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Some U.S. cities were depressed even before the economy went on life support. These were the cities that saw the highest depression and suicide rates even while the Dow Jones was climbing to 14,000 and Countrywide Financial was considered a respected mortgage lender. Why? Blame a variety of reasons, from divorce and crime to lousy weather and job loss. While that's bad enough, it will be important to see how these rankings change from this year to next. As the rest of the country struggles with the financial crisis, it is possible that some of these cities may soon become even unhappier.
Read on to see America's Unhappiest Cities.
*Editor's Note: BusinessWeek.com ranked 50 of the largest metros based on a variety of factors including depression rates, suicide rates, divorce rates, crime, unemployment, population loss, job loss, weather, and green space. The most heavily weighted factors were the depression, suicide, jobs (unemployment and job loss), and crime rates.¬† The depression rate is based on survey and aggregated insurance reporting information at time of discharge, doctor's office visits, and insurance process filings. The suicide rate is for 2004 and comes from The 2007 Big Cities Health Inventory‚Äù compiled by the National Assembly of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO). The crime risk indexes for property and crime used for the scoring were based on FBI crime reporting for the seven most-recent available years. Divorce rates and 2009 population change come from the U.S. Census. The number of cloudy days came from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.