Best and Worst U.S. Cities to Be Stuck at Home

Frisco Heritage Center (Frisco Heritage Museum)

Being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic means fewer vacations, strangers delivering meals and groceries, and a greater reliance on Wi-Fi for all those work-from-home video calls or job interviews.

The majority of us aren’t fortunate enough to be “stuck” at a beach bungalow. So, if you’re truly staying safe at home here in the USA, where’s the best place to be?

LawnStarter crunched the data and statistics for the 150 most populated U.S. cities and compared them using 29 metrics, ranging from property crime rate and pedestrian fatalities to suicide rate and food insecurity. We also considered data associated with being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

And the winner is… The safest, best U.S. city to be stuck at home is Frisco, Texas.

This fast-growing suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth tops our ranking of America’s Best Cities to Be Stuck at Home, thanks largely to its extremely high marks for quality of life and financial security.

While Frisco grabbed the No. 1 spot, two of its Dallas-Fort Worth neighbors — McKinney at No. 3 and Plano at No. 8 — also finished in the top 10.

Four California cities also landed on our top 10 list.

As far as the worst city for being stuck at home? Detroit. More on that in just a moment.

America’s 10 Best Cities to Be Stuck at Home

With Frisco in the No. 1 position, here are the 10 best cities to be stuck at home, followed by their overall scores (with 100 being the highest possible score).

  1. Frisco, Texas (79.491)
  2. Elk Grove, California (79.489)
  3. McKinney, Texas (77.076)
  4. Overland Park, Kansas (73.444)
  5. Fremont, California (71.984)
  6. Des Moines, Iowa (70.625)
  7. Santa Clarita, California (70.266)
  8. Plano, Texas (70.160)
  9. Virginia Beach, Virginia (69.893)
  10. Irvine, California (68.564)

Why Frisco gets high marks

Frisco is quickly becoming the country’s worst-kept secret. It’s the fastest-growing large U.S. city from 2010 to 2019. You can credit, which ranked Frisco the best place to live in the U.S. In 2019. also gets credit for declaring Frisco the second safest city in the country.

“We’ve created a product that is appealing to the market,” Tony Felker, president and CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce said in May 2020. “We’ve created a culture and environment that is good for families, it’s good for business, [and] it’s good for safety and community.”

America’s 10 Worst Cities to Be Stuck at Home

Led by Detroit, here are the 10 worst cities to be stuck at home, followed by their overall scores (with 100 being the highest possible score).

  1. Detroit, Michigan (36.234)
  2. Memphis, Tennessee (40.856)
  3. New Orleans, Louisiana (41.132)
  4. St. Louis, Missouri (41.181)
  5. Shreveport, Louisiana (41.236)
  6. Mobile, Alabama (43.630)
  7. Cleveland, Ohio (44.036)
  8. Birmingham, Alabama (45.072)
  9. San Bernardino, California (45.581)
  10. Albuquerque, New Mexico (46.074)

Why Detroit gets low marks

Detroit gets little love in livability rankings. puts it at No. 207 among the 228 best U.S. cities for young professionals, while U.S. News & World Report ranks it as the 92nd best place to live in the country. Detroit sits at the bottom of data website Numbeo’s latest quality-of-life index for North American cities.

However, as the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. points out, the Motor City boasts some of the most affordable housing in the U.S.

“It’s time to erase the preconceptions you may have about working, living, and playing in Detroit. Buoyed with enthusiasm, Detroit is ascending to its rightful place on the world stage,” the economic development group says.

Still, our study shows there’s little reason to be enthusiastic about Detroit as a place to be stuck at home. The city receives a rock-bottom score in the health and wellness category. It also picks up a low score in the community security and financial security columns.

Best and Worst U.S. Cities to Be Stuck at Home

Frisco, TX179.4982723131
Elk Grove, CA279.49250391381
McKinney, TX377.01924124131
Overland Park, KS473.441579644
Fremont, CA571.9820634173
Des Moines, IA670.623641194910
Santa Clarita, CA770.271101478123
Plano, TX870.1611231125131
Virginia Beach, VA969.89214661187
Irvine, CA1068.5610111815123
Lincoln, NE1167.7955124532
Chesapeake, VA1267.17248271587
Peoria, AZ1366.771284982294
Huntington Beach, CA1465.942719944123
San Jose, CA1565.72434127247
St. Paul, MN1665.563515315827
Grand Prairie, TX1765.5546484100131
San Francisco, CA1865.3479345973
Madison, WI1964.69889203012
Vancouver, WA2064.41488733451
Gilbert, AZ2164.341372991094
Sioux Falls, SD2264.04107237263
Aurora, IL2364.0226371151679
Anaheim, CA2463.32281411939123
Honolulu, HI2563.251291335145
Boston, MA2663.12725555232
Oceanside, CA2762.995481353183
Omaha, NE2862.976229246019
Yonkers, NY2962.82183513427102
Augusta, GA3062.5677392714450
Minneapolis, MN3162.298111174827
Chandler, AZ3262.2125711032194
Winston-Salem, NC3362.1899532612049
Henderson, NV3462.1899532612049
Rancho Cucamonga, CA3562.081778136758
Lexington, KY3661.89923187720
Huntsville, AL3761.886314857867
Raleigh, NC3861.5610140665692
Santa Rosa, CA3961.5030591211925
Santa Ana, CA4061.08342012064123
New York, NY4160.95314510466102
Anchorage, AK4260.8912821572811
Garland, TX4360.8497075124131
Scottsdale, AZ4460.7142621131794
Chula Vista, CA4560.6829431392083
Charlotte, NC4660.4375611579118
Aurora, CO4760.426544713256
Louisville, KY4860.39110118166733
Jersey City, NJ4960.3840568659102
Salem, OR5060.2938119414718
Cape Coral, FL5160.1922120875566
Durham, NC5260.185728648155
Boise City, ID5360.046852534631
Port St. Lucie, FL5460.0361377665117
Irving, TX5559.89399102121131
Fort Wayne, IN5659.8760112188013
Newport News, VA5759.856681149487
Ontario, CA5859.777881444358
Columbus, OH5959.497485109571
Columbus, GA6059.356713517134142
Oxnard, CA6159.3433581304147
Austin, TX6259.285938886968
Glendale, CA6359.23162614840123
Portland, OR6459.226467683551
Denver, CO6559.148254464556
San Diego, CA6658.9046321422983
El Paso, TX6758.40498662974
Pittsburgh, PA6858.378081287577
Mesa, AZ6958.3232941078394
Oakland, CA7058.3010417675073
Moreno Valley, CA7157.86231161384258
Sacramento, CA7257.3586834063 81
Worcester, MA7357.3570601243614
Hialeah, FL7457.34376663128148
Wichita, KS7557.2810591138623
Nashville, TN7657.0811657218864
Fontana, CA7757.0339931403358
Tempe, AZ7856.84 56791108994
Glendale, AZ7956.7254891079194
Fayetteville, NC8056.685314569123116
Seattle, WA8156.63135181051240
Washington, DC8256.52132169018113
North Las Vegas, NV8356.14451405170143
San Antonio, TX8455.979075569337
Arlington, TX8555.645110883111131
Riverside, CA8655.40411031453858
Providence, RI8755.38527713310121
Grand Rapids, MI8855.351085573737
Chicago, IL8955.2489341326279
Salt Lake City, UT9055.2411947587669
Rochester, NY9155.19100654311953
Greensboro, NC9255.07611059110993
Long Beach, CA9354.99502215054123
Laredo, TX9454.7844129931411
Buffalo, NY9554.75846911110733
Tallahassee, FL9654.44919630138141
Brownsville, TX9754.3547107801506
Corpus Christi, TX9854.2596104748517
Tampa, FL9954.2383988292119
Colorado Springs, CO10054.17109113523772
Reno, NV10154.10987612551107
Chattanooga, TN10254.06125100289039
Amarillo, TX10353.7578133651028
Fort Worth, TX10453.69859585108131
Lubbock, TX10553.5413073321189
Norfolk, VA10653.32123803312687
Richmond, VA10753.25120305914286
Montgomery, AL10853.166914722135109
Los Angeles, CA10953.11583314968123
Oklahoma City, OK11052.9771142929916
Atlanta, GA11152.9610642106116147
Little Rock, AR11252.821402523114110
Kansas City, MO11352.65133117258744
St. Petersburg, FL11452.571151323682119
Houston, TX11552.4510249 114139121
Spokane, WA11652.44111102957146
Indianapolis, IN11752.411211242911738
Modesto, CA11852.39931301294422
Tacoma, WA11952.35941261235740
Orlando, FL12052.2512736116105122
Jacksonville, FL12152.0611312538104140
Dallas, TX12251.831036889140131
Stockton, CA12351.781341091267435
Toledo, OH12451.54951279612724
Miami, FL12551.301225197125148
Tucson, AZ12651.231121117911265
Bakersfield, CA12751.13871311416130
Akron, OH12851.009713810111336
Fresno, CA12950.707311514311076
Knoxville, TN13050.641411061211526
Phoenix, AZ13150.49124921189894
Newark, NJ13250.487690137146102
Baton Rouge, LA13350.431181364413242
Tulsa, OK13449.851171347712215
Milwaukee, WI13549.571426311210354
Philadelphia, PA13648.6211413970136108
Cincinnati, OH13747.541391144913029
Fort Lauderdale, FL13847.32143746096148
Baltimore, MD13947.0513711061129111
Las Vegas, NV14046.131461235472143
Albuquerque, NM141 46.07136144788443
San Bernardino, CA14245.5813112114610658
Birmingham, AL14345.071471014213791
Cleveland, OH14444.0414412248148112
Mobile, AL14543.6312614912213178
Shreveport, LA14641.24145146100133115
St. Louis, MO14741.1815097109145106
New Orleans, LA14841.13138143131143114
Memphis, TN14940.8614814147147146
Detroit, MI15036.231491507214970

Map pinpointing and listing best and worst U.S. cities to be stuck at home

How We Ranked the Best and Worst Cities to be Stuck at Home

To find the best and worst places to be stuck at home, we considered the 150 most populated U.S. cities and compared them using 29 safety-oriented metrics, grouped into five categories with the following scores:

  • Community safety (37)
  • Health and wellness (32)
  • Natural hazards (15)
  • Financial safety (12)
  • Digital security (4)

With 100 being the highest possible score, we used 29 metrics to score each city.

1. Community Safety (Total Points: 37)

  • Violent crime rate (murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault): 5 points
  • Property crime rate (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson): 5 points
  • Sex offenders per 100,000 residents: 5 points
  • Hate crimes per 100,000 residents: 5 points
  • Pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents: 5 points
  • Unintentional shootings per 100,000 residents: 5 points
  • Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents: 5 points
  • Occurrence of protests and rallies following George Floyd’s death: 2 points

2. Health and Wellness (Total Points: 32)

  • Stroke among adults: 3 points
  • Asthma among adults: 3 points
  • Suicide rate: 3 points
  • Life expectancy: 3 points
  • Frequent mental distress: 3 points
  • Average number of poor mental health days per month: 3 points
  • Mental health providers per 100,000 residents: 3 points
  • Primary care providers per 100,000 residents: 3 points
  • Number of hospital beds per 100,000 residents: 4 points
  • Number of ICU beds per 100,000 residents: 4 points

3. Natural Hazards (Total Points: 15)

  • Air quality: 3 points
  • Drinking water violations: 3 points
  • Severe housing problems: 3 points
  • Percentage of homes built before 1960: 3 points
  • Natural hazard index: 3 points

4. Financial Safety (Total Points: 12)

  • Share of the population without health insurance: 3 points
  • Median household income: 3 points
  • Percentage of population living below poverty level: 3 points
  • Food insecurity: 3 points

5. Digital Security (Total Points: 4)

  • Identity theft complaints per 100,000 residents: 2 points
  • Fraud and other reports per 100,000 residents: 2 points

How to Make the Most of Wherever You are Stuck at Home

While no one would pack up and move to a place like Frisco simply to improve their stuck-at-home situation, you can make adjustments to take care of yourself wherever you live.

Find ways to worry less

In a July 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 53% of American adults indicated pandemic-related worry or stress had harmed their mental health. That figure is up from 39% in May 2020.

“The problem with this pandemic is that it’s sort of a rolling point of impact, and we’re not sure when it’s going to end, ”clinical psychology professor Mary McNaughton-Cassill, at the University of Texas at San Antonio, told  NPR.

Gardening as therapy

Since we’re all about the outdoors here at LawnStarter, we recommend gardening as one method of relieving pandemic stress. GardenGate magazine touts the benefits of gardening.

  • Improves your mental health.
  • Boosts your immune system.
  • Offers a way to get exercise.
  • Contributes to healthier eating.

“Whether it’s a few plants in the windowsill, containers on a deck, beds and borders in the yard or a vegetable plot, gardens big and small can reap big benefits for you and your family,” GardenGate says.

Whether you’re stuck at home in Frisco or any other city, gardening can sow the seeds of peace and tranquility.

Data sources used in this study

U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, FBI,, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,, County Health Rankings, National Center for Health Statistics,, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, American Medical Association, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, Kaiser Health News, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,, National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, Feeding America, Federal Trade Commission

Main Photo Credit: Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0


John Egan

John Egan is the former editor in chief of Now, he is a freelance writer extraordinaire. He lives in Austin, Texas.