#1 Detroit, Mich.
Violent crime in the Detroit metro was down 5% in 2011, but it remains the highest in the country with 1,052 violent crimes per 100,000 people, according to the FBI. Home prices were off 35% the past 3 years, which is the biggest drop in the U.S.
#2 Flint, Mich.
Flint has been demolishing homes as the city shrinks with residents leaving in search of jobs. Only Detroit has a higher net out-migration rate. Flint ranks third worst for violent crime, behind Detroit and Memphis.
#3 Rockford, Ill.
A three decade decline in the manufacturing base has hurt Rockford’s economy and kept unemployment high. The metro’s recent 11.2% unemployment rate is one of the highest rates in the U.S. Another burden: high property tax rates.
#4 Chicago, Ill.
Chicago has passionate supporters, but residents must endure the misery of long commutes, plummeting homeprices, brutal winters and high foreclosure rates. The migration rate out of Chicago is the sixth worst among the 200 largest metros.
#5 Modesto, Calif.
Foreclosures continue to plague Modesto with 6,859 foreclosure filings in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. It represents 3.8% of homes, which is the third highest rate in the U.S. Recent unemployment was 15%.
#6 Vallejo, Calif.
The city finally emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2011 after nearly 3 years. Problems remain with high levels offoreclosures and unemployment.
#7 Warren, Mich.
Troy and Farmington Hills are part of the government-defined Warren metro division. Like Detroit, the Warren metro has seen home prices collapse–off 53% the past five years.
#8 Stockton, Calif.
Stockton became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy protection last year. The city is burdened with the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. and ranks among the five worst for unemployment and crime.
#9 Lake County, Ill.
The Chicago suburb is one of the richest counties in the U.S., as measured by per capita income. But home pricesare down 29% over the past 5 years. Other drawbacks: long commutes and lousy weather.
#10 New York, N.Y.
Taxes are always a hot button issue in New York, whether it revolves around banks paying their share (rally above) or the taxes that residents face, which are the highest in the U.S. New Yorkers also rank first when it comes to the longest commutes.