A pair of regional cities have found their way into the national spotlight, albeit for the wrong reason: a new data analysis published by 24/7 Wall St. placed Bridgeport and Newburgh in the 2019 rankings of the “50 Worst Cities to Live in America.”
Bridgeport, which ranked 49th out of 50, was the sole New England city on the list. Bridgeport was faulted for its economic struggles – a 20.8 percent poverty rate and average household earnings of $44,841 a year – that is exacerbated by goods and services being priced 30.8 percent higher than the national average. A weak job market – 9.3 percent of workers have been unemployed over the last five years – and a violent crime rate of 900 per 100,000 people solidified its placement on the list.
Over in Orange County, Newburgh was the only city in New York to be included on the list. Despite a small population of 28,444, it is burdened with a violent crime rate of 1,236 reported incidents per 100,000 people, which is three times above the national average. The city’s poverty rate of 31.2 percent was also factored into its No. 37 ranking, with the city’s median household income of $36,922 a year coming in more than $20,000 below the national median.
Still, the two cities were ranked far below the municipality dubbed the worst place to live in the country: Mendota, California, a 11,396-person metro with a 49.5 percent poverty rate and an average of 15.4 percent unemployment over the last five years, the highest of any U.S. city.