THE POST-SOCIALIST CURSE: SPRINGFIELD->HARTFORD(->MERIDEN-NORTH HAVEN ->NEW HAVEN(->BRIDGEPORT->WATERBURY->DANBURY)
28. Springfield, Mass.
Median home value: $154,300
Poverty rate: 24.7%
Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.0%
Springfield is the only city in Massachusetts, and one of only three in the broader New England region, to rank among the worst cities to live in. Springfield’s 6.9% unemployment rate is the highest of any Massachusetts city and well above the 4.9% U.S. unemployment rate. The high jobless rate exacerbates financial hardship in the city. About one in every four Springfield residents live below the poverty line, the highest poverty rate of any city in the state.
As is the case with most cities on this list, real estate is relatively inexpensive in Springfield. The typical home is worth $154,300, the lowest median home value of any city in the state and less than half the median home value of $366,900 across Massachusetts.
11. Hartford, Conn.
Median home value: $161,200
Poverty rate: 27.3%
Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.8%
Hartford is the worst city to live in in both Connecticut and the broader New England region. The typical Hartford household earns $36,637 a year, less than half the median income in Connecticut of $73,433. Low-income individuals in the city are put under additional financial strain as goods and services are 17.3% more expensive in the city than they are on average nationwide. A bleak jobs picture in the city is partially to blame for the low median income. Some 9.4% of workers are out of a job, the largest share in New England and nearly double the 4.9% 2016 annual U.S. unemployment rate.
The city’s poor economic conditions may be driving people out of Hartford. In the last five years, Hartford’s population shrank by 1.3% even as the national population increased by 3.7%.
39. New Haven, Conn.
Median home value: $191,000
Poverty rate: 24.5%
Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.4%
New Haven is one of two Connecticut cities to rank among the worst cities to live in nationwide. The city’s 6.6% unemployment rate is higher than both the state jobless rate of 5.1% and the national rate of 4.9%. The weak job market likely only increases financial hardship for some city residents as it is not a particularly inexpensive place to live. Goods and services in New Haven County are about 16.5% more expensive than they are on average nationwide.
New Haven is not an especially safe city. There were 938 violent crimes for every 100,000 city residents in 2016, more than double the national violent crime rate of 386 per 100,000.