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Daily Real Estate News  |   February 4, 2011  |   Top 8 Most Miserable Cities
Even plenty of sunshine can’t get the cities that topped the list of the most miserable smiling.

California residents are pretty miserable, according to Forbes’ list of the most unhappy cities in the United States. California cities account for eight of the 20 most miserable places in the U.S., and four of the top five. Falling home prices, high unemployment, high crime, steep state taxes, and a large budget deficit have brought a lot of Californians down in recent months.

Here is the list of the most miserable cities, according to Forbes:

1. Stockton, Calif.
2. Miami
3. Merced, Calif.
4. Modesto, Calif.
5. Sacramento, Calif.
6. Memphis, Tenn.
7. Chicago
8. West Palm Beach, Fla.

Forbes analyzed 200 U.S. cities for its list, taking into account such factors as housing, unemployment, weather, taxes, commuting times, crime, and how the cities’ sports teams performed in recent years.

"Both California and Florida have a history of boom and bust economies,” Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes senior editor, told Reuters. “People flooded to these states because of the weather during the boom years but that helped inflate the massive bubble in housing."

In Stockton, home prices have fallen by 58 percent over the last three years and unemployment has averaged 14.3 percent--and projected to rise to 18.1 percent in 2011.

"Stockton has issues that it needs to address, but an article like this is the equivalent of bayoneting the wounded," Bob Deis, Stockton city manager, told Forbes.

Cleveland — which last year held the title as the most miserable — is getting a little happier; it ranking 10th on this year's list. Cleveland’s unemployment rate increased at a much slower rate than other parts of the country, which helped improve its ranking this year.

See Forbes.com’s full list of the most miserable.

Source: “California Cities Top Most Miserable List,” Reuters News (Feb. 3, 2011)

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