The worst (& best) places to pull through a recession in the US


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To recession or not to recession: That is the question. 

Whether ‘tis nobler to hunker down in the heart of Colorado or the suburbs of Seattle is exactly what Smartasset set out to do. We can’t predict the future, but we can use past trends to narrow down which U.S. cities have historically withstood recessions the best. 


So, Smartasset took a deep dive into 429 cities to see how their housing, social assistance, employment, and economies stood up to long-term negative financial byproducts of recessions from years past.


Unfortunately, the study found that about 1 in 3 Americans live below the poverty line. (If you’re among this lot, you may want to find a fiduciary financial advisor using SmartAsset’s free tool to help get your finances back in shape.) Jackson, Mississippi, and San Marcos, Texas have some of the most Americans struggling to afford necessities even today. Western cities were likely to fare the best, whereas Floridians were among those affected the most by a potential recession. 


So, which American cities are likely to fare the best during the next American recession? Let’s take a look (Rankings are out of 429, with 429 being the worst city to pull through a recession. You can find more about Smartasset’s ratings on their study page)


  1. Castle Rock, Colorado

Employment Rank: 10 

Housing Rank: 7

Social Assistance Rank: 3

Economic Stability Rank: 141


  1. Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Employment Rank: 22

Housing Rank: 6

Social Assistance Rank: 4

Economic Stability Rank: 133


  1. Overland Park, Kansas

Employment Rank: 39

Housing Rank: 23

Social Assistance Rank: 17

Economic Stability Rank: 22


  1. Kirkland, Washington

Employment Rank: 70

Housing Rank: 19

Social Assistance Rank: 44

Economic Stability Rank: 2


  1. San Mateo, California

Employment Rank: 71

Housing Rank: 37

Social Assistance Rank: 12

Economic Stability Rank: 18


And on the opposite end of the scale, these cities are likely to fare the worst during another American recession:

  1. Rockford, Illinois

Employment Rank: 423

Housing Rank: 414

Social Assistance Rank: 333

Economic Stability Rank: 378


  1. Reading, Pennsylvania

Employment Rank: 357

Housing Rank: 402

Social Assistance Rank: 423

Economic Stability Rank: 387


  1. Pasadena, Texas

Employment Rank: 343

Housing Rank: 379

Social Assistance Rank: 425

Economic Stability Rank: 414


  1. Augusta, Georgia

Employment Rank: 355

Housing Rank: 410

Social Assistance Rank: 407

Economic Stability Rank: 427


  1. Camden, New Jersey 

Employment Rank: 394

Housing Rank:407

Social Assistance Rank: 416

Economic Stability Rank: 403

Worried about your economic footing? Luckily, there are steps you can take today to help yourself: 

  1. Start prepping now: There are steps you can take now to recession-proof your budget. For instance, make sure you have a bulky emergency fund, and consider taking on a secondary income stream.
  2. Study up: There are a plethora of guides on how to survive a recession. These guides can help you find ways to save, such as cutting out unnecessary spending, and how best to use that savings during a recession. 
  3. Consult the pros: Finding a financial advisor could be a wise investment for your future. You can get matched with a fiduciary financial advisor in just five minutes. An advisor could help you make smarter money moves and make sure the only potential move from the American middle class you make is upwards, not downwards. (Sponsored)
  4. Learn from the past: Do you know how long the average American recession lasts? Do you even know when the last recession was? Take a few minutes out of your day to learn about America’s history with recessions to help you avoid making the same mistakes of Americans’ past. 

Still not feeling secure about your ability to pull through a recession? A fiduciary financial advisor could help you. Get matched with up to three local fiduciary financial advisors in just five minutes. These advisors have been vetted and all uphold the fiduciary standard to work in your best interests. 

Ready to get matched and make sure you’re prepared for a recession? Get started now to reach your financial goals (Sponsored)


Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.