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Friday, February 8, 2019
USA Today: Makaha 4th Worst City in USA
By Selected News Articles @ 2:58 PM :: 6395 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Cost of Living

These are the worst cities to live in America. Is yours one of them?

From USA Today, Feb 7, 2019 (excerpts)

…While there is no such thing as the perfect city, the United States is full of places with few, if any, strengths. Poor socioeconomic conditions tell a similar story of urban blight in dozens of cities across the country.

24/7 Wall St. created an index of over two dozen measures to identify the worst cities to live in. These cities tend to have high crime rates, widespread poverty, weak job markets and little in the way of entertainment options or cultural attractions.

Conditions like these tend to be more common in areas with lower educational attainment. In every city on this list, the share of adults with a four-year college degree falls short of the 30.9 percent national bachelor's degree attainment rate. In 19 of these cities, fewer than one in every 10 adults have a bachelor’s degree.

Though the cities on this list span every region of the country, they are overwhelmingly concentrated in the South and the West. Only a dozen of the 50 cities on this list are in the Midwest or Northeast….

4. Makaha, Hawaii
• Population: 8,832
• Poverty rate: 30.1 percent (top 10 percent)
• 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: N/A
• Median home value: $407,200 (top 25 percent)

Makaha is the worst city to live in in Hawaii and among the five worst in the country. Like other cities in the state, Makaha ranks poorly largely because of its high cost of living and low affordability. Goods and services are 61.4 percent more expensive in the city than they are on average nationwide. Housing is particularly unaffordable. The typical home in Makaha is worth nearly $564,000 – about eight times the median annual household income in the city of $51,833. Meanwhile, the typical American home is worth $193,500 – just 3.4 times the median income of $57,652.

Makaha is also struggling with a high jobless rate. The Census estimates that an average of 9.7 percent of the city's labor force has been out of work over the last five years, more than double the comparable national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.

  *   *   *   *   *

8. Waianae, Hawaii
• Population: 13,636
• Poverty rate: 27.0 percent (top 10 percent)
• 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: N/A
• Median home value: $339,500 (top 25 percent)

Waianae, Hawaii, is one of the few cities on this list with a higher median income than the U.S. as a whole. The typical household in the city earns $60,282 a year, or $2,630 more than the typical American household. Bigger paychecks are not nearly enough to cover the high cost of living in Waianae, however. Goods and services in the area are 61.4 percent more expensive than they are on average nationwide.

The high cost of living imposes an especially heavy burden on the relatively large share of Waianae residents living below the poverty line. Of the city's 13,636 residents, 27 percent live in poverty, a higher poverty rate than in over 90 percent of U.S. cities.

  *   *   *   *   *

23. Maili, Hawaii
• Population: 10,190
• Poverty rate: 20.2 percent (top 25 percent)
• 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: N/A
• Median home value: $436,200 (top 25 percent)

Maili, Hawaii, ranks among the worst cities to live largely because of its high cost of living – which does not align with what many residents can comfortably afford. Goods and services in the area are 61.4 percent more expensive than they are nationwide, on average. Though the typical area household earns $71,806 per year, incomes are actually far lower than average after accounting for cost of living. The cost of living is especially straining for the larger than typical 20.2 percent share of residents living in poverty.

Housing is particularly expensive in the city. The typical area home is worth $436,200 – or about 6.1 times the median household income. Nationwide, the typical home is worth $193,500, or just 3.4 times higher than the $57,652 median income.

  *   *   *   *   *

25. Nanakuli, Hawaii
• Population: 11,757
• Poverty rate: 16.2 percent
• 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: N/A
• Median home value: $310,300 (top 25 percent)

Even though Nanakuli, Hawaii, has a relatively high median annual household income at $65,101, residents typically do not have as much purchasing power as the average American. This is because the cost of living in the city is 61 percent higher than the average cost of living across the nation. Adjusted for cost of living, the median income in Nanakuli is only about $40,000.

A high cost of living is especially burdensome for people who are out of work. Nanakuli has an 8.3 percent five-year unemployment rate, more than double the comparable U.S. rate.

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