Misery loves company, and Atlantans have plenty of it in the recent “Most Miserable Cities” list put together by Forbes.
Atlanta, which didn’t crack the Top 20 in 2012, appears at No. 16 in the 2013 list. I apologize for not putting more numbers in the preceding sentence.
Why is Atlanta so miserable? High foreclosure rates, home values that are down 42% since 2007, and nasty traffic, which you probably know more about than Forbes.
Despite the rainy weather, I don’t feel more miserable than last year, but there’s an explanation for that.
The magazine has tweaked its formula, dropping two criteria — the success of sports teams and political corruption — while adding net migration, the number of people that flee the city. The other familiar barometers of displeasure — unemployment, commute times, violent crimes, home prices, foreclosures, taxes and weather – remain.
Adding net migration to the mix moved last year’s No. 1, Miami, out of the Top 20.
I guess that means last year’s list was not very good at predicting misery.
This year’s list doesn’t seem much better.
Detroit, which has been miserable since someone had the bright idea of creating the Ford Pinto, is once again America’s most pathetic zip code, according to the same magazine that put the city on the cover with the headline “City of Hope” in 2011.
Flint, another city ruined by an inept auto industry, is No. 2.
Chicago is No. 4, which seems high, though I once visited in April and almost froze to death.
Another miss is No. 9, Lake County, Illinois, which is one of the richest “towns” in America, and New York City (No. 10), which has high taxes but is otherwise considered a pretty cool place to live, else Forbes would move their offices.
Youngstown, Ohio, a city so ravaged by fate Bruce Springsteen felt compelled to write a song about it, is No. 20. Call me a “homer” if you wish, but Atlanta is a heck of a lot better place to live than Youngstown.
After carefully reviewing the list, I notice not one “miserable” city has access to a nice, warm ocean.
Thus, all Atlanta needs to be No. 1 on the “LEAST Miserable” list is a beach and schools that educate children. Those can’t be too hard to fix.
Visit Forbes for the complete list.