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Americans’ Ranking of the 13 Worst U.S. States to Live In

Unfortunately, not every state is a desirable place to live. In fact, some states can be downright unpleasant due to various factors, such as high taxes, poor infrastructure, and low quality of life. Americans have identified some of the worst states to settle down in the United States based on their own experiences and opinions on an internet site.

1. Missouri: Unimpressed and Unimpressed

Missouri Welcomes You - a roadside sign at a state border with Illinois
Editorial credit: marekuliasz / Shutterstock.com
One resident stated that Missouri is a s*** hole. Despite being the birthplace of Harry S. Truman and Walt Disney, the state has apparently failed to impress this individual. Whether they are referring to the crime rates, education system, or simply the overall atmosphere, Missouri appears to have left an unpleasant aftertaste. Many others agreed with this statement.

2. Louisiana: High Crime Rates & Economic Struggles

Bourbon St, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA cityscape of bars and restaurants at twilight.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Louisiana has experienced relatively high crime rates, particularly in cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Additionally, the state has faced economic struggles due to factors like poverty rates, limited job opportunities, and a high dependence on the oil and gas industry.

3. Ohio: A Trash Can State?

River through the City - a look at Dayton, Ohio from above the confluence of the Great Maimi and Mad Rivers
Photo credit: Beeline Aerial / Shutterstock.com
Ohio is nothing but a trash can, says an American. They further explained that the state is filled with outdated, rundown cities with nothing to offer. They described the people as unfriendly and not welcoming to outsiders. They also said that the weather is always unpredictable, with harsh winters and hot summers. They also criticized the state’s lack of natural beauty and entertainment options. Overall, the individual had a very negative impression of Ohio and did not recommend it as a place to live.

4. Mississippi: The Worst State to Live In

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
According to a voyager, Mississippi is the worst state to live in the USA. They describe the state as lacking opportunities and low-quality education systems. The user also claims that Mississippi has a significant poverty rate and a lack of diversity, making it an unwelcoming place for many people. They also mention that the state has a high crime rate, and it’s unsafe to live there.

5. Arkansas: More Downsides than Scenic Beauty

Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA town skyline from above at dawn.
Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
A person straight-up said Arkansas is the worst state to live in. Though Arkansas is often praised for its beautiful natural scenery and outdoor activities, some residents say that it has too many downsides to be considered a great place to live. According to the user, Arkansas has few job opportunities, limited cultural experiences, and high poverty levels. The state’s education system also needs to catch up to the national average, and there are few good schools or universities to choose from. Overall, the user feels that Arkansas is just not a great place to call home.

6. California: From Golden State to Hell Hole

Classic panoramic view of San Francisco skyline with famous Oakland Bay Bridge illuminated in beautiful golden evening light at sunset in summer, San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
Editorial credit: canadastock / Shutterstock.com
Like a phoenix ascending from the ashes of controversy, a bold user stepped forth and labeled the golden state as nothing short of a hell hole. The state is known for its high cost of living and taxes, traffic, and homelessness problems, contributing to its negative reputation. The state also experiences frequent natural disasters, including wildfires and earthquakes, which can be catastrophic. Despite this, California remains a popular tourist destination, including some of the world’s most well-known monuments and attractions.

7. Oklahoma: The Least Desirable State

Skyline of Oklahoma City, OK with OKC sign and ferris wheel
Editorial credit: Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock.com
One intrepid traveler, boasting of conquering all 50 states, couldn’t conceal their disdain for Oklahoma. Amidst their endless adventures and awe-inspiring discoveries, Oklahoma failed to capture their heart. Despite unearthing hidden gems and silver linings in every nook and cranny of America, this restless explorer found Oklahoma to offer the least enchantment and allure.

8. Texas: Heat, Tornadoes, and More

ATX City Skyline Texas Flag patriotic National Pride Displays the Lone Star State with a Colorful Austin Texas Skyline Cityscape Capital Cities Background on a Nice Sunny Summer Blue Sky Day
Editorial credit: Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com
Texas is not a desirable state to live in due to several factors, according to a person’s experience. The user mentions the unbearable heat during summers, frequent tornadoes, low minimum wages, high homicide rates, and low education levels as the reasons for disliking the state.

9. West Virginia: The Abode of Woes

Historic buildings and shops on High Street in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.
Photo credit: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
In the vast tapestry of statehood, West Virginia was under the harsh spotlight as a disgruntled soul boldly declared it the ultimate abode of woes. Despite its natural beauty, the state reportedly suffers from poor infrastructure, poverty, and inadequate healthcare. These factors may contribute to making it an unfavorable state to reside in.

10. New York: Way Too Expensive

New York, New York, USA skyline.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Another respondent stated New York is the least desirable state to live in – with the exception of Upstate. New York is known for its high cost of living, especially in cities like New York City. Housing, transportation, and everyday expenses are significantly more expensive compared to other states. New York City is also infamous for its traffic congestion and long commute times. The state also experiences a wide range of weather conditions, including cold winters with snow in many areas of the state. 

11. Illinois: The State of “Unreasonably High” Taxes

Chicago, Illinois, USA downtown skyline from Lincoln Park at twilight.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone // Shutterstock.com
One user did not hold back their opinion on Illinois, calling it a state with “unreasonably high” taxes. In addition to high taxes, Illinois has struggled with a significant budget deficit and pension crisis, leading to financial woes for both the state and its residents.

12. New Jersey: Roots Unwelcomed by the Locals

Aerial of Camden New Jersey Sunset
Editorial credit: FotosForTheFuture / Shutterstock.com
With a snap of their virtual fingers, an American set the internet ablaze with a bold proclamation: New Jersey is the absolute worst place to plant one’s roots, all because of the people. They had a negative encounter with the natives. It’s worth noting that New Jersey is a densely populated state with a mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas. While it has a reputation for being crowded and expensive, it also has many positive attributes, such as beautiful beaches and a vibrant arts scene. 

13. North Dakota: A Lonely State

Modern homes line the streets of this comfortable neighborhood in growing Bismarck, North Dakota.
Photo credit: northlight // Shutterstock.com
Some say they feel isolated in North Dakota due to its vast expanses of rural land and relatively long distances between cities and towns. North Dakota also experiences extreme cold temperatures in the winter, with long and frigid winters. The weather can be a significant deterrent for people who prefer milder climates. Source: Reddit 

Green Bay, Wisconsin, Dethroned as Best City to Live in the U.S.

Lambeau Field Green Bay Wisconsin from above
Photo credit: Grindstone Media Group / Shutterstock.com
U.S. News and World Report released their list of the best places to live in the U.S. for 2024-2025. They analyze 150 metro areas in the United States each year to find the best places to live. The report is based on the quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there. See the list of the best cities this year, and see which city dethroned Green Bay for the #1 spot. Read more: Green Bay, Wisconsin, Dethroned as Best City to Live in the U.S.

12 of the Best States in the United States as Rated by American Residents

Annisquam lighthouse off the north coast of Massachusetts
Editorial credit: Christian Delbert / Shutterstock.com
The United States is vast and diverse, with each state offering unique qualities and attractions. Some states are known for their natural beauty, while others boast bustling cities and a thriving economy. However, which state is truly the best? On an online platform, many travelers and locals shared their views. Let’s see what’s their best state and why! Read more: 12 of the Best States in the United States as Rated by American Residents

The Most Haunted Places in Each of the 50 U.S. States

Historic home built by the Marquis de Mores in 1883 as a hunting lodge and summer home for his family and guests. In Medora, North Dakota.
Editorial credit: Randy Runtsch / Shutterstock.com
From historic hotels and battlefields haunted by the spirits of the past to eerie asylums and abandoned prisons, the allegedly haunted places on this list have one thing in common: a long history of unexplained occurrences and chilling legends. While skepticism may prevail, the allure of these sites is undeniable, drawing visitors and paranormal enthusiasts seeking to explore the mysteries that shroud them. Read more: The Most Haunted Places in Each of the 50 U.S. States

Why I Use a VPN When Traveling and at Home (and You Should Too!)

Cheerful beautiful woman wears linen dress uses modern digital tablet for reading book or browsing web pages sits outdoors on wooden bench has happy expression. Modern technologies and lifestyle
Photo credit: WAYHOME studio // Shutterstock.com
If you’re wondering what in the world a VPN is, why you should use one when traveling (or at your local cafe, or even at home), or how a VPN can help you get cheaper flights and access to more Netflix shows – you’ll want to give this post a read Read more: Why I Use a VPN When Traveling and at Home (and You Should Too!)

10 States With the Friendliest People You’ll Ever Meet

Green Bay, Wisconsin. August 9th, 2018. Packer fans during at tailgate party at Lambeau Field. The man wears a cheesehead that says NFL Owner. The Packers are the only publicly owned NFL team.
Editorial credit: Jeff Bukowski / Shutterstock.com
Do some states in the US have nicer people than others? That’s a burning question people ask when they go on a road trip or relocate to a new state. To crack this nut, a bunch of folks went online to spill the beans on their encounters with friendly peeps across the country. Read more: 10 U.S. States With the Friendliest People You’ll Ever Meet

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