America's 10 Most Miserable Cities

Did you know there was an index to measure misery?

Misery is defined as a state of great unhappiness and emotional distress. The economic indicator most often used to measure misery is the Misery Index. The index, created by economist Arthur Okun, adds the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It has been in the narrow 7-to-9 range for most of the past decade, but was over 20 during the late 1970s.

Forbes has collected America’s 10 Most Miserable Cities. True, it may suck to live in these cities, but at least you can take pride in knowing that you’re tough enough. Flex those muscles.

America’s Most Miserable Cities:

10. Providence, R.I.
Rhode Island loves your tax money, baby. Only NYC is worse. Maybe that’s why everyone is leaving?

9 Charlotte, NC
Bank of America and Wachovia call this city home, which doesn’t bode well for its unemployment rates.

8.Modesto, California
If you don’t have a job, move to Modesto! You’ll fit right in.

7.Los Angeles
Do you like driving, paying taxes and breathing pollution? Los Angeles is for you!


If you like disappointing sports teams, wasting the best part of every day sitting in mind-bending traffic jams and freezing your ass off—move to my hometown—Chicago! If you’re not sure you can take it, google “Gaper’s Block” before you make any decisions.


What do you get when you add long commutes, toxic waste, and violent crime? Sports fans who boo Santa Claus.

4. New York City
High income taxes, stupidly expensive housing, “the costs can make all but the super-wealthy miserable.”

3. Flint, Michigan
You can buy a house for $104,000… but where will you work?

2.Stockton, California
Stockton is the epicenter of the subprime meltdown. What more do you need to say?

1. Detroit
The Motor City has high unemployment and tops the country when it comes to violent crime. As if that wasn’t bad enough—Detroit is toxic. It’s near the top of the list of cities that require the most Superfund dollars to clean up toxic waste sites. Congratulations, Detroit! You’re the most miserable people in the U.S.!

Guess it really is time to move to Pittsburgh. Do they allow Bears fans there?

America’s Most Miserable Cities [Forbes]
(Photo:Jason Lujan)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.