The 5 Most Depressing Cities In America

buffalo new york

Photo: dougtone via flickr

What makes a city depressing?Based on a new Gallup poll, the key factor is a secular decline in jobs. The most depressing cities are former industrial centres in upstate New York and the Rust Belt.

We identified five cities that ranked in the bottom 10 for “satisfaction with community” and “optimism about the future.”

Buffalo, N.Y.

Satisfied residents: 76.5%

Optimistic residents: 42.4%

Although Buffalo held up well during the recession, the upstate city has been losing jobs and income in the past year. Gross metropolitan production is down 2.6% from peak.

For a longer picture, note the 48% decline in manufacturing jobs from 1980 to 2005.

Source: Gallup

Youngstown, Ohio

Satisfied residents: 76.3%

Optimistic residents: 38.9%

One of many devastated Rust Belt cities, Youngstown suffered a 11.6% drop in employment from peak, yielding a 10.4% unemployment rate. From 1980 to 2005, this city has lost 54% of manufacturing jobs.

Personal income is more than $8,000 below average.

Source: Gallup

Flint, Mich.

Satisfied residents: 77.3%

Optimistic residents: 37.7%

Auto-capital Flint has been forced to tear town thousands of abandoned homes to reduce crime and city services, as has nearby Detroit. The home of GM had already lost 67% of manufacturing jobs between 1980 and 2005.

Unemployment is an alarming 12.5%, while yearly personal income is around $11,000 below average.

Source: Gallup

Toledo, Ohio

Satisfied residents: 75.9%

Optimistic residents: 35.2%

Another Rust Belt city, Toledo employment is down 12.4% from peak. Home prices are down 23% from peak. Meanwhile, obesity is 3.6% above average.

Source: Gallup

Binghamton, N.Y.

Satisfied residents: 76.1%

Optimistic residents: 31.0%

It's been a hard few decades for Binghamton, which increased total employment only 0.9% from 1980 to 2005. During this period manufacturing jobs declined 56%.

Source: Gallup

You might want to move to

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.