Marketplace Scratch Pad

America’s most depressing places

Scott Jagow May 14, 2009

Yeah, I thought you could use some cheering up. Clusterstock ranks the most depressing towns and cities in slideshow format. It’s not one of those unemployment multiplied by foreclosures divided by vacancy rates kind of things. It’s more anecdotal, and I think you can guess who’s number 1.

But let’s work backwards. Number 10 — Flint, Michigan. A few weeks ago, I wrote about Flint’s proposal to downsize by plowing over blocks of homes, even whole neighborhoods. A few people disagreed with me saying that Flint was one of the saddest towns in America. Well, they’ll have a field day with Clusterstock: “What can you say about Flint but that it’s an impoverished, depressing dump.”

Number 8 is Alpharetta, Georgia, the bank failure capital of the US. Three banks based in Alpharetta went under in just 13 months. But Clusterstock points out:

Lately, however, Alpharetta might be redeeming itself. Its North Georgia Bank agreed to acquire the assets of American Southern Bank, a Kennesaw, Georgia bank seized by the FDIC. So perhaps the great Alpharetta bank failure flood of 2007-2009 is finally receding.

Number 7 is West Palm Beach, Florida, home to a company called Condo Vultures Realty. I think that says it all.

Number 6 and number 5 are depressing for the same reason – unemployment and the dying car industry. Kokomo, Indiana is home to a Delphi plant. Marketplace recently visited Youngstown, Ohio.

Number 2 on the list is the Inland Empire of California, “the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown.”

And the number 1 most depressing place in America, according to Clusterstock, is… Detroit.

In Detroit, you can buy a home on your credit card. Last year when the murder rate dropped, the mayor quipped, “I guess there is no one left to kill.”

Here’s a video tour of downtown, not produced by the Chamber of Commerce:

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