The Ten Dirtiest Cities in America: New Orleans Tops the List

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Jeff Zelevansky / Reuters

New Orleans, post-Mardi Gras

Travel + Leisure compiled a list of America’s dirtiest cities, based on votes from their readers in the annual America’s Favorite Cities survey. The defining criteria was unclear, the magazine writes: “Of course, visitors gauge ‘dirty’ in a variety of ways: litter, air pollution, even the taste of local tap water.”

(LIST: Broken City: The Sorrow of New Orleans)

Most surprisingly, many voters ranked some of America’s hottest tourist destinations as the dirtiest. But a spot on the “dirty” list does not mean voters do not love them. For instance, cities such as Memphis, Las Vegas, and Miami, that were high up on the dirty-scale, ranked highly for having great bars, live music, and people-watching. If we can learn anything from this poll, it is that cleanliness is not everything.

And now, the list:

1. New Orleans

2. Philadelphia

3. Los Angeles

4. Memphis

5. New York City

6. Baltimore

7. Las Vegas

8. Miami

9. Atlanta

10. Houston

For the rest of the 20 dirtiest cities, head to Travel + Leisure. Or you could watch this video from TIME on New Orleans:

(LIST: A New Look at the World’s Greatest Cities)

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