These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2018

Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in TX are the pits.

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Most Americans have never been to Texas. However, as the people who live there know, Texas is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Texas has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Lone Star State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 500 of Texas’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Texas where you’d never want to live:

  1. Delmita
  2. Bixby
  3. Pine Harbor
  4. Big Thicket Lake Estates
  5. Bluetown
  6. Lasara
  7. Study Butte
  8. Moore Station
  9. Carbon
  10. Richland

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Texas has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Texas or the worst places to live in Texas.

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How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Texas, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 500 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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1. Delmita

Population: 136
Median Income: $27,708
Median Home Value: $56,700

2. Bixby

Population: 528
Median Income: $30,304
Median Home Value: $30,900

3. Pine Harbor

Population: 779
Median Income: $17,796
Median Home Value: $59,000

4. Big Thicket Lake Estates

Population: 684
Median Income: $30,313
Median Home Value: $36,900

5. Bluetown

Population: 409
Median Income: $16,136
Median Home Value: $31,500

6. Lasara

Population: 818
Median Income: $26,923
Median Home Value: $35,900

7. Study Butte

Population: 254
Median Income: $30,000
Median Home Value: $26,900

8. Moore Station

Population: 276
Median Income: $19,489
Median Home Value: $34,400

9. Carbon

Population: 481
Median Income: $17,500
Median Home Value: $43,300

10. Richland

Population: 225
Median Income: $28,750
Median Home Value: $37,500

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Texas

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Lone Star State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Texas, according to science.

  1. Best: Mountain City
  2. 2nd Best: Hilshire Village
  3. 3rd Best: Tiki Island

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Texas
  • These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Texas
  • These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Texas
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Texas

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Delmita 1 136 $56,700
    Bixby 2 528 $30,900
    Pine Harbor 3 779 $59,000
    Big Thicket Lake Estates 4 684 $36,900
    Bluetown 5 409 $31,500
    Lasara 6 818 $35,900
    Study Butte 7 254 $26,900
    Moore Station 8 276 $34,400
    Carbon 9 481 $43,300
    Richland 10 225 $37,500
    Melvin 11 209 $22,900
    West Alto Bonito 12 764 $38,600
    La Puerta 13 537 $29,400
    Mikes 14 756 $39,500
    North Cleveland 15 255 $54,200
    Knippa 16 695 $61,500
    Roaring Springs 17 274 $50,900
    Realitos 18 353 $36,000
    Chilton 19 569 $47,900
    Point 20 802 $55,800
    San Perlita 21 672 $34,900
    Hargill 22 543 $51,800
    Wilson 23 522 $47,700
    Rochester 24 292 $15,900
    Faysville 25 499 $65,300
    Mobile City 26 224 $10,000
    Talco 27 704 $32,900
    Mingus 28 242 $36,300
    Goree 29 253 $29,200
    Villa Pancho 30 690 $65,400
    Iglesia Antigua 31 310 $53,900
    Annona 32 414 $56,700
    Goodlow 33 163 $28,300
    Tuleta 34 265 $75,000
    La Presa 35 302 $155,700
    Hawk Cove 36 471 $35,400
    Camargito 37 458 $38,800
    Santa Rosa 38 212 $45,000
    Morgan 39 644 $40,400
    Barstow 40 596 $23,600
    Dell City 41 325 $28,800
    San Isidro 42 354 $25,000
    Aspermont 43 832 $40,000
    Pueblo Nuevo 44 565 $58,300
    Redfield 45 436 $24,500
    Wells 46 861 $70,000
    B And E 47 697 $85,000
    Camp Wood 48 871 $62,300
    Garza-Salinas Ii 49 791 $61,700
    Milano 50 373 $82,900
    Quitaque 51 512 $48,100
    Angus 52 450 $80,200
    Cranfills Gap 53 295 $65,400
    Rosser 54 303 $68,300
    Chula Vista Cdp (Cameron County) 55 597 $85,100
    Benjamin 56 260 $41,900
    Asherton 57 986 $47,500
    Bryson 58 544 $57,000
    Christine 59 366 $51,100
    La Paloma-Lost Creek 60 501 $55,900
    Turkey 61 342 $52,400
    Goodrich 62 227 $49,400
    Walnut Springs 63 868 $58,200
    Frost 64 595 $60,600
    Miller’S Cove 65 185 $10,000
    Mobeetie 66 122 $27,000
    Newcastle 67 482 $39,700
    Sierra Blanca 68 557 $47,900
    Browndell 69 245 $64,000
    Chester 70 314 $59,400
    Indian Lake 71 829 $48,400
    Driscoll 72 752 $41,800
    Big Wells 73 726 $44,300
    Coolidge 74 882 $54,400
    Garrett 75 826 $68,000
    Trinidad 76 827 $53,100
    Douglassville 77 150 $82,300
    Gustine 78 599 $52,300
    Tivoli 79 563 $67,000
    Emhouse 80 112 $46,000
    Imperial 81 354 $41,700
    Alto Bonito Heights 82 107 $27,900
    Hartley 83 530 $102,800
    Mount Calm 84 537 $50,000
    Latexo 85 317 $39,200
    Avery 86 415 $44,200
    Santa Maria 87 801 $36,800
    Sanderson 88 695 $63,100
    Oilton 89 311 $61,600
    San Felipe 90 639 $138,900
    Banquete 91 577 $62,200
    Ranchette Estates 92 261 $25,600
    Ladonia 93 545 $44,200
    Placedo 94 796 $66,700
    Lometa 95 753 $57,400
    Dawson 96 832 $59,800
    Ackerly 97 110 $29,600
    Log Cabin 98 563 $40,900
    Rule 99 542 $24,600
    Fruitvale 100 552 $97,900

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    14 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2018


      1. According to your blog: We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine the dirt on places across the country. It’s too bad that you condemn places you have never been and know nothing about. You are pretty weak on accuracy and I am not sure what you gain by slamming small towns across the country. It’s things like this that make me glad that I grew up in a town where we always knew the difference between people who were genuine and those who were just out to bring attention to themselves without an ounce of integrity. It’s nice to grow up in a place that people like you would choose not to visit.

    2. To the author, yes I lack formal education, as your STATS, clearly state, about someone from my hometown. You are what us uneducated people refer to as a educated Idiot. You put all you value into what a mathematical spreadsheet tells you. I would guarantee you you’d be safer, happier, and enjoy much more of life living in one of these small towns, than you would in any of the metropolitan areas around the state. If you were half as intelligent as you are educated you would know this. I understand that you are only stating facts, but the way you word this leads me to believe that you are slightly bias in your reporting of the facts.

    3. I agree with the others that your data is off by a long shot and your opinion is off even more. These are the places that make Texas great! Small towns are full of character and charm. Just because there isn’t a McDonalds on every corner doesn’t make it bad. Your article makes me sad and I think you need to visit these places and let us show you around. You might change your mind.

    4. I read the article and I am from a metropolitan area (Fort Worth/Dallas); however, I also have been to different small towns and there are many peaceful and enjoyable people. What “few” “not majority” others may say as well as using stats to make reports based on the internet, is truly a pathetic way to judge a location. Talking about someone’s education does not make them dumb. If someone has not completed school, this doesn’t make them uneducated. There could have been other issues or reasons he or she did not finish school, just as any rich town or metropolitan. Talking about low budget homes, does not make the town worse in economic status. If the Author had actually talk to the Mayor of these towns, many would inform they are not given the budget to build “classy” commercial buildings and residential homes as bigger cities or smaller cities that has budget. The article is just another way to slam people “who” are thought to be some of the poorest in the U.S. This article is poorly written and there are no true facts or accurate based information supporting the thoughts. #maybetimeforanewjob for this Author.

    5. In a small town, when a crime occurs it is reported, and the officers actually generate a written report, which results in a statistic, unlike urban areas, where the officer just laughs if you want to report a stolen bike or something. The “statistics” don’t reflect the reality. The chief observation seems to be that poor people live in these towns. In the estimation of Mr. Tapman, the residents are poor, and therefore must be miserable. On the other hand, if you live in an urban area and have money, you must be happy. I prefer to live in a place where there is a sense of Community and where your neighbors know you and are there when you need them. I know many of the towns on this list, and I intend to build a home in one of them. If Mr. Tapman had actually done his research on the ground, rather than in the census statistics and Google Earth, he might have thought better than to waste time on this garbage piece.

    6. I love Joaquin, Texas! We bought a lake property and loved it so much, we moved there. I guess to each his own…….

    7. All it takes is a drive to a “bigger” city to do your shopping and you see why we live in a small town, crime, crack-heads, mentally ill people wandering around, police arresting people left and right, fights in stores, etc.

    8. A common error researchers have is they find evidence of what they assumed prior to beginning their research. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as having said, “If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.” Pollyanna took Mister Lincoln’s quote farther when she said, “If you look for the bad in people you’re sure to find it, so look for the good in them instead.” In that pursuit you will come to realize the true nature of the small towns and the people living in and around them.

    9. First of all your assumption is flawed to start with. Many people prefer life in small communities or rural areas and some of those are trapped in the rat-race of the urban areas now, because of their job. Your stats for our little town are flawed in unforgivable ways. Our population is not 138. Our city limits signs denote the last census information and our population is 106. You demean our intelligence by claiming “half the population is a high school dropout” when in fact very available stats tell us 70% of our population completed high school or higher. One reason we have a population of 30% who did not graduate is because we have many elderly who grew up in an era when it was not uncommon to have to drop out of school to provide for family–an honorable sacrifice. Others in our community came from Mexico where they may have never had the opportunity for advanced education, yet we are proud of these who work hard and contribute in tremendous ways to our way of life out here. The last unemployment figures for O’Brien are 4.6% as opposed to the state average of 5.5%. Real stats also tell us it is less than a 10 minute average drive to work (and no potential for a traffic jam, ever). I suppose if you base any little act of crime against our population we do not fare well. However, the last memorable murder in O’Brien occurred around 1900-1910. No one who lives here considers crime a problem in O’Brien. You demean us for low housing cost. What an advantage when a $25,000 house here would cost $75,000 in an urban area, when a $90,000 house here would cost $270,000 to $300,000 in an urban area. We are connected to the more urban areas by Highway Six which runs through downtown O’Brien and we have not had any victims of road rage because of our density of population at any time. We just don’t have traffic jams or long commutes because of traffic congestion. We count that a positive thing. Our school system has produced Doctors, lawyers and many educated and successful people. We live two miles from a nice golf course. There are two lakes within 35 miles that provide recreation and a water supply for our city, amending our ground water supply that is available. These lakes entertain a flow, a steady stream of people, from the more urban areas to fish and relax. Just beyond our city limits, and sometimes within, we find all kinds of wildlife (turkey, dove, Quail, deer, wild hogs etc.) which seems (in season) to draw our urban neighbors to our area. Maybe you need to search out some idea for an internet site that encourages those across our land!!! Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said or did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” I commend the others from the small towns who have taken the time to defend a way of life that many can only wish they were a part of.

      1. Ive been to some of the some of the small towns listed …i myself is from a small blink and you might miss towns called May Tx. Promise you arent or havent missed a thing.

    10. You tell ’em C.H. I grew up in O’Brien, TX. The values I was taught were honest Christian values. We were taught manners in O’Brien, something I see very little of anymore these days. Yes and No Ma’am and Sir were expected or a hide tanning was to follow. Never walk in front of a lady and treat you wife like she is a Queen…because she is. My work led me away from O’Brien, because farming was not what I wanted to have as a career. But, farming is an honest profession that does not pay very well anymore because the politicians have their hands in it…and the farmer”s pocket, ALSO.

      Mark Lippard, I was honored to grow up and go to school with you. My best memories are of sports with you and others in our little clan that were sooooo much a part of my great life in O’Brien. The cliche, “Don’t knock it until you try it!”, definitely applies here. The writer of this article does not know what they are talking about. People like those in O’Brien, TX are the BACKBONE OF AMERICA. GOD BLESS O’BRIEN, TX. I say this because HE has!

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