Miami Is 'Worst-Run' City in America: Report

Magic City tops list of America's worst-run cities, Hialeah close behind

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Violent crime, poverty, low education rate and a crippled housing industry helped Miami reach the top spot in 24/7 Wall Street's first-annual list of the worst-run cities in America.

    The Magic City beat out Detroit (No. 2) and Newark (No. 3) for the dubious honor in the rankings, released last week. Nearby Hialeah came in at No. 10 on the list.

    24/7 Wall Street studied local economies, fiscal discipline and standard of living in the 100 largest cities by population to make up its list.

    Miami's low ranking wasn't helped by a 2011 Census Bureau study that found Miami had the second-highest income inequality rate in the country. The city's poverty rate of 32.4 percent was the fifth-highest.

    While Miami's violent crime rate was the 13-highest in the nation, the high school graduation rate was a depressing 68.2 percent, good for fourth-lowest.

    Of all the problems in Miami, the real estate crash may have been the biggest factor on the low ranking.

    "22.5 percent of housing units are vacant, which is the fifth highest percentage," 24/7 Wall Street's list said. "A 2011 Brookings Institute report put Miami among the 20 weakest-performing metropolitan statistical areas in the country with regards to recovering from the recession, due in large part to the crash of its housing market."

    As for Hialeah, an unemployment rate of over 15 percent - higher than Miami - contributed to its low ranking. A 68.6 percent high school graduation rate, good for fifth-lowest, also hurt Hialeah.

    If Miami needs to better itself, it needs to look towards Virginia Beach, which came in at No. 1 on 24/7 Wall Street's list of the best-run cities. Not only does Virginia Beach boast a low rate of violent crime and little poverty, it also has a high rate of high school graduation and is among the 10 best for median income.