 1 in 31 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. Little wonder, its residents are getting out of there. With the increasing unemployment rate of about 10.9% and levels of crime, Anniston has suffered a 4.2 decline in population in the last few years.