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New ranking of worst cities to live in includes 5 in Georgia

When deciding where to live, no one seeks out a city with high crime and poverty rates. 

But the financial news and opinion website 24/7 Wall St. searched U.S. cities for only those characteristics, along with poverty rates and home values, to determine the 50 worst U.S. cities to live in. Georgia wound up with five cities on the list.

And although the site admits no city is perfect, its analysis showed “the United States is full of places with few, if any, strengths.”

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» Two Georgia cities among 50 worst last year

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To determine which cities are the worst, the site’s analysts created a weighted index of 25 measures that fall into one of four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life and community.

Cities where poverty is more common were penalized, as were ones with high mortality rates. Cities where the median home value is closer to the median household income were rewarded. You can read the complete methodology here.

Here are the Georgia cities ranked among the country’s worst, along with 24/7 Wall St.’s findings:

Fort Valley, No. 32

Population: 8,790
Poverty rate: 38.3 percent (top 10 percent)
2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,016 (top 10 percent)

Median home value: $76,400 (bottom 10 percent)

Fort Valley is one of the poorest cities in Georgia and the U.S., according to the analysis. “Widespread financial hardship is due in large part to a weak job market,” it said.

East Point, No. 28

Population: 35,380
Poverty rate: 24.8 percent (top 25 percent)
2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,307 (top 10 percent)
Median home value: $96,900 (bottom 25 percent)

According to 24/7 Wall St., there were 1,307 violent crimes for every 100,000 city residents in 2017, a higher crime rate than in more than 90 percent of all U.S. cities.

» 5 top Atlanta neighborhoods for new homeowners, per Owners.com

Albany, No. 27

Population: 74,892
Poverty rate: 33.2 percent (top 10 percent)
2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,130 (top 10 percent)
Median home value: $101,000 (bottom 25 percent)

Nearly a third of the Albany’s population lives below the poverty line, the analysis found. That’s one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

College Park, No. 26

Population: 14,360
Poverty rate: 35.1 percent (top 10 percent)
2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,467 (top 10 percent)
Median home value: $154,700

Although the site’s analysts didn’t factor location in to its numbers, the report states College Park’s close proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport might contribute to the city’s undesirable status.

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Union City, No. 15

Population: 20,793
Poverty rate: 20.7 percent (top 25 percent)
2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,224 (top 10 percent)
Median home value: $81,900 (bottom 10 percent)

Union City’s violent crime rate of 1,224 incidents per 100,000 residents is more than three times as high as the U.S. rate, the analysis showed. And its property crime rate is more than four times higher than the U.S. rate at 10,940 reported incidents per 100,000 residents.

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