Beloit Responds To ‘Worst City In Wisconsin’ Ranking By USA Today
USA Today's recent piece, entitled "These Are The Worst Cities To Live In, State By State," has prompted a reaction from Beloit, Wisconsin.
As you might imagine, Beloit does not agree with it's dubious ranking.
The report, published Tuesday in USA Today, used a weighted index from 24/7 Wall St. to measure cities in four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life, and community. The city with the worst score in every state was considered the worst city in the state to live in.
Beloit's poverty rate (24.8%) was almost double the state average (12.3%), while the city's median home value ($85,200) was almost half of the state average ($169,000).
USA Today on Beloit:
• Population: 36,733
• Median home value: $85,200 (state: $169,300)
• Poverty rate: 24.8% (state: 12.3%)
• Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 425 (state: 320)
Beloit is a small city in southern Wisconsin that sits on the Illinois state border. Nearly one in every four area residents live below the poverty line, a larger share than in over 90% of U.S. cities. In many cities, real estate values are a reflection of what area residents can afford, and in Beloit, property values are low. The typical city home is worth just $85,200, about half the value of the typical Wisconsin home.
The area's low incomes are partially attributable to the high jobless rate. According to the Census, 6.4% of workers in Beloit are unemployed, the largest share of any city in the state and more than double Wisconsin's 3.1% unemployment rate.
Here's the response from a statement issued by Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther, courtesy of My Stateline:
As a community on the rise, we know our unemployment numbers are significantly lower than what was attributed in this ranking (6.5%). The most recent unemployment data has us at 4.4% (March 2019) and our unemployment rate has been declining over time (it was as low as 2.9% in September 2018). Our crime rate has been steadily decreasing and our crime clearance rates are far above comparable cities.
Beloit has its challenges, but there is plenty to celebrate. We are a city that works together – our police department sees that every day with community members working in partnership to share information to help solve crimes in our city. We’re investing in our neighborhoods, reducing violent crime, celebrating together in our beautiful parks, and engaging in life-long learning at our robust library. We have much to be proud of here in Beloit!
While we're at it, here's someone else's take on places that suck in Wisconsin: