These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Massachusetts

We used science to determine which places in The Bay State are the real pits.

Is Massachusetts a perfect place? Far from it. In fact, there are lots of places in The Bay State that are lousy.
In order to run an analysis on where the worst places in Massachusetts are located, we had to measure everything from crime, meth use, the local economy and even the public school funding.
The result? The 10 Worst Places To Live In Massachusetts. Enjoy the video below.

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends. .

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Massachusetts

  1. For the record, it is videos like these and the people that make them that actually help maintain stigmas around places that are trying to improve themselves. I live in one of them. It is full of amazing people, a really interesting heritage, and has a bright future that those of us here can see and are a part of. Then people like you create snarky videos and the first thing people find when they google us is this B.S. Frankly, you are only adding to the problems we face as cities and towns making a go at it. So thanks for the kick to the face.

  2. If itll keep out tourists, yuppies, and hollywood film douchebags then good. I love dirty Massachusetts and miss my dirty Boston the way it was.

  3. North Adams has beautiful neighborhoods, community events, great schools and affordable living in beautiful Berkshire county. I love to come home and visit my parents and many of my friends made the choice to come home after college, get well paying jobs, buy homes and resettle in our home town. This list got it wrong.

    1. Um, what North Adams do you live in?? I can almost compare North Adams, to Springfield for slummy apartments, run down buildings and quite a few other things that need improvement. Yes, I agree about the community events, but the neighborhoods aren’t all the beautiful, especially when you look at the town as a whole, and affordable? It’s not the greatest in the state. I’ve lived in many places throughout the state, and unfortunately, I had to cross over to Vermont to be able to survive, which left me with less money. At first I thought North Adams was a decent area and reasonably affordable. I did better in Vermont because of health care costs, and I was able to afford rent easier. Now I’m working on going back to Springfield area.

  4. Who authored this video? Some rich kid who gets off making fun at poverty and slings stereo-types at other’s expense because…….why? Dude, whoever you are, why don’t you grow up and do something positive. Become part of the solution. Be creative, strong and inventive. This is just a cheap shot for what purpose? This is no different than the Limosine Liberal crowd correcting redneck grammar and making fun of the people at Wal-Mart while they sit around and complain about the current state of socio-economics. Empower communities, don’t contribute to their decline.

  5. I have lived in Athol for the past 37 years, purchasing a home here in 1979, raising a family here, and participating fully in this warm and caring community, and I strongly take issue with this ill-conceived, mean-spirited, misguided, and seriously flawed ranking of the “ten worst places to live in Massachusetts” as produced by and currently making the rounds on facebook. Now, I am confident that residents of many of the other nine communities on the list might very be able to make strong cases as to the benefits or joys of living in their own towns or cities, but I will focus on the town with which I have personal experience: the town of Athol.
    There are surely those who have known the town for a longer period of time than I have—who were born here—but my experience in Athol gives me a unique and unbiased perspective. I came to Central Massachusetts from Haverhill, Mass. after graduating from Bates College in Maine with a teaching degree and a strong desire to do my part in making a difference in people’s lives. I have taught in Gardner, Winchendon, Harvard, and Athol. I have known communities that are recognized as affluent, as well as those that have had challenges or struggles. Here in Athol I have served as teacher, elementary principal, school committee member, a selectboard member, and a town meeting representative. I have been a member of the Rotary, the Lions Club, the YMCA, the AARP, the Public Library, the local access television station, the community theater group, the area photography club, and my local synagogue. In short, I feel that I know the town and the community of Athol both fully and intimately.
    Athol is a community that is so much different than the stereotypes which some outsiders perpetuate. It is a town which is experiencing a renaissance—a rebirth—which some people, outside our community, have yet to recognize. Athol has an appeal which is based on several factors: the beauty that nature has bestowed on it, its combination of beautiful classic and new public buildings, a variety of health care venues, large and small businesses, an educational system which continues to make great strides in both facilities and instruction within the classroom, a respect for culture and the arts which manifests itself in productions within Athol and throughout the immediate area, a local government which is professional and collegial in both tone and practice and which is fully responsive to the needs of its citizens, and most of all—perhaps—a community full of people who are kind and caring—who reach out on a daily basis to help their neighbors, who routinely volunteer thousands of hours to help Athol to be the very best town it can be for its residents, its families, and its children.
    Nature has been especially kind to the Athol area. The Millers River, the Bearsden Conservation area, the Skyfields Aboretum, Sportman’s Pond, Lake Ellis, Silver Lake, Lake Rohunta are just a few of the areas that provide beauty, serenity, and recreational opportunities, which (depending on the particular site) may include camping, swimming, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, tennis, and team sports. The Allen Rich Environmental Park, the new Millers River Park and Watershed Park, Cass Meadow, Fish Park, Silver Lake Park all offer opportunities for hiking, photography, and recreation. In fact, Athol has an entire Parks and Greenway Network supplemented with maps, kiosks, and videos accessible by the cell phone in your pocket. The extraordinary Quabbin Reservoir is right down the road and offers additional fishing, boating, hiking, and photography opportunities. The Millers River Environmental Center, the Athol Bird and Nature Club, and the New England Equestrian Center all make their homes here in Athol.
    Athol offers a wonderful blend of older, preserved buildings and new modern buildings. The gorgeous new Athol Public Library wisely maintained its classic 1915 Carnegie heritage in the front of the building while adding on a brand new multi-million dollar addition in 2014 which is not only absolutely beautiful and very people-friendly, but is also one of the first of its kind to achieve LEED Platinum Certification. The Athol Historical Society displays the fascinating history of our town in a lovely, newly renovated historic building, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The Athol Town Hall is housed in an historic building whose beautiful interior provides for not only regular government business, but also occasional concerts and plays. In recent years, Athol has built a new police station and a new fire station. The YMCA, a focal point for families and children in the area, has recently undergone renovations which make it even more accessible and vital to our community.
    Just this week the brand-new, state-of-the-art Athol Community Elementary School held its open house for the community as it gets ready to open its doors to all elementary school aged children in Athol. The beautiful new school was supported by a record number of Athol citizens who turned out to vote in favor of it three years ago, and now it is a reality. It joins the Athol-Royalston Middle School as new buildings that are designed to facilitate the education of all our students. Even as the two beautiful buildings provide quality educational spaces—and technology–for all our students, even as the high school continues to work to improve its facilities by renovating important academic and athletic areas, it is important to note that the school system is working extremely hard to improve instruction within the classroom. New administrators with advanced educational training and strong people skills work hand in hand with caring and dedicated teachers to implement best practices in the classroom at the same time as they work to improve test scores. In addition, the outreach to and involvement of the community is an important focus in the District.
    Some of our town’s newest buildings are part of the North Quabbin Commons which just opened last year. We have a new Market Basket, Marshall’s, Shoe Dept., and Maurice’s with a Starbuck’s and a bank opening this fall; and restaurants, a movie theater, and a hotel planned for the future. These buildings join other industries in town, including (but not limited to) the L.S. Starrett Company which is nationally and internationally known for its precision measuring tools, Whipps Inc., Adams Farm, Hannaford Supermarkets, Girardi Distributers, Pexco (extrusion), Niagara Cutter LLC, and other businesses—both large and small—including Castine Moving and Storage, Haley’s Antiques and Publishing, Joseph A. Mallet and Sons Excavating, Piragis Boats and Motors, Athol Rental Center, Dale’s Auto Body, Highland Press, and a good number of financial advisors or business services, realtors, contractors and carpenters, plumbing and heating/cooling specialists, law offices, landscapers and florists, hardware stores and lumber suppliers, and such restaurants as Bon Appetit, The Atholl House, Old Time New England Seafood, the Tea Garden, Athol House of Pizza Restaurant, the Village Grille and Restaurant, Soup on the Fly, just to name a few.
    Athol’s citizens have a number of health care options to serve its citizens—from infants through the elderly: the Athol Hospital, the North Quabbin Family Physicians, Quabbin Valley Health Care, Applewood, Clinical and Support Options, as well as a good number of other family physicians, specialists, and dentists.
    Activities in Athol range from competitive athletic events like basketball, baseball, soccer, football, track and field, and wrestling which are sponsored by the Schools, YMCA, Little League, or Pop Warner to such activities as yoga, gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, music, and theater. Those interested in music might enjoy the annual Tool Town Live or may choose to become involved in an area community band or Quabbin Valley Pro Musica. In addition to local school music and theater productions, Atholites often head to the nearby 1794 Meetinghouse or Theatre at the Mount for quality presentations. Of course there are also such annual events as the Athol to Orange River Rat Race and Parade, the Big Cheese 5K Road Race, and the North Quabbin Fall Festival. Community members also enjoy giving their time and energy to helping out in our community and extending a charitable helping hand world-wide in a very large number of local organizations, including Rotary, Lions, Elks, Masons, Eagles, Scouting organizations, the Community Partnership for Children, the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, United Way, Literacy Volunteers, Salvation Army, American Legion, the VFW, North Quabbin Patch, The United Arc/GAAAFSN, Athol Council of Aging, through churches and synagogues, and through many other organizations.
    Our town’s residents and families are known throughout the area for being warm and friendly. Sure, they use their computers to stay in touch remotely via facebook and twitter, but they have never ever lost the personal touch of visiting each other door to door in their neighborhoods and offering to lend a hand in clearing the snow off driveways and roofs, raking the leaves, or looking in on the sick. They greet each other warmly at town and school events, and they cheer and applaud loudly not only their own children but also for their neighbors’ children at sporting events, at plays, and at concerts. They support each other fully at times of joy, and are there to comfort one another at times of sorrow. They always have a good word, a firm handshake, a warm smile, or a caring hug whenever the occasion calls for it. They are good, kind, decent people—generous to a fault, and doing their very best to raise their families to be well-educated and caring citizens who will make a contribution to make our community and the world the best possible places in which to live.
    And so,, your feature on the “ten worst places to live in Massachusetts” was—as I noted earlier–quite seriously flawed. I am not sure of the research that you may or may not have done, but somehow you failed to discover all the beauty, all the goodness, in this town. You failed to see the resurgence in education, and industry. You either ignored or neglected to find out about all our new, beautiful buildings. Did you interview a wide variety of people here to find out what are the joys or benefits of living in our town? Did you talk to the folks at the Athol Daily News or at AOTV to seek out their thoughts? Did you travel to the neighborhoods to seek out the people—the families and the children—to see their friendliness, their warmth, their patriotism, their optimism in person? Had you done so, I am confident that you not only would never have chosen to place us on your shameful list, but—instead–you would likely have added us to some future list of “Up and Coming Places to Live in Massachusetts” or “Ten Towns That Are Undergoing a Revival.” I hope that in the future, you spend your time acknowledging and giving credit to towns and cities like Athol who are working hard and making tremendous strides as they experience a rebirth or revitalization. Please go beyond the stereotypes and the old news, and find the good in Athol and in other towns you denigrate. Use your video and media skills to uplift others, instead of tearing them down.
    Athol is home to me and to those I love; it is people who treat one another as family; it is glorious, fiery sunsets and stars that still shine brilliantly in ebony skies. Athol is the gifts of nature intertwined in a unique way with industry and technology and government and people—all the things that go into making a town special. That’s the Athol that people here know and love, and it is the Athol you would know, as well, if you care to dig deeply into its life, its culture, and its soul.

    1. Wow !! I am beyond excited about your response here!! Educated and informative! I also lived in Athol and loved it!!!
      I also lived in Fitchburg, which gets put down as well! Both are great places with much to offer had this jerk done his homework properly!

  6. How New Bedford & Fall River seemed to not make this list is beyond me. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are wonderful homes & families & children in every city listed & cities not listed, but some of these cities are being destroyed by poverty, crime, drugs, schools failing, etc. Let’s help clean up our side of the street & our cities everyone. It takes a village.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *