Like Visiting Small Towns? Here Are 10 in Michigan You Should Avoid
Michigan is filled with many wonderful small towns to visit but there are 10 that are absolutely the worst and hopefully, you don't live in one them.
Michigan Has Some Great Small Towns
One thing Michiganders have had going for them long before there was the term staycation, is the fact we don't have to leave the state to vacation. There are so many great places to visit in the Mitten that a family could spend a lifetime visiting all the great nooks and crannies Michigan has to offer.
The Cherry Capital of the World is in Traverse City and is one of the most well-known destinations in Michigan. I recently made a trip to Frankenmuth and the world-famous Bronners - I have been here all my life and had never gone. Mackinac Island is another destination that is known around the world. There are gems in the Upper Peninsula like Munising and the Pictured Rocks and amazing waterfalls. Let's not forget the Lake Michigan coast that includes Saugatuck, St. Joseph, Holland, Petoskey, and more. I was just scratching the surface of what Michigan has to offer but there are some small towns you will want to avoid.
Top 10 Worst Small Towns in Michigan
There are hundreds of fantastic small towns in Michigan but the state also has its trouble spots. The following are the worst small towns in Michigan based on high crime, poverty, and unemployment according to data compiled by "RoadSnacks" website.
#10 St. Helen
With a population of just under 2800, an over 7% unemployment rate is not a good thing. Home values rank eighth worst in the state.
Marlette has just under 1900 residents, with 11% of their population who are unemployed.
Cassopolis is near the southern border of Michigan and a nice countryside, but there is not a lot going on there. With a population of just over 1800, it has a nearly 14% unemployment rate that is not that appealing for a family to kick off a future.
Weidmann is a small farming community with a population of just under 1300 people. It is more of a crossroads town and if you blink you may miss it when taking a drive in the country.
Caro is in the Thumb region of Michigan. I only know because I rode my motorcycle through there once. With a population of just over 4,300 residents, it would seem to be a growing town, but the only thing growing is the near 13% unemployment rate.
Evart is east of Reed City with one major road passing through which is US-10. Surprisingly, there is a municipal airport. There is still not a lot going on with almost 15% unemployment, which is the sixth worst in Michigan, and that is a lot of people out of work considering the population is just under 1,600.
Standish has the luxury of having the second worst-valued homes in the state. With a population of just over 1,500 and an unemployment rate of 13% things are not looking up in this community. If you love to fish, you are not far from Saginaw Bay, so that is a plus if you like perch and walleye, and it's not too far from I-75 if you don't mind a long commute to work.
Mio is a town that is east of Grayling in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula. With an unemployment rate of just over 16%, not a lot of futures are being made in the community. Mio has a population of just under 1,500 and does have the Au Sable River passing through, so that's not so bad.
#2 Benton Heights
Benton Heights sits just northeast of Benton Harbor. It's not far from Lake Michigan and close to 31 and I-94 so commuting to work would not be bad and you would more than likely have to commute because the unemployment rate is just over 14% and that is not good for a population of just under 4,000.
#1 Skidway Lake
If you are from Michigan's Skidway Lake and you hit the big time, you can say you made it from the bottom to the top. Skidway Lake, based on the data, is the worst place to live in Michigan. Skidway Lake is southwest of West Branch and north of Standish, which was mentioned earlier in this article. With an unemployment rate of nearly 15%, a population just barely over 3,100, and average home values of under $50,000 it is a pretty safe bet that the first thing graduates do is leave the area in search of opportunity.
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