Even with all its sunshine, Miami is “America’s Most Miserable City,” according to a new ranking from Forbes magazine.
"Miami has sun and beautiful weather but other things make people miserable. You have this two-tier society: glitzy South Beach attracts celebrities, but the income inequality has skyrocketed in recent years," Forbes Senior Editor Kurt Badenhausen said.
For its annual Miserable Cities list, Forbes judges the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the US on 10 factors that increase or alleviate misery for the people who live there. These factors include violent crime, unemployment rates, income and property taxes, political corruption, commute times, weather and local pro sports teams’ success.
Miami got low scores for violent crime and corruption. No. 2 Detroit and No. 3 Flint, Mich., got dinged for some of the highest rates of violent crime and unemployment in the country. West Palm Beach, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif., also landed in the top five.
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Not surprisingly, this is a list that many public officials take issue with.
"I'm obviously outraged by something coming from a magazine which is out of touch with working people," James Fouts, the mayor of Forbes’ 10th most miserable city, Warren, Mich., told the Detroit News. "I challenge any data which has us in the Farmington Hills/Troy area. We have all kinds of businesses and investments opening up here, including a $750 million investment from General Motors and an academy sponsored by Chrysler.”
At least a top ranking on the misery index is not necessarily long-lasting. Last year’s most miserable city, Stockton, Calif., has improved its fortunes over the past year, as its housing prices have stabilized, Forbes noted. It’s ranked No. 11 on the miserable list this year.
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