When you think of degraded American cities, what comes to your mind first?

A netizen recently asked, “What American city has fallen the furthest in the last 5 years?”. Here are the top responses.

Jackson, Mississippi

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“Jackson, Mississippi. The murder rate is literally unbelievable and the decay of the city and basic amenities is really tragic.”


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“Apparently it’s Houston which has been averaging a subsidence of 17 millimeters a year.

Parts of the city have fallen up to 3 meters since 1917.”

Davenport, IA

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“The answer is Davenport, IA but no one gives a damn about it, including the elected officials of Davenport, IA.”


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“Oakland looked like it was on the path to bigger and better things before the pandemic. A few tech companies moved headquarters there and more were looking to move. Urban renewal looked like a real possibility.

Then the pandemic hit and undid all the progress and then some. Parts of Oakland feel lawless; 911 does not respond and criminals walk from car to car, breaking windows in broad daylight. The local government seems utterly incompetent. Really sad situation for everyone living here.”

Charleston WV

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“Charleston WV. Its population has steadily *declined* by an average of about 1.5% per year for over two decades. It’s the only state capitol in the US that is dying.”

Pawnee, IN

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“Pawnee, IN got so bad that they don’t even show it on TV anymore.”

San Francisco

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“San Francisco. Born & raised there & I’ve never seen it like this. People are leaving notes in the windows begging thieves not to break their windows. A coworker took the tint off his windows so they can see he doesn’t have anything. They busted his windows & took his 49er bobblehead that was on his dashboard.”

New Orleans

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“Y’all are all missing the answer. It’s New Orleans. Hands Down. A dwindling tax base is exasperating a lack of police and collapsing infrastructure, civic corruption and crime are at all-time highs, causing even more attrition. In about 20 years it won’t even be the biggest city in the state.”


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“Memphis. By far. Car thefts are over 7,000 this year alone. 5 years ago it wasn’t like that. Murders, drugs, robbing, Memphis is OOC.”

Louisville, Kentucky

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“Louisville, Kentucky. HIV spikes, opioid crises, exploding homeless population, political polarization, and a crumbling infrastructure due to massive tax inequality.

The whole west side of the city is rarely visited due to violent crime being much, much higher than the national average.

Did I mention the entire public school system can’t even bus their students to school? Last week some kids didn’t get home until almost 10 pm.”


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“Denver. I live a block from the 16th Street Mall downtown and it was once, not long ago, a beautiful place to go shopping and get some food. Now It’s filled with homeless, drug addicts, and gun violence, and most people avoid it at all costs.

At night from my balcony it sometimes sounds like a zombie apocalypse out there with people screaming and shouting and nothing in particular, throwing trash cans and vandalizing cars parked on the side of the street.

I heard gunshots, and see the bloody cleanup afterwards. It’s gotten pretty out of control in downtown Denver. Also when I’m out driving I see several encampments of people who have just pitched up tents on the sidewalks or underpasses and I’m talking encampments of like 10-20 tents.

I could go into why I think it’s all happening but whatever the reason, it’s still sad. I’m hoping to leave the area within the next couple of years.”


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“Asheville has gotten extremely bad since I last went there in 2012. I visited last year and the cheapest hotel was $300/night but came with junkie blood stains on the bed sheets and I couldn’t even swap them because they didn’t have any more.

The hotels were housing the homeless and druggies so it jacked the price up for everyone else. Overall the town was snobby and elitist when it used to be a cool hippy town with friendly people”

Portland, Oregon

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“Portland, Oregon. I scrolled for a good minute and didn’t see it, but this place is an expensive, disgusting, crime-ridden, tent-scaped.

The getaways are still beautiful, and I’m lucky to be in a position where we can escape fairly often for a much-needed reprieve, but as soon as we’re back, the reality is right there in your face… and sidewalk… and street… and…”

Anchorage, Alaska

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“Anchorage, Alaska. The state has had a major budget deficit that caused shortfalls to a lot of programs. Covid caused record homelessness, and they had an emergency mayoral election when the last guy quit due to scandal.

By some sick turn of events, the guy who won literally wants to put the homeless into concentration camps.”

Birmingham Alabama

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“Birmingham Alabama. Pre-2018 it was definitely on the rise but over the last 5 years, crime exploded, racism peaked in its pre-2000 era and money isn’t being put back into the city so it’s everywhere but the suburbs are in disarray.”

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