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10 Saddest Cities in America

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10 Saddest Cities in America

What makes a city sad?  A lack of fluffy frolicking puppies? Burnt-out buildings and vacant lots? Limited access to cupcakes?  Measuring which cities in the country are the least content seems an objective pursuit, at best. Yet last month when the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index published their findings about which cities were the happiest, they ended up with the other end of the spectrum as well. The miserable, no-good, down-and-out cities, where, clearly, not a soul can manage a smile. I kid, of course. Undoubtedly there are sad people in the nation’s happiest city (Boulder, Co) as well as happy people in the saddest. But nonetheless, it’s interesting to see what the index came up with.

Based on the results of telephone surveys with a random sample of 352,840 adults, compilers of the index asked numerous questions about six sub-indexes: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. To determine how to include which cities, they used the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. In many cases, more than one city is included in the same MSA. Areas in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia were included.

The ranking used 188 MSAs altogether, here’s how they scored…number 1 being the most discontent of all.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

151 comments

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3:51AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

There are sod places in other countries, too. Maybe we are not born to live in so big crowds as in towns - as ants...

Always when i hear about terrible things it makes me sad, and i cannot understand how someone could do something terrible - hurt, rape or kill a person or animal. When i was a child this also happened to me... and surviving this is more terrible than not (parents and other may think different, but a victim?), living with all this pain... living with guilty feelings... full with hate for the own self... having one wish, not to wake up at the following day anymore...
No one can understand, because most people cannot imagine this, cannot imagine how much it change. Some of them think, that this would not be so terrible, because all would make some sexual experiences, and so it would not matter if there were some without own interest or wish. This cruel and superficial society makes me sick.

I know that it is not good to wish someone who does terrible things something as a punishment. But when i hear about violent people then i think why are they so "afraid" to go to someone equal and get some hits for their selves. This is a perversion, to think being more a man when beating a woman or a girl. This men are a shame for all normal men.

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

5:11PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

I used to live in Miami. I had to move. Unfriendly people, raging drivers, nobody speak English there. Crime is bad. Traffic is horrible. Very negative there.

5:09PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

I used to live in Miami. I had to move. Unfriendly people, raging drivers, nobody speak English there. Crime is bad. Traffic is horrible. Very negative there.

12:43AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

It is so sad to have a sad city !!

7:04AM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

I wonder why.

9:41AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

hmmm

8:35AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

if you click on the report I see state ratings as well. I was surprised to find some states I thought would rank good ranked really low and some I thought would rank bad ranked really high.

12:49AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

Thanks.

8:11PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

It would be nice to see one about Canadian cities!

5:11AM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

where's Monroe, LA on this list??!

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