Former Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville once mused that the panhandle town of Lubbock “looked like Iraq.”
Shreveport, Louisiana’s claim to fame is a bunch of seedy casinos.
As for Paterson, New Jersey?
“If you're black, you might as well not show up on the street 'less you wanna draw the heat,” Bob Dylan crooned in the 1975 protest song Hurricane.
None of these towns seem particularly appealing, but according to a new ranking by the website 247WallSt.com, all three are more desirable than Miami Beach, home of Joe’s, Prime 112 and Mango’s.
But beyond the glitz and glamor, Miami Beach has real problems, as detailed in the website’s list of 50 Worst American Cities to Live In. (Miami Beach ranked 17th-worst among the 551 cities with a population of 65,000 or more.)
“While Miami Beach has some of the most expensive homes in country, a large share of city residents earn poverty wages,” the report states. “Miami Beach has a long history of segregation, which has contributed to income inequality throughout the city. While 9.9 percent of households in Miami Beach earn less than $10,000 annually, 13.7 prcent of households earn at least $200,000 — each larger than the corresponding national shares.”
Overall, Miami Beach’s median home value is an eye-popping $460,000, incongruous with its too-high poverty rate of 15.1 percent. Even though the typical household earns some $5,000 less than the national average, the cost of living in Miami Beach is 41.6 percent higher.
Then, there’s the issue of crime.
“In addition to being one of the least affordable U.S. cities, Miami Beach is one of the most dangerous,” the report continued. “There were 1,077 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2015, among the most of any city. There were also 9,717 property crimes per 100,000 residents, the highest property crime rate nationwide.”
Of course, what isn’t mentioned is the city’s population is much larger at any given time as tourists and visitors pour into South Beach. More people means more crime, especially when measured against a smaller residential population.
There is some good news. Miami Beach is the only Florida city in the top 50, a list dominated by Rust Belt towns that have collapsed in the last 30 years.
The worst American city in which to live?
Detroit, with its 39.8 percent poverty rate and the nation’s second-highest violent crime rate.