No. 3, worst-run: Stockton, Calif.Population: 296,367
Credit rating: Caa3, negative outlook
Violent crime per 1,000 people: 14.08 (eighth highest)
Unemployment rate: 20.2% (the highest)
Last year, Stockton was unable to fund its pension liabilities or make debt-service payments. As a result, it became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy.
Stockton's unemployment rate for 2011 was above 20%, while more than 5% of homes were in foreclosure. Just before the bankruptcy filing, Moody's downgraded the city's credit rating to account for the likelihood of a default. Moody's noted, "the Caa3 rating level assumes losses to bondholders will be greater than 20%. The negative outlook reflects the high likelihood that losses could exceed our estimates."
No. 1, worst-run: San Bernardino, Calif.Population: 213,008
Credit rating: not rated
Violent crime per 1,000 people: 8.76 (27th highest)
Unemployment rate: 17.6% (third highest)
The median home value in San Bernardino declined by 57.6% between 2007 and 2011, more than in any other large U.S. city. By the end of 2011, almost 4.4% of the city's homes were in foreclosure and the unemployment rate was 17.6%, nearly double the U.S. rate and almost 10 percentage points higher than the city's rate four years earlier.