The US News and World Report ranking of the best fifty cities in the US to live in did not include any of these locales, nor were any mentioned in Livability’s list of top small and midsized metros. The wheelchair user magazine New Mobility also found no need to name any of these cities as disability friendly, and only Buffalo was part of the list from LGBT publication The Advocate of queerest cities.
You won’t find a top ten public transit system in any of these cities, according to Smart Asset. Of the ten states proposed, only Texas ranks in the top ten happiest states, according to the 2016 Gallup-Healthways well-being survey. Yet Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Ohio, and Indiana take up half the spots in the bottom ten.
Parenting magazine did not include any of these budget rate towns in its list of ten best cities for public schools, but Birmingham, AL was ranked tenth worst while Jackson, MS took second. Likewise none of these cities earn a spot on Tree Hugger’s list of Eco Friendly Cities.
Violent crime may explain some of the discontentment. In 2016 the FBI declared Birmingham the third deadliest city in the nation with a higher homicide rate than Chicago, which is somehow not factored into this sales pitch for investment services. The same federal report showed that Buffalo has a violent crime rate double that of New York City.
The Akron, Ohio violent crime rate is 59% greater than the national average, which pales in comparison with Shreveport’s rate 120% greater than the national average. That in itself is practically nothing next to Springfield’s 264% above average violent crime rate. Jackson, MS is safer than only 3% of other US cities. Maybe the reasons these towns are cheap is because people who can afford to live elsewhere do so. (City stats via Area Vibes and FBI.)