Salt Lake City is the 49th-worst city to live in America, according to USA Today and the website 24/7WallSt.com.
That’s right. Utah’s capital is right there between No. 48 Gainesville, Fla., and No. 50 Fort Smith, Ark.
Could be worse. Salt Lake City is nowhere near the top (or is that bottom?) of the list, which identifies Detroit as the worst American city in which to live.
According to USA Today, 24/7WallSt. came up with the 50-worst-cities list by creating an index that measured eight categories — crime, economy, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure and leisure.
Other listings have often ranked Utah or Salt Lake City or the larger Salt Lake City metro area as among the best places to live, based on the economy, affordable housing, the health of residents, access to outdoor recreation and other factors.
The new 24/7WallSt.com rankings cited Salt Lake City’s “high violent crime rate” as a primary reason it made the list. “Some 937 violent crimes were reported in 2016 per 100,000 city residents, more than twice the national violent crime rate of 386 incidents per 100,000 Americans and nearly four times the state rate of 243 per 100,000 Utah residents.”
In addition, “Housing prices in Salt Lake City also have been rising fast in recent years and have outpaced the area’s income growth, making housing unaffordable for many low-income residents.”
The story pegged Salt Lake’s median home value at $285,100 and added that the poverty rate is 16.1 percent. More recent data show the median price of Salt Lake County homes sold in the first quarter of 2018 was $340,000.
The blurb about Salt Lake City wasn’t all negative, however: “Despite the high violent crime rate, Salt Lake City has experienced substantial economic growth in the last several years. The number of jobs in the city rose 5.1 percent from 2014 to 2016, a faster pace than the nation as a whole.”
The list’s 10 worst cities are:
2. Flint, Mich.
3. St. Louis
4. Memphis, Tenn.
6. Wilmington, Del.
7. Albany, Ga.
8. Springfield, Mo.
49. Salt Lake City