Before you consider relocating your family to a new city, check
out our list of the worst — based on crime statistics, employment
numbers and school ratings.
The "best" places to live boast quality job opportunities, affordable housing, good schools, reliable health care systems and ample recreation options
— the "worst" do not. With good family support, children can thrive
anywhere, but it sure would be nice to rely on a healthy village to lend
1. Detroit, Michigan
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In the 1960s, Detroit was a mecca of industry with the highest per-capita income in the nation. Today, the nation's "most dangerous city"
is known for an 18 percent unemployment rate, empty automobile
factories and abandoned homes. Most distressing is that 60 percent of
the city's children live in poverty.
2. Miami, Florida
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In a study of 150 major U.S. cities, only one (Detroit) scores worse
than Miami. Miami ranks 149 out of 150 for affordability, 133rd for
education and child care, 120th for health and safety and 130th for
family activities. Forbes called it, "Miserable Miami," blaming high taxes, political corruption and painful commutes.
Only two cities fared worse than Birmingham in the "Education and
Child Care" rank. Surprisingly, this southern metro area is also
considered one of the nation's most dangerous: Residents have a 1 in 66
chance of being a victim of a violent crime.
4. Flint, Michigan
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Flint is second only to Detroit in migration. Residents are fleeing
thanks to high rates of violent crime and unemployment. The governor
appointed an emergency manager to run the city's paltry finances.
5. Rockford, Illinois
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Don't move here to better your financial situation. Rockford's economy is hurting, the unemployment rate is 11.2 percent, and property taxes are outrageous. Makes it difficult to save for college.
Of all the cities to file bankruptcy last year, Stockton was the
largest. Nowhere else in the U.S. is the foreclosure rate as high, and
unemployment and crime continue to plague families who've stayed to
tough it out.
8. Camden, New Jersey
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Over 42 percent of Camden families live below the poverty line, which
is why the Census Bureau labeled it "the most impoverished city in the
9. Los Angeles, California
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You won't be able to breathe easy if you move your family to LA. The
metro area has the worst ozone pollution in the country, says the
American Lung Association's "State of the Air" report.
10. Newark, New Jersey
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Pollution is even worse here: Newark has the most Superfund toxic waste sites in the country.