What are the Dirtiest Cities in America?

When it comes to cockroaches, Florida and Texas are tops

What are the Dirtiest Cities in America?

What are the Dirtiest Cities in America? NO, not that kind of dirty!

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Pests, pollution, and poor infrastructure plague many U.S. cities big and small — and the problem’s worse in some than in others.

So which cities are due for a good spring cleaning?

The 2021’s Dirtiest Cities in America compares the 200 biggest U.S. cities across 20 key indicators including air and water quality, waste regulations, and the share of homes with signs of mice or rats.

Here are the 20 cities that might scare away a germaphobe…

Dirtiest Cities in America
1Palmdale, CA
2Los Angeles, CA
3Newark, NJ
4Houston, TX
5San Antonio, TX
6New York, NY
7New Orleans, LA
8Long Beach, CA
9Memphis, TN
10Chicago, IL
11Aurora, IL
12Glendale, CA
13Mesa, AZ
14Phoenix, AZ
15Fontana, CA
16Pasadena, CA
17Anaheim, CA
18Detroit, MI
19Las Vegas, NV
20San Jose, CA

and the 20 that might earn a nod from Mr. Clean.

Cleanest Cities in America
181Oceanside, CA
182Sioux Falls, SD
183Enterprise, NV
184Springfield, MO
185Fort Wayne, IN
186Des Moines, IA
187Chesapeake, VA
188Salem, OR
189Little Rock, AR
190Lincoln, NE
191Lexington, KY
192McKinney, TX
193Clarksville, TN
194Elk Grove, CA
195Metairie, LA
196St. Paul, MN
197Dayton, OH
198Madison, WI
199Frisco, TX
200Winston-Salem, NC

Highlights and Lowlights:

  • The Golden — and Smoggy — State: One state appears most often in the top ranks: California. Eight Golden State cities are in the top 20, and seven of those cities are in the Los Angeles metro area. LA-area cities scored especially poorly on pollution metrics, such air quality and fuel consumption. And with LA’s famous smog hitting pollution records even during the pandemic, the skies won’t be clearing anytime soon.
  • Bigger — and Dirtier — Cities: The filthiest cities are often also the largest, as five of the 10 most populated U.S. cities found their way into top 10 list. These megacities (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, for example) performed especially badly in living-conditions metrics, with New York City having the highest percentage of homes with signs of mice or rats. It’s no surprise then that New York’s Pizza Rat became a viral video sensation.
  • Roach Motel Cities and States: When it comes to cockroaches, Florida and Texas are tops. Of the top 30 cities for share of homes with signs of cockroaches, 23 were in two most infested states. The warm subtropical climate is the most likely reason for the increased bug presence. If you live in Florida or Texas — or New York City and Newark (where Joe’s Apartment was filmed) — you’re likely sharing your home with six-legged uninvited guests.