I'll be honest and upfront, I'm a huge fan of crunching numbers to find the best or worst this or that. I think it's kind of fun. But, not when it comes to calling a city, or cities, the "worst cities" in a state. In this case, Iowa. The website Road Snacks did just that, and while I often love their content, this time it just fell flat.

Is this our best set of metrics?

Before I dive into the "science" behind the list, let's look at Road Snack's top 10... maybe I should say, bottom 10 places to live in the Hawkeye State, this is for 2024:

  1. Clinton
  2. Keokuk
  3. Ottumwa
  4. Waterloo
  5. Osceola
  6. Centerville
  7. Oelwein
  8. Fort Madison
  9. Maquoketa
  10. Des Moines

Waterloo was previously a spot higher, so it's clear that each year they, at the very least, rerun their metrics to determine the list. But just what are the metrics that give us a list of the worst places to live? The site utilized some areas they felt potential residents would analyze before moving...

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

Again, there isn't anything baffling on the surface, but to label the above-mentioned cities as the worst, is it fair to use all of these? Most people move to a place because of, say, work. You get a new job in City X, you have to decide if you want to live there, or in a neighboring town.

Well, maybe I'm okay sacrificing the commute time for, say, a good school district (not on the list). Or, I don't want "high population density" because I'm into small towns. Oh, or perhaps "high incomes" aren't a big deal because my spouse and I are comfortable. Crime, however, that's one metric I do think is important.


States with lower populations like Iowa will always have very skewed lists. Des Moines, our biggest city, is a fraction of the size of Chicago or Dallas. Yet it's one of our worst? It has a fraction of their crime and poverty.

At the end of the day, if you're happy where you live, and you feel safe, that's the most important thing.

Speaking of safety, you can go to jail in Iowa... and call it luxurious!

Iowa Unique Airbnb: The Franklin County Historic Jail

Want to stay in a cool, history Iowa jail? Check this out! Of course, you're free to leave the next morning with no hit to your record.

Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks

You Could Own The Greatest House In The State Of Wisconsin

There's a home in Wisconsin that everyone in the state would call the best house on the market. The house is reasonably priced for the amount of money you could get out of it. Why does this house sound like a gold mine? Because it sits and looks directly at the heart of Title Town U.S.A., the legendary Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers.

Gallery Credit: Cory Blohm, Make A Move Realty LLC

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