The 10 WORST States of 2020

Here’s our list of 2020’s 10 worst states based on the cost of living, economics, and overall quality of life.


CA has some of the worst pollution and traffic in the nation.

Ahh the golden state… well, it’s more of a smoggy brown really, but that sure doesn’t seem to affect the price tag. Rent alone is at least $2,000 a month in L.A. and $3,000 in the Bay area. That isn’t very affordable considering the minimum wage is $15 an hour in the cities and $12 everywhere else. This may sound good in theory, but California also has the highest taxes in the nation.

It’s no wonder so many people choose to live outside the cities where the rent is a little cheaper. Although, considering the 1-2 hour commute, they probably pay the difference in gas anyways. The traffic is also one of the leading contributors to the worst air quality in the entire U.S.. And that’s not even the worst of it, California also has one of the worst education systems, worst qualities of life, and 40% of the population living near or at the poverty line, but the year round sunshine must be worth it because overpopulation is another huge issue here.


MO has the 6th highest crime rate in the U.S.

Missouri has the 6th highest crime rate in the country. Although they may try to blame it on St. Louis and Kansas City, only 330 out of 607 Missouri murders and 700 out of 2900 rape cases actually occured in either of those places. But don’t get us wrong, St. Louis and Kansas City still consistently rank among the 5 most dangerous cities in the U.S.

The lack of protections against LGBTQA+ discriminations only makes things worse, not to mention the lack of anti-discrimination laws in the workplace regarding well…  just about anything, including marital status AND age. If you do get discriminated against, or stabbed, well, good luck getting medical attention. Missouri is cutting medical programs faster than any other state, leaving 200,000 eligible residents uninsured, 83,000 of whom are children.


If it weren’t for Memphis, Tennessee probably wouldn’t be on this list.

The only Ten I see is one of the worst 10 states to live in. Although if it weren’t for Memphis, Tennessee probably wouldn’t be on this list. Nashville is actually thriving, but Memphis really drags things down with a crime rate 410% above the national average, making it one of the 3 most dangerous cities in the nation. Overall, Tennessee also doesn’t offer many job opportunities outside of Nashville. The state’s median annual household income is only $51,340, which is $10,000 below the national average, but hey, at least there’s no state income tax… although that may be the reason the education system is so terrible.


Many criminals escape to the cold and desolate Alaskan wilderness.

Alaska also doesn’t have any income tax, or sales tax for that matter… in fact, they will pay you to live here! Then again… they have to pay people to live here… It’s a great place to go if you want to escape the hustle and bustle, but you know who else wants to escape?


Alaska has the 2nd highest property crime rate and the highest violent crime rate in the nation. Aggravated assault and rape per capita are each nearly 4 times the national average as well. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, the Last Frontier is also cold and dark, with less than 4 hours of daylight during winter and temperatures as low as -50 Fahrenheit. During summer, the sun is up practically all night and the mosquitoes are the size of your fist.

The public education system is awful, the housing market is the worst in the country, and Alaska is one of the worst states for business overall. Maybe that explains the 6.1% unemployment rate, which is the highest in the nation.


WV has been left decimated by the mining the state once relied on.

West Virginia is a sad testament to industrialism. As the nation’s dependence on coal decreases, so does the state’s financial outlook. Currently, West Virginia has a 4.9% unemployment rate and a 17.8% poverty rate with the lowest median household income in the nation at just $44,097.

It isn’t surprising West Virginia was ranked as the least happy state of 2019. And they aren’t very healthy either. The mountain state has the highest rate of drug overdoses and a 39.5% obesity rate- tied for the highest in the nation. What makes all this even worse is that the healthcare system is ALSO the worst in the U.S.


AR has one of the worst qualities of life and one of the highest poverty rates.

Sure, it’s the 3rd cheapest state in the country, but aside from the surprisingly thriving Fayetteville-Rogers-Springdale area, Arkansas doesn’t exactly live up to its nickname as the Land of Opportunity. Between the high crime rate, awful health care, terrible schools, low quality of life, and poverty rate of 18.9%, things are just bad.

Arkansas also has the 5th highest property and violent crime rates in the country, and if you go to the cities like Little Rock or Pine Bluff, it’s even more Dangerous. But to be fair, you don’t have to duck at every gunshot you hear… unless you are a duck since duck hunting is a big thing here… More ducks are actually hunted in Arkansas than anywhere else in the country!


MS is the poorest state in the country.

To be fair, Mississippi has actually improved A LOT. Two or three years ago It would have been 1st or 2nd on this list, but it still has a long way to go. The Magnolia State has the 2nd highest unemployment rate at 5.6%, the highest poverty rate at 21.5%, the 3rd worst schools in the country, and is tied with West Virginia as the most obese state.

Mississippi’s also the poorest state, which makes sense since there are literally NO high paying jobs. And while another one of its nicknames may be the “hospitality state,” there are literally no protections against discrimination of ANY kind here, unless you’re disabled, but on the bright side, the violent crime rate IS a lot lower than the national average, so maybe there is some southern hospitality afterall.


NM is the most dangerous state in the U.S.

Sure, New Mexico might have the most PhD’s per capita, but all those smarty pants still can’t figure out a way to make their state not suck. In contrast with all the Doctorates, New Mexico has one of the absolute worst public schooling systems and the lowest high school graduation rate at just 71%.

Maybe that’s why the state also has the 4th lowest median household income, 4th highest unemployment rate and, unsurprisingly, the 2nd highest poverty rate at 19.7%. But worst of all, New Mexico is the most dangerous state in America. The quality of life here just isn’t great, which really is a shame considering how much potential the state has. It’s called the “Land of Enchantment” for a reason. We highly recommend visiting,  just maybe bring a cheap car, cause there’s a pretty decent chance it’ll get stolen.


LA is the only state other than NV with legal casino- style gambling.

Louisiana was ranked as the most corrupt state of 2019… Yikes! Maybe all the political corruption explains why the Bayou state has the 3rd worst Health Care, 2nd worst Education, 2nd worst economy, 5th highest unemployment rate, 4th highest obesity rate, the most corrupt prison system, and ranks absolutely dead last in terms of opportunity.

It’s also really easy to have a gambling problem here, since Louisiana is the only state other than Nevada that allows casino-style gambling statewide. If that doesn’t leave you broke, then the sales tax that ranges anywhere from 9-12% probably will. The food here is amazing! But that’s probably the only good thing about this state.


Much of rural AL has sanitation scores similar to a developing nation.

More like Not so sweet home Alabama considering the 18% poverty rate, worst public school system in the country, high crime rate, awful health care with the 2nd highest infant mortality rate of any state, and the worst quality of life in America. In fact, a United Nations study on poverty determined rural Alabama has the worst poverty in the developed world. Many places in rural Alabama actually have sanitation scores similar to a developing nation.

Not to mention, The Heart of Dixie is one of only 5 U.S. states that lacks protection against discrimination for basically anyone and they still make you pay exceedingly high local taxes.

If you live in one of these and you’re looking to move, check out our list of the 10 Best States of 2020.

Previous articleThe 10 BEST States of 2021
Next article10 Cheapest States to Live in 2021