Cleveland deemed most miserable city in USA

Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:17pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Cleveland has won the dubious distinction of being the most miserable city in the United States, according to a new poll.

The Ohio city on the Cuyahoga River has high unemployment, dismal weather, hefty taxes, corruption and mediocre sports teams, all of which have propelled it to the No 1 position in the list.

"Cleveland nabbed the top spot as a result of poor ratings across the board. It was the only city that fell in the bottom half of rankings in all nine categories," Forbes said on it website.

"The city has been dubbed with a less than endearing nickname: the Mistake by the Lake," it added.

The rankings are based on jobless rates, inflation, taxes, commuting times, crime rates, performance by the city's sports teams, weather, pollution and corruption by public officials.

The economic downturn with high unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies hit cities across the United States last year particularly in the Midwest section of the country.

Crime and unemployment secured the No. 2 spot for Stockton, which held the top position in last year's ranking. Memphis captured third place thanks to its violent crime rate and the number of convicted officials, while the ailing auto industry drove the Michigan cities of Detroit and Flint into the top five.

"It (the list) is dominated by Midwestern cities that formerly had large manufacturing bases," Kurt Badenhausen, of Forbes.   Continued...

<p>Lindsey Sacher (L) and Mark Seifert of Cleveland-based non-profit East Side Organizing Project (ESOP) tour foreclosed homes in the city's Slavic Village on February 8, 2008, which has been ravaged by the housing crisis. REUTERS/Nick Carey</p>