Miamism Blog

You are here

Miami Makes Forbes Most Miserable Cities

  • February 21, 2010
Ines Hegedus-Garcia

You figure being ranked one of the most miserable cities by Forbes is not something to be proud of, but let's look at this with a different perspective. I love Forbes Lists because they are all over the map and personally, introduce me to concepts I would never, in a thousand years, come up with. From Miami Real Estate Kudos, Best Cities to buy a home, and most expensive zip codes, to name a few, Miami is included in a lot of very contradicting lists.

When I read Kyle's take in The Miami New Time's Riptide, I did pout at first, but then ran over to Forbes to read THE article and saw what great company Miami was in.

So here's the list, which according to Forbes,

Our Misery Measure takes into account unemployment, taxes (both sales and income), commute times, violent crime and how its pro sports teams have fared over the past two years. We also factored in two indexes put together by Portland, Ore., researcher Bert Sperling that gauge weather and Superfund pollution sites. Lastly we considered corruption based on convictions of public officials in each area as tracked by the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.

We expanded the list of cities under consideration this year to include the 200 largest metro areas (in years past we've examined 150) which led to a shuffling in the ranks. Any area with a population of more than 245,000 was eligible.

America's 20 Most Miserable Cities

  1. Cleveland, Ohio
  2. Stockton, California
  3. Memphis, Tennessee
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Flint, Michgan
  6. Miami, Florida (The weather and no personal state income tax are nice, but the city rates in the bottom 10% of areas when it comes to commute times, violent crime and corruption. Foreclosures hit 7.2% of homes in 2009, 10th worst in the U.S.)
  7. St. Louis, Missouri
  8. Buffalo, New York
  9. Canton, Ohio
  10. Chicago, Illinois (The Windy City flamed out in its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics despite a last-minute plea from President Obama. Bigger problems are the nation's highest sales tax rate (10.25%) and long commutes.)
  11. Modesto, California
  12. Akron, Ohio
  13. Kansas City, Missouri
  14. Rockford, Illinois
  15. Toledo, Ohio
  16. New York, New York (Yes, the biggest city in the U.S. has much to offer in the way of cultural opportunities and corporate headquarters. But the trade-off is torturous commute times and nosebleed-inducing income tax levels. Both are the highest in the U.S.)
  17. Sacramento, California
  18. Youngstown, Ohio
  19. Gary, Indiana
  20. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I think Ohio should get a prize for the most miserable of the miserable with 5 cities in the top 20 - GO OHIO!

So  "Miserable" is not that bad after all!!  Don't know about you, but would love to see Forbes tackle some lists like:  Best City for Shoe Shopping, Best City to get your Dance Groove On or how about Sexiest Cities?  I just keep thinking how miserable it is to sit on our boat on a Sunday afternoon in perfect weather sipping mojitos, with big smiles while the kids snorkel without a worry in our minds.

TheRealEdwin 21st February, 2010

Your vision of sitting on a boat on a Sunday afternoon sadly isn't a reality for the majority of the county. With household incomes at about $30k a year, that's $3k below the poverty line. It's just a luxury that the majority of people in the county will never be able to partake.

If you got the money, that's a different story, but most don't.

Blanca Stella 21st February, 2010

And the best melting pot of America with so much diversity of cultures that it has it's own unique flavor!

Ines Hegedus-Garcia 21st February, 2010

It's not a vision Edwin, it shows that there is something for everyone. This blog is directed to our real estate clients that are not in the poverty level and cannot relate to "misery" - I know it may be sad at times, but it's reality. I think many of the people included in the lower household income may some times look up at our beautiful sky and our great weather and say....."I am thankful to at least live in Miami surrounded by beauty".

Even those in the real estate industry, that have lost homes to foreclosure and have had to work like crazy to get back on their feet, still appreciate Miami for what it is. Personally, I am thankful for our miserable city (and I will continue to volunteer my time and help people in need on a regular basis).

Blanca - AMEN!

Chris Griffith 23rd February, 2010

Ines, I have suffered in Ohio on many occasions. The latest was about two weeks over the holidays. There was no sun. Ever. I could take the cold but the gray ... I almost took the toaster into the bathtub.

Great job putting your perspective on this. I love Miami. Maybe you should invite the writer for a decent mojito. :)

Chris Somers 22nd February, 2010


Congrats for being on the list ! I see that Philadelphia snuck in at number 20. I love your perspective on this. And I love your vision as well being on the boat sipping a nice drink. "Misery" is persepctive, and yes there are "numbers" supporting this, but at the end of the day, one's misery is another's sanctuary.

Ines Hegedus-Garcia 23rd February, 2010

Chris S - I love when we make "the list" - no matter what it is...means people are watching and have interest.

Chris G - I have been to Ohio during brutal winters.....and I will keep my MIAMI, thank you very much :)

What I found intriguing about the misery measure for this article is that they took into consideration pollution, violent crime and "how its pro sports teams have fared over the past two years" HUH?? and LOL - and let's not forget CORRUPTION!!! We have big winners here in Miami in that category.

Recent Posts

Keystone Point Real Estate Market Report There are currently 51 Keystone Point homes for sale: (compared to 55 in February) Highest priced listing: $6,300,000 (for the new construction with 240' of water frontage at 12395... more

No better time to continue our significant Miami architecture series than with a Miami Landmark designed by I.M. Pei to celebrate his 100th birthday!   The Miami Tower The Miami Tower, originally known as The Centrust Tower... more claims that Miami has evolved from a sunny vacation spot into a global destination for billionaires from all over the world and we certainly agree and have cited numbers of reasons for this phenomenon. The... more

The Miamism Sales Team wishes you and your family a very happy Easter!!  For Some Easter fun and celebrations around Miami, please check out: Jungle Island Mega Egga Hunt! April 14-16, 2017 from 10:30 AM - 4 PM Egg Safari... more

What is the Value of my Home?

Obtain a free personalized home pricing report.