Forbes recently created their own version of a misery scale, based on economist Arthur Okun’s Misery Index and the Misery Score. The new measurement, called the Forbes Misery Measure, calibrates unemployment, personal tax rates, commute times, weather, crime and if toxic waste is dumped in your backyard. They looked at only the 150 largest metropolitan areas, all of which meant a minimum population of 371,000, to determine which American city is the most miserable. The results?
The fourth place winner (or loser, in this case) was New York. Its longest average commute time (an average of 36.2 minutes) is just one factor that made it the fourth most miserable city of America.
In third place was Flint, Mich. Plagued by a legacy of dependence on the automobile industry, the hometown of General Motors has suffered bad times and a worsening economy.
Stockton came in second. High unemployment and crime rates coupled with an ever-increasing population put this California city on the list.
And the biggest loser was Detroit. With similar misery characteristics as Flint, Detroit has suffered from high unemployment from the auto bust and increased violence and crime as a result.
But there is good news: Several of these cities have taken initiatives to increase employment, which will hopefully alleviate problems with overpopulation and crime.