Cleveland isn't alone in its misery, although it was the only city to fall in the bottom half of the rankings in all categories. Stockton, California came in second because of high unemployment, high violent crime, long commutes and onerous taxes. Memphis is in third place due to the second-worst rate of violent crime in the United States and an alarming rate of convicted public officials.
To measure cities' misery, Forbes used the following metrics: income taxes, sales taxes, commute times, violent crime and the win-loss record of the professional sports teams over the past two years. Also included in the mix were the weather, the number of Superfund pollution sites and corruption of public officials.
The top 10 most miserable U.S. cities:
1. Cleveland, Ohio
2. Stockton, California
3. Memphis, Tennessee
4. Detroit, Michigan
5. Flint, Michigan
6. Miami, Florida
7. St. Louis, Missouri
8. Buffalo, New York
9. Canton, Ohio
10. Chicago, Illinois
What's wrong in Cleveland?
- There has been a migration out of the city that has resulted in a net loss of 71,000 people over the past five years. The population is half what it was 50 years ago.
- More than 300 public officials in Northern Ohio have been convicted of crimes in the past decade, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, the FBI has charged more than two dozen public officials and businessmen in Cuyahoga County, the county in which Cleveland is located, with bribery, fraud and tax evasion.
- Cleveland has thousands of abandoned houses.
- Cleveland ranks in the top one-third of all U.S. metropolitan areas for foreclosure rates, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed property.