7. Phoenix, Arizona
If Arizona's tough immigration laws get through the cours, Phoenix is going to be a much more difficult place for immigrants (or really anyone of Latino origin) to live in. The law would allow police officers to ask people for proof of their legal status when stopping them for another violation. Charges of racial profiling and discrimination can quickly turn a city into one of the worst places to live and its already sparking huge protests and impacting Arizona’s already fragile economy.
Beyond the controversial immigration measure, Arizona's housing market still remains a mess. According to RealtyTrak’s latest report, Phoenix and its surrounding area remains among the top 10 worst metro markets when it comes to foreclosures. However, in May, foreclosure activity in the city was down 9% from May 2009, offering a tiny sliver of hope.
Phoenix also ranks poorly among metro areas in per capita income growth. Between 2007 and 2008, the city's income growth shrank 1.4%, the nation's worst one-year loss. And let's not forget about being able to breathe in Phoenix. For year-round particle pollution from freeways, power plants and other sources, Phoenix is the worst city in the country.