- Poverty: 35.0% of residents below the poverty line
- Children living in poverty: 43.8%
- Income per capita: $15,583
- Percentage of single-parent households: 58.6%
- Increase in food stamp use from 2007: 25%
- Unemployment 10.7%
- Residents with no health care insurance: 18.2%
- 7th highest U.S. city crime score: 260.60
4. Memphis, TN:
"Not so long ago, Memphis, a city where a majority of the residents are black, was a symbol of a South where racial history no longer tightly constrained the choices of a rising black working and middle class. Now this city epitomizes something more grim: How rising unemployment and growing foreclosures in the recession have combined to destroy black wealth and income and erase two decades of slow progress." Source: News One for Black America.
- Children living in poverty: 38.5%
- Unemployment: 10.9%
- Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 23%
- Percent of residents receiving SNAP assistance: 25%
- Percentage of single-parent households: 50.0 %
- Residents with no health care insurance: 18.9%
- 12th Highest U.S. City Crime Score: 256.32
- Housing value disparity: 152% (std. dev. / median)
- Hate crimes per 100,000 population: 5.17
5. New Orleans, LA: (Tie)
Between 2000 and 2009, New Orleans lost more than a quarter of its residents. This decline was largely attributable to Hurricane Katrina. According to Delta Dispatches, New Orleans has rebounded in a big way since 2005. But the facts say it has a long way to go. Will the Big Easy keep its cool?
- Number 1 in homeless: 2,582/100,000 residents
- Number 1 U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
- Percentage of single-parent households: 55.0%.
- Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 54%
- Unemployment 9.7%
- Residents with no health care insurance: 24.2%
- 55.0% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
- Housing value disparity: 157% (std. dev. / median).
5. Buffalo, NY: (Tie)
Number one in hate crimes reported and ranking in the top 20 for misconduct of police officers in forces of less than 1,000, Buffalo is skating on thin ice. It has fared better than many with a relatively low unemployment rate, but poverty and disparity are taking a toll. SNAP (the new name for food stamps) recipients have increased over 20%.
- Ranked 1st in hate crimes in large U.S. cities: 11.47 per 100,000 population
- Poverty: 28.8% of residents below the poverty line
- Children in poverty: 41.6%
- Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 22%
- 49.2% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
- Housing value disparity: 112% (std. dev. / median).
- Percentage of single-parent households: 56.3%.
- 18th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita forces under 1,000 officers
- Unemployment 8.1%
6. Milwaukee, WI:
A June 2011 study from the John K. Maclver Institute, a Wisconsin-based think tank that promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government, showed Milwaukee slid 28 spots in a national ranking of economic strength. With a school district high school graduation rate of only 31.5%, the city's government may want to be less than limited in addressing the community's educational needs. Other Wisconsin business notables are complaining they don't have enough qualified applicants to fill job openings.
- Percentage of single-parent households: 52.2%.
- High school graduation rate, public school district: 31.0%
- 45.4% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
- Hate crimes per 100,000 population: 2.64
- Unemployment 10.4%
- Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 33%
- Children living in poverty: 41.3%
- Per capita income: $18,290
- 20th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
7. St. Louis, MO:
Another schizophrenic urban gas guzzling disaster where the work day affluent commuters boost the city's population by 34.5% and then leave for their suburban oasis each night. As reported in the St. Louis Beacon: Historian Colin Gordon takes the long view when it comes to understanding how St. Louis has fared during the nation's recent economic downturn -- and his perspective isn't pretty. "We're now in a situation in a lot of settings -- most starkly Detroit but also in cities like St. Louis -- where land values in the central city have fallen off the abyss. There are properties you can't give away," he said. "But by the same token, some of the incentives for building out in a cornfield have been restrained both by the lack of credit and by the undermining of environmental costs. In some respects, when gas prices spiked a couple of years ago, that was at least a temporary wakeup call for the kind of sprawl that areas like this have experienced over the course of their history."
- Top national crime score for U.S. cities: 381.62
- Housing value disparity: 124% (std. dev. / median)
- Percentage of single-parent households: 57.9%
- Percent of residents receiving SNAP assistance: 36%
- Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 36%
- Unemployment 12.6%
8. Baltimore, MD:
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has admitted her latest proposal to balance the city's budget by eliminating marine, helicopter, and mounted units from the police force; cutting 900 city jobs; closing 29 recreation centers; decreasing hours at 311 call centers; and end the Fourth of July firework display, is "unacceptable" and "goes too far." But, Baltimore has other festering problems as well. What's wrong with this picture? Baltimore's unemployment is relatively low. Oh, I forgot. Working class jobs don't pay very well.
- Housing value disparity: 120% (std. dev. / median)
- Percentage of single-parent households: 59.2%
- High school graduation rate, public school district: 41.5%
- Percent of residents receiving SNAP assistance: 24%
- Residents with no health care insurance: 15.2%
- City budget deficit through FY2011: $121,000,000 per capita: $190
- 15th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
- Unemployment 7.9%
9. Atlanta, GA:
The population of Atlanta increases by 62% every workday due to commuter influx. Lot's of homeless, an amazingly high per capita income of $36,912, and a Mecca to young southern professionals. Atlanta is a shining example of disparity and inequity on steroids. Hey, good buddy, how many hours were you parked on I-75 today?
- House value disparity: 218% (std. dev. / median)
- Percentage of single-parent households: 60.4%
- Homeless: 1,263/100,000 residents
- 3rd U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
- Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 34%
- Children in poverty: 48.1%
- Residents with no health care insurance: 20.5%
- Poverty: 27.8% of residents below the poverty line
- Unemployment 9.9%
10. Cincinnati, OH:
"The explosion of violence in Cincinnati--the largest urban disturbance in the US since the 1992 Los Angeles riots--revealed the deep social tensions in every American city... The April riots underscored the most basic fact of life in America: the enormous social gulf that has opened up between the wealthy elite and the vast majority of the population." Jerry White, writing for the World Socialist Website about the roots of the riots that erupted in Cincinnati, Ohio in April of 2001, following the police killing of an unarmed black teenager, not a rumor, fact.