Which cities in Iowa are the ugliest and most miserable? Two new studies have the answers!

QUICK DISCLAIMER: Before we get into this, I would like to start by saying that both of the studies we're about to look at are from the website ALOT Travel, so if any Iowa State fans or Black Hawk County residents disagree with the picks, that's the site to take it up with!

Let's start with ALOT Travel's 'Ugliest Cities in Each State' article. The write-up doesn't list the exact criteria used to determine the list, but it does say:

"Whether it's from lack of maintenance or just poor design choices, these fifty spots are more than an eyesore. They may be great places to live, but these cities won't be winning beauty contests anytime soon!"

Here in Iowa, Ames has been chosen as the ugliest city. I'm sure there are some die-hard Hawkeye fans who would agree, but I'm betting some Iowa State students wouldn't! The article reads:

"While it may be a safe place to live (unlike some of the other places on this list), it's also one of the most boring. Unless you're a student at ISU, there's probably not going to be enough going on to satisfy you."

Other "ugly" Midwest picks include Gary, Indiana; Holdrege, Nebraska; Glencoe, Minnesota; Riverdale, Illinois; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Lucky for Ames, it's just the "ugliest" city in Iowa and not the "most miserable." That honor has been awarded to the city of Waterloo. The data used for this ALOT Travel list comes from the U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts and AreaVibes.

According to the article, the Waterloo Unemployment rate is 18% higher than the national average, and 17% of residents live below the poverty level. It also notes that the crime rates are slightly above the national average, "giving residents a 1 in 30 chance of becoming a victim of crime." 

Google Maps
Google Maps

What do you think? Did they get these picks right? Let us know in the comments!

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