When looking at different towns and cities in America there are plenty of different ways to judge whether it is a "great" location or a "bad" one. Most of the time bad areas are picked out based on crime rates, income levels, and housing costs.

Those are some of the factors the site Road snacks used to make this list.


This study in particular looked at the top 10 worst small towns, and today we will look at the three from the top of its list.

How They determined the worst small towns to live in Wisconsin 

This study seems to be pretty in-depth with them using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, this is the criteria they used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 204 to be exact. We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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The Worst Small Towns In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Welcome sign at Marinette WI

3. Hurley

With a population of 1,533, Hurley finds itself in at number 3 on this list. The study also claims that this town has the worst home value with an average  of $61,500.

2. Lac du Flambeau

According to the study, the Unemployment Rate appears to be one of the biggest reasons this spot is on the list. The town of Lac da Flambeau reportedly has a population of 1,537.

Wisconsin road sign
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

1. Little Round Lake

Sadly, the town of Little Round Lake. Located in the North West of Wisconsin, this town has a population of 1,190. It sees a high unemployment rate and low home values.

More information


Little Round Lake is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Bass Lake, Sawyer County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,081 at the 2010 census.[3] It is the largest community on the reservation of the federally recognized tribe of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

Poverty was also high.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $17,574, and the median income for a family was $17,019. Males had a median income of $23,036 versus $20,104 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $7,819. About 42.8% of families and 42.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 51.4% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

What do you think of these numbers? Let us know. You can see the 10 worst small towns here.

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