Is Cleveland really that bad?

The city tops the list of the most miserable in the U.S. Is your city on the list?

By Kim Peterson Feb 18, 2010 2:23PM
Misery. Credit: (© pbnj productions/Getty Images)Cleveland has just been named the most miserable city in America -- quite a distinction in a year in which the entire country learned a little more about misery.

Forbes gave Cleveland this dubious honor because of its high unemployment and taxes, bad weather, political corruption and lousy sports teams (the Cavs were not included, apparently).

The U.S. in general grew more miserable last year as unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcy rose, according to Forbes. In fact, the Misery Index, which tracks these things, hit its highest level since 1983.

Forbes considered nine categories in compiling its worst-of list, including taxes, commute times, crime levels and unemployment.

Here are the rest of the top 15 cities on the list:

2. Stockton, Calif., which is expecting 18.5% unemployment this year.

3. Memphis, Tenn., which has the second-worst violent crime levels in the country.

4. Detroit, Mich. Do we really need to explain this one?

5. Flint, Mich., which is desperately trying to shrink itself to keep going.

6. Miami, Fla., which suffers from high foreclosures, commute times and crime levels.

7. St. Louis, Mo., which was singled out for its singularly bad sports teams.

8. Buffalo, NY, which is seeing residents flee like a plague was approaching.

9. Canton, Ohio, which has lost more people than it has gained in each of the last 15 years.

10. Chicago, Ill., which has long commutes and the highest sales tax in the country.

11. Modesto, Calif., with an 18.5% unemployment rate.

12. Akron, Ohio, which may soon lose one of its most famous residents: LeBron James.

13. Kansas City, Mo., This city's taxes and crime are bad, but the performances of the Royals and the Chiefs make grown men cry.

14. Rockford, Ill., with a 16.9% unemployment rate.

15. Toledo, Ohio, which has seen a net migration out of the city for the past 20 years.

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