Syracuse, NY. – A recent study conducted by 24/7 Wall St has ranked the top 50 worst places in the United States to live, and among them are New York’s upstate cities. Along with cities like Detroit, Michigan and Saint Louis, Missouri are the three largest cities in upstate New York.
Coming in at number 34 on the list is Rochester, located near the banks of Lake Ontario. Rochester has been in a state of decline since the 1960’s when the industrial job base of the city began to erode and move overseas. Today, Rochester is a shell of it’s former self, with 24/7 Wall St saying of the city:
“The typical Rochester household earns only $31,946 a year, slightly more than half the statewide median income of $60,850. In addition to very low incomes, serious financial hardship is relatively common in the Western New York city. About one in three Rochester residents live in poverty, a higher poverty rate than in all but 14 other U.S. cities.
“Property values in Rochester are very low on average. More than half of all homes in the city are worth less than $77,000, one of the lowest median property values in the country. High property taxes saddle area residents with additional financial burdens. Homeowners pay 3.3% of their home value in property taxes on average on an annual basis, far higher than the 1.2% the typical American homeowner pays.”
At number 31 on the list is the Central New York city of Syracuse. Much like the other cities on the list, Syracuse began to fall on hard times in the 1960’s as jobs left and poverty increased. The city has seen its population fall drastically since then, with the largest employers today being Syracuse University, and hospitals.
“Today, some 31.0% of Syracuse residents live in poverty, roughly double the New York state poverty rate of 15.4%. The high poverty rate is likely fueled, in part, by a struggling job market. The city’s annual unemployment rate of 6.6% is well above the statewide unemployment rate of 5.3%. Total employment in the city fell by about 1% between 2013 and 2015, even as employment nationwide climbed 4% over the same time period.
“Often indicative of less desirable places to live, property is relatively cheap in Syracuse. The typical area home is worth only $93,100, less than a third of the statewide median home value of $293,500.”
The final New York city on the list is Buffalo. New York State’s second most populated city for generations, the former industrial powerhouse is attempting to make a comeback following decades of decline.
“The typical Buffalo household earns only $32,509 a year, and about one in three area residents live below the poverty line. In comparison, the median annual household income across the state is $60,850, and about 15.4% of state residents live in poverty. Financial prosperity is undercut by a lack of employment opportunities. The city’s 7.1% unemployment rate is the highest of any city in the state and well above the 5.3% statewide rate.
“An economic turnaround may be in the city’s near future, however. In a joint venture with Tesla, Panasonic invested several hundred million dollars in a South Buffalo solar cell manufacturing plant. Once the plant hits production capacity in 2019, the venture is anticipated to add some 1,400 new jobs. The deal is one of several major investments that have been announced in the last few years.”