Cairo, Illinois Named the Worst Ghost Town in the Midwest
One of the more prolific YouTube personalities when it comes to places has just named Cairo, Illinois as the worst ghost town in the Midwest. Let's explore why their decline has become so infamous.
If you don't follow Nick Johnson on YouTube, you really should. He's one of the more entertaining guys that explores the good and bad (and sometimes funny) of places. In this case, there's no funny. It's a documentation of what's happened to Cairo, Illinois. Here's a snippet of what Nick had to say:
You could call Cairo an industrial relic. A live look at a ghost town in progress.
Industrial relic is a good way to put it. When manufacturing thrives then departs, this is what happens.
Normally, I add the "subjective" label to opinions like this, but in the case of Cairo, there's a lot of science to back up Nick's opinion. 22 kids graduating from high school there last year and 40% of the community living in poverty is staggering.
It's not just Nick feeling this way. Atlas Obscura describes Cairo, Illinois as "mostly abandoned". They also spoke of racial tensions and frequent flooding of the area as a detriment to any kind of quality of life improvement.
Wikipedia lists 1,733 as the population of Cairo and that's being wildly optimistic. It's mostly not the fault of the people that were born and raised there. Even efforts to turn things around haven't gained any traction.
Perhaps it is like Nick Johnson said. It's a "live look at a ghost town in progress" and that's sad.