10 Most Unpleasant Cities in America

Category: Financial News

Each city has its own character, but some just have to be unpleasant for one reason or another. Some of the reasons may be subjective, but they do lend some merit on how outsiders see these cities. If you’re a local in any of these places, we’ll be glad to be proven otherwise.

Here are ten disagreeable cities in the U.S. today and not without a reason.

1. Most polluted city: Bakersfield, CA


Residents might have been surprised to see their city topping the Time’s list of most polluted cities in America last year. But they sure won’t disagree the city has a serious smog problem. Over 60,000 locals are reported to have asthma, no small thanks to poor air quality. But if misery loves company, Bakersfield is joined by five other California cities among the top five most polluted cities, including Los Angeles, Modesto, and Merced. Way to go Californians.

2. Most crime-ridden city: East St. Louis, IL


You have a 1 in 20 chance of falling victim to a crime in this city. Based on Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, East St. Louis has the highest crime rate last year at 117 persons per 1,000 residents. Violent incidents include forcible rape, murder, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

3. Most expensive city: Honolulu, HI


AAA lists Honolulu as the most expensive city in the U.S. for tourists based on its survey of more than 60,000 restaurants and lodgings in North America. Prepare to pay for nearly $550 per night in the city and meals at $127 per plate. And that’s excluding surf time and more rounds of piñacolada.

4. Rudest city: New York City, NY


If Travel + Leisure is to be believed, NYC is the rudest. Maybe it’s a stereotype or media bias that this city is regularly projected to have an “attitude.” Or are locals just too busy rushing for work to greet visitors? The city may appear a little snotty, but it’s this flamboyant attitude that draws visitors to get a taste of the city that never sleeps.

5. Dirtiest city: Fresno-Madera, CA


The Golden State doesn’t appear like its name, not with its city topping the list of dirtiest cities in the country. Groundwater pollution from agriculture and particle pollution make living in Fresno a little dirtier than in any other U.S. city. The American Lung Association also ranked the city area fourth for having high ozone days, when you’re most exposed to harmful UV rays.

Read more:  Chronic Diseases: An Impending Social Disaster and its Crippling Costs

6. City with worst drug problem: Missoula, MO


The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration ranked this small city of 67,000 people with the highest rate of dangerous drugs use last year. Nearly 14% of households were found to have some involvement in illicit drugs, with 50% of cases involving methamphetamine. The findings clearly show that drug trafficking is not just a big city problem.

7. Most sinful city: Las Vegas, NV


We’re not surprised. So were the Aussies. The website ranked the American city as the fourth most sinful city in the world having a strong presence of peddled sex, gambling, drugs, and wild nights. Far from being apologetic for its “sins,” the city in fact sells them with wanton glee and visitors just keep on pouring in. It will remain the most sinful U.S. city for the longest time. Wanna bet?

8. City with worst traffic: Los Angeles, CA


The city earned the top spot of U.S. cities with the worst traffic based on the most recent traffic scorecard by INRIX, a traffic information service agency. The average driver wasted about half an hour on traffic during peak hours compared in other cities. In fact, the city hosts four of the most heavily congested corridors in the country, including an eight-mile stretch in Interstate 405.

9. Most boring city: Chula Vista, CA


We know it’s subjective, but based on media exposure analysis by, the city midway between San Diego and Tijuana rarely made news, much less headlines. Likewise, it’s a long drive to excitement if you take a look at Chula Vista’s top attractions in laser tag, really? The Auld golf course in the area also looks more of a desert with little life expected out of it. Harsh, but maybe the locals like it that way without outsiders stirring them up.

10. Ugliest city: Washington, D.C.


The city was voted to have the least stylish and unfriendly people by readers of Travel + Leisure. We can’t vouch for the veracity of facts, but being a city with the most national and local politicians around, the readers may be into something here.

We agree—many of the reasons for being unpleasant here are subjective. But collectively, these random reasons do merit a second look if only to get some ideas how visitors see these cities and, hopefully, locals can prove them wrong.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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