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Each year Forbes magazine analyzes the 200 largest U.S. cities and ranks them into their ‘Top Miserable List’. This year, for the first time Forbes introduced housing as one of the criteria, in addition to the previous criteria which included unemployment, weather, taxes, traffic and violent crime. Stockton, in California’s Central Valley, was number one. Stockton was closely followed by the other California cities of Merced, Modesto and Sacramento. Stockton’s, recent real estate market decline of 58% and unemployment rates hovering around 14.3% were the primary contributing factors for the rating. Bob Deis, Stockton’s City Manager feels this analysis is unfair and misleading. He told Forbes “Stockton has issues that it needs to address, but an article like this is the equivalent of bayoneting the wounded,” “I find it unfair, and it does everybody a disservice. The people of Stockton are warm. The sense of community is fantastic. You have to come here and talk to leaders. The data is the data, but there is a richer story here.”

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