California may conjure up images of sunny beaches and sandy getaways, but that isn’t the reality in Lancaster. Well, that’s not true—you will find plenty of sand in this desert town.
Only 51% of Lancaster’s population is employed, while 23% live in poverty. As a town with nothing to do, the city struggles with addiction and a robust racist community. While politicians are trying to bring the city back to life, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for Lancaster.
At one point, Anderson was home to 24 active GM factories. Unsurprisingly, these factories employed a large chunk of Anderson’s population. But the factories eventually shut down, and 23,000 people lost their jobs. Since then, the town has been on a steady decline.
Rather than living in poverty, most people have chosen to abandon Anderson altogether. In 2015, the city used $2.8 million to tear down 100 abandoned homes.
Macon-Bibb County, Georgia
In Macon-Bibb County, only 56% of the population is working. With so many people unemployed, 26% are also living in poverty. In the past eight years, 2% of the population has left the city.
Macon-Bibb County is home to 3,700 unoccupied buildings, which contributes to the overall run-down look of the town. Although it’s visually unappealing, the city doesn’t have a way to fill the abandoned properties.
San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino earns one claim to fame as the home of the first McDonald’s restaurant. It’s also the home of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. Unfortunately, 30% of the 216,000 people who live in Lancaster live below the poverty line.
San Bernardino is struggling through a recession that has severely impacted the jobs available to residents. Despite its notable achievements - it’s not the right place to live today.
Cicero has had significant issues with gangs for decades. In fact, the city’s reputation as a hub of gang violence dates all the way back to the 1920s when it was considered Al Capone’s “private playground.”
In 1999, the city finally decided to make a real stand against gang violence. They put an order in place that forces gang members to leave within 60 days or face a $500 fine for each day they stay in the city. Unfortunately, the order hasn’t done much to improve the violence in Cicero.