Sandwiched between "dying" Atlantic City and a town dubbed "The Mistake By The Lake," the Big Peach lands at #16 on Forbes magazine's annual "Most Miserable" cities list. In the eyes of Forbes, Atlanta's piece-of-cake winters and extreme livability apparently couldn't outweigh its recent housing crisis and chronic traffic. To illustrate Atlanta's ills, the magazine ops not for crumbling buildings, crime-scene tape and blizzards like with other cities, but instead uses a car-clogged interstate. At least we're 15 slots above the apparent misery mecca, Detroit, where median housing prices have dipped to $40,000 and the state government is on the verge of wresting control. Curiously, two cultural hotbeds scored in the top 10: Chicago lands at #4, and NYC at #10. Six of the top 10 are in either Illinois or Michigan.
Here's Forbes' reasoning for slotting the ATL at #16: "The housing crisis hit Atlanta hard with home prices off 42 percent since 2007 and foreclosure rates among the highest in the U.S. Another misery for Atlanta residents: traffic." In ranking the country's 200 largest metros, the magazine examined nine factors: violent crime, unemployment, foreclosures, taxes (income and property) and home prices. They also include "less weighty, but still important quality-of-life issues like commute times and weather."
Last year's most miserable metro — Miami — dropped out of Forbes' Top 20, based in part on a healthy in-migration of residents and investment. We're curious: How does Atlanta's ranking here (albeit highly subjective) make you feel? Incensed? Happy? In passive agreement?
· The Most Miserable Cities List: In 2013, You Can't Beat Detroit [Forbes]