The 10 Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2024

The worst small towns in Texas are Escobares and Abram for 2024 based on Friday Night Science.

Most Americans have never been to small town Texas. However, as the Texan who live there know, small town Texas is an awesome place to call home.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Texas has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using Saturday Night Science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Lone Star State. Don’t freak out, we will use data to show which places have high crime, poverty, and unemployment.

After analyzing more than 586 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:

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

These are the worst small towns in Texas for 2024:

  1. Escobares
  2. Abram
  3. Heidelberg
  4. Citrus City
  5. Stowell
  6. Lasara
  7. Los Indios
  8. Charlotte
  9. Laureles
  10. Presidio

Worst Small Towns To Live In Texas Map

So what is the worst small town to call home in Texas for 2024? According to the most recent census data, Escobares is the worst small town to live in Texas.

While many of these small towns have seen better days, they have wonderful communities and people. This report in no way means to knock the folks that call towns like Escobares home. Everyone

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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2024

1. Escobares

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,578
Median Home Value: $66,957
Median Income: $29,141
Unemployment Rate: 9.9%

2. Abram

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,952
Median Home Value: $107,081
Median Income: $27,137
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%

3. Heidelberg

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,703
Median Home Value: $73,602
Median Income: $31,123
Unemployment Rate: 35.2%

4. Citrus City

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,920
Median Home Value: $124,212
Median Income: $26,971
Unemployment Rate: 28.2%

5. Stowell

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,960
Median Home Value: $149,337
Median Income: $1,000
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%

6. Lasara

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,065
Median Home Value: $96,097
Median Income: $27,500
Unemployment Rate: 12.9%

7. Los Indios

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,012
Median Home Value: $59,057
Median Income: $37,870
Unemployment Rate: 10.3%

8. Charlotte

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,324
Median Home Value: $67,458
Median Income: $26,352
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%

9. Laureles

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,818
Median Home Value: $109,463
Median Income: $43,500
Unemployment Rate: 9.0%

10. Presidio

Presidio, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Yuan Yufei – User:Jadecolour | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,299
Median Home Value: $124,328
Median Income: $22,917
Unemployment Rate: 30.0%

Methodology: How do you decide if a small place in Texas is lousy or not?

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

We then analyzed the criteria using Saturday Night Science, the thinking you’d use at a bar. It seems like even your crazy Uncle would agree that a town with high crime is worse than a town with low crime; all else the same.

Using FBI crime data and the Census’s 2018-2022 American Community Survey, 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which there were many – 586 to be exact.

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

We base all our research on facts, which is meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024, which is our tenth time ranking the worst small places to live in Texas.

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.

The worst small towns in Texas are Escobares, Abram, Heidelberg, Citrus City, Stowell, Lasara, Los Indios, Charlotte, Laureles, and Presidio.

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

  1. Hollywood Park (Pop. 3,123)
  2. Rollingwood (Pop. 1,514)
  3. Spring Valley Village (Pop. 4,222)

For more Texas reading, check out:

Worst Small Towns In Texas

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value Median Income
1 Escobares 2,578 9.9% $66,957 $29,141
2 Abram 1,952 12.8% $107,081 $27,137
3 Heidelberg 1,703 35.2% $73,602 $31,123
4 Citrus City 2,920 28.2% $124,212 $26,971
5 Stowell 1,960 12.8% $149,337 $1,000
6 Lasara 1,065 12.9% $96,097 $27,500
7 Los Indios 1,012 10.3% $59,057 $37,870
8 Charlotte 1,324 6.1% $67,458 $26,352
9 Laureles 3,818 9.0% $109,463 $43,500
10 Presidio 3,299 30.0% $124,328 $22,917
11 Sebastian 1,276 7.2% $83,513 $23,099
12 Bloomington 1,189 12.6% $69,966 $24,302
13 Uvalde Estates 2,819 16.3% $76,612 $1,000
14 Fort Hancock 1,213 0.0% $71,345 $31,471
15 Western Lake 1,207 27.2% $0 $32,225
16 San Augustine 1,845 19.7% $147,558 $24,628
17 Las Lomas 2,164 20.0% $102,567 $26,964
18 Gorman 1,238 8.1% $128,027 $24,138
19 Palmview South 2,141 17.9% $84,010 $1,000
20 Monte Alto 1,666 7.3% $103,946 $41,115
21 Hemphill 1,439 20.6% $197,469 $36,250
22 Jacksboro 4,213 10.2% $136,267 $38,774
23 Corrigan 2,018 15.9% $129,636 $42,212
24 San Carlos 4,069 17.7% $90,154 $38,348
25 Siesta Shores 1,619 18.4% $85,890 $34,733
26 South Alamo 3,433 9.3% $85,138 $35,742
27 Buna 1,908 17.9% $210,365 $36,250
28 Indian Hills 3,188 1.9% $63,571 $26,557
29 Santa Rosa 3,093 11.5% $120,734 $27,973
30 Lopezville 1,845 13.5% $82,003 $36,049
31 Ranger 2,524 3.0% $82,421 $30,344
32 Hebbronville 4,355 5.1% $78,022 $40,994
33 Kirbyville 2,340 23.6% $156,997 $30,152
34 Trinity 2,493 7.3% $167,643 $35,905
35 Morton 1,572 8.9% $59,761 $37,604
36 La Pryor 1,090 6.1% $81,255 $37,250
37 Sullivan City 3,917 5.2% $124,037 $39,067
38 Brackettville 1,408 4.2% $71,122 $24,539
39 West Sharyland 1,718 22.2% $161,735 $41,984
40 Scissors 3,667 3.4% $61,565 $28,522
41 El Cenizo 2,226 6.3% $93,851 $36,389
42 Three Rivers 1,546 10.6% $162,894 $41,520
43 Chilton 1,095 28.3% $171,405 $32,895
44 Newton 2,246 9.7% $130,983 $41,413
45 Gregory 2,077 8.0% $123,632 $34,916
46 Progreso 4,914 6.2% $121,832 $38,686
47 Shamrock 2,000 7.4% $69,252 $39,333
48 Tulia 4,430 6.7% $83,511 $29,408
49 Seco Mines 1,274 17.9% $107,708 $43,226
50 Pineland 1,192 11.5% $143,601 $29,722
51 Clarksville 2,868 10.5% $98,386 $33,935
52 Agua Dulce 2,681 5.1% $259,332 $43,730
53 Batesville 1,124 3.6% $76,879 $35,132
54 Hearne 4,526 15.4% $132,836 $32,402
55 Indian Lake 1,231 6.0% $76,235 $24,000
56 Shepherd 2,318 14.7% $165,881 $47,094
57 Rosita 3,717 13.8% $151,343 $54,432
58 Rancho Alegre 1,099 0.0% $35,986 $18,289
59 Ivanhoe 1,374 14.6% $333,850 $38,500
60 Coleman 3,973 9.5% $81,350 $49,588
61 La Grulla 1,375 8.1% $54,543 $38,611
62 Tenaha 1,091 0.0% $199,567 $24,702
63 Chula Vista Cdp (Maverick County) 4,317 1.5% $107,457 $28,975
64 Menard 1,356 8.0% $133,700 $37,601
65 Mathis 4,350 9.0% $86,953 $37,620
66 Garrett 1,069 9.4% $153,600 $60,625
67 Runge 1,201 1.1% $98,566 $36,638
68 Westway 3,480 5.3% $146,428 $31,279
69 Floydada 2,670 4.6% $65,845 $43,938
70 Medina 4,436 14.7% $418,631 $24,566
71 Point 1,017 1.3% $95,294 $45,625
72 Rio Bravo 4,437 3.3% $112,997 $36,560
73 La Joya 4,525 7.3% $149,818 $51,412
74 West Tawakoni 1,841 8.6% $184,544 $54,154
75 Crosbyton 1,657 7.5% $64,629 $47,083
76 Big Sandy 1,458 9.8% $218,736 $41,250
77 Onalaska 3,050 9.5% $157,542 $56,168
78 Alto 1,101 9.7% $197,407 $37,955
79 Encantada-Ranchito-El Calaboz 2,063 0.0% $83,508 $43,177
80 Amherst 1,015 1.4% $72,246 $52,067
81 Midway North 4,033 10.2% $153,600 $51,648
82 Van Horn 2,075 10.2% $117,602 $37,391
83 Carrizo Springs 4,888 4.9% $114,329 $26,033
84 Milford 1,032 9.6% $212,801 $1,000
85 Memphis 2,130 9.1% $66,210 $43,901
86 Elmendorf 2,479 15.1% $235,296 $55,313
87 Stamford 2,879 1.6% $77,530 $43,750
88 Elm Creek 3,559 6.8% $136,798 $64,853
89 Paducah 1,201 6.1% $75,566 $33,250
90 Hart 1,070 4.5% $66,581 $46,875
91 Oyster Creek 1,210 7.5% $180,833 $38,750
92 Milam 1,536 6.1% $189,325 $43,011
93 Tornillo 1,548 5.1% $150,726 $67,917
94 Rotan 1,270 4.1% $63,856 $39,861
95 Oak Trail Shores 3,224 3.7% $98,429 $31,768
96 Premont 2,810 15.7% $101,188 $46,245
97 Wellington 2,201 2.7% $80,410 $46,439
98 Garfield 2,015 16.2% $204,884 $54,938
99 Laguna Heights 1,482 0.0% $117,990 $29,178
100 Wyldwood 4,368 3.1% $186,201 $67,422
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

14 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2024


    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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