Economist Arthur Okun developed the original Misery Index in the 1960s. It combines unemployment and inflation (and was 10.2 last year nationally, down from an 18-year high of 12.1 in 2011).
Our look at misery is more localized, and includes unemployment, as well as other things that aggravate people.
This year we examined nine factors for the 200 largest metro areas in the U.S. The metrics include the serious: violent crime, unemployment, foreclosures, taxes (income and property) and home prices. We also include less weighty, but still important quality-of-life issues like commute times and weather.
We tweaked the methodology in this year’s list in response to feedback from readers, dropping our rankings of both pro sports team success and political corruption, since both were based on regional, rather than city-specific data. We also added a new measure—net migration—which we see as a clear gauge of whether or not residents feel a community is worth living in. Detroit, which ranked No. 2 last year, also would have finished No. 1 under the previous methodology. More from Forbes
: Full List: America’s Most Miserable Cities 2013 America’s Most Dangerous Cities America’s Friendliest Towns The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.