I don't think it's surprising to anyone that the cities are Detroit and Flint. Both have seen better days, but is there hope that they can ever recover? 

Wall Street 24/7 put those cites 1-2 on their annual list of the 50 worst cities in the country, which they base on many factors, most importantly, jobs and the economy.

The publication was pretty harsh in its assessment of Detroit:

A poor, economically depressed city, more than one in every three Detroit residents live below the poverty line. The city also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States, with 10.9% of the workforce out of a job. Detroit is also dangerous. Along with Las Vegas, it is one of only two cities nationwide where there were over 2,000 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in 2016.

They aren't much better in their take on Flint, saying harshly:

The city may be an unattractive place for many employers and small business owners to operate in, both because of high crime rates and the relatively small college-educated population.

So is there hope for the East Side of the state?

Detroit has turned the stretch of land between the Detroit River and the Detroit Institute of Art around with development, but the growth has been limited, and isn't impacting the parts of the city that need it the most.

Flint, meanwhile, struggles with a water crisis which came at the worst time for a city battling with debt and poor management.

So why is the West Side of Michigan faring so much better? The answer may lie in its economic diversity and the willingness in West Michigan businesses to reinvest in their communities.