Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2020

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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Texas.

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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 526 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:

These are the worst small towns in Texas for 2020:

  1. Batesville
  2. Escobares
  3. La Pryor
  4. Fort Hancock
  5. Citrus City (Photos)
  6. Tenaha
  7. Rosita
  8. Skidmore
  9. Groveton
  10. Trinity (Photos)

So what is the worst small town to call home in texas for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Batesville is the worst small town to live in Texas.

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.

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 2020

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,274
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $29,200 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.8% (23rd worst)
More on Batesville:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,529
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $59,900 (88th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (21st worst)
More on Escobares:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,487
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $41,800 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (32nd worst)
More on La Pryor:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,898
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $47,900 (40th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (239th worst)
More on Fort Hancock:  Data

Citrus City, TX

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,275
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $51,800 (55th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 27.0% (1st worst)
More on Citrus City:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,402
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $64,800 (113th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (130th worst)
More on Tenaha:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,471
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $73,200 (171st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.2% (27th worst)
More on Rosita:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,168
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $65,100 (116th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.9% (7th worst)
More on Skidmore:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,302
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $64,200 (112th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.4% (13th worst)
More on Groveton:  Data

Trinity, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,754
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $55,000 (61st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (30th worst)
More on Trinity:  Data | Photos

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 determined the worst small towns to live in Texas for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 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 a lot - 526 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.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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. The Hills (Pop. 2,559)
  2. Spring Valley Village (Pop. 4,239)
  3. Rollingwood (Pop. 1,569)

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Texas

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Batesville 1,274 15.8% $29,200
2 Escobares 2,529 16.0% $59,900
3 La Pryor 1,487 14.5% $41,800
4 Fort Hancock 1,898 5.8% $47,900
5 Citrus City 3,275 27.0% $51,800
6 Tenaha 1,402 8.6% $64,800
7 Rosita 3,471 15.2% $73,200
8 Skidmore 1,168 19.9% $65,100
9 Groveton 1,302 18.4% $64,200
10 Trinity 2,754 14.8% $55,000
11 Presidio 4,067 15.2% $51,300
12 Agua Dulce 3,061 3.4% $65,300
13 Scissors 3,564 9.3% $58,300
14 Seth Ward 2,054 8.2% $37,300
15 Siesta Shores 1,477 10.2% $45,800
16 Laureles 4,788 5.6% $59,400
17 Las Lomas 2,786 18.7% $58,600
18 Sullivan City 4,141 8.0% $62,800
19 El Cenizo 3,248 8.7% $51,200
20 Indian Hills 2,959 3.0% $31,100
21 Ames 1,247 7.2% $65,100
22 Monte Alto 2,029 10.2% $54,600
23 Garrett 1,062 7.1% $72,000
24 Malakoff 2,960 13.7% $70,000
25 Santa Rosa 2,830 11.5% $39,400
26 San Carlos 3,659 7.0% $49,100
27 Las Quintas Fronterizas 1,914 14.9% $37,700
28 Tornillo 1,110 4.6% $74,400
29 Sparks 3,935 11.8% $49,600
30 San Diego 4,109 10.5% $36,900
31 La Joya 4,268 13.6% $84,900
32 Van Horn 1,894 7.5% $57,800
33 Hebbronville 4,662 14.0% $65,000
34 Rio Bravo 4,791 9.1% $62,900
35 Calvert 1,249 14.0% $86,500
36 San Augustine 1,815 11.5% $80,900
37 Memphis 2,259 13.0% $49,100
38 Holiday Lakes 1,060 9.9% $55,900
39 Lopezville 3,212 15.1% $67,800
40 La Villa 2,655 8.0% $50,800
41 Timpson 1,287 7.3% $60,300
42 South Alamo 3,731 11.3% $46,600
43 Ranger 2,863 4.8% $39,500
44 Lyford 2,581 16.8% $47,500
45 Jewett 1,009 7.5% $57,900
46 Onalaska 2,714 8.8% $52,800
47 Oyster Creek 1,278 14.3% $75,100
48 Hemphill 1,333 8.3% $70,700
49 Bloomington 1,855 19.1% $43,100
50 Barrett 3,691 11.9% $80,200
51 Huntington 2,320 13.8% $68,500
52 Siesta Acres 2,265 13.0% $65,700
53 Benavides 1,840 5.5% $37,900
54 Falfurrias 4,644 13.4% $61,400
55 Nocona 2,960 12.5% $67,200
56 Brackettville 1,831 4.8% $55,200
57 Paducah 1,325 10.6% $38,800
58 Vinton 1,773 8.5% $78,200
59 West Tawakoni 2,189 9.3% $64,200
60 Laguna Heights 3,155 2.7% $37,100
61 Charlotte 1,605 10.8% $48,500
62 Shepherd 3,296 13.7% $87,300
63 Spur 1,089 18.2% $46,500
64 North Alamo 4,447 3.8% $40,900
65 Chula Vista Cdp (Maverick County) 3,922 19.4% $79,500
66 Waskom 1,887 10.1% $82,400
67 Olivarez 4,246 2.6% $73,800
68 Cooper 2,213 8.1% $56,300
69 Dilley 4,318 20.6% $46,800
70 Mathis 4,899 7.2% $52,500
71 Ivanhoe 1,391 14.4% $61,600
72 Premont 2,603 13.5% $51,600
73 Anton 1,123 10.6% $55,000
74 Troup 2,169 18.9% $85,000
75 Linden 2,088 22.0% $77,100
76 Patton Village 1,491 5.6% $61,700
77 Lake Medina Shores 1,449 5.3% $67,500
78 La Grulla 1,582 6.0% $45,900
79 Morton 1,937 6.6% $31,600
80 Lorenzo 1,173 6.7% $63,300
81 Electra 2,721 12.9% $30,000
82 Somerville 1,594 14.0% $77,700
83 Pelican Bay 1,620 11.5% $44,000
84 Crosbyton 1,781 4.4% $47,500
85 Von Ormy 1,128 3.4% $59,400
86 Ore City 1,109 10.4% $75,600
87 New Waverly 1,067 10.0% $89,600
88 Fifth Street 2,047 2.1% $31,100
89 Santa Anna 1,174 5.0% $57,100
90 Poteet 3,429 11.8% $57,600
91 Zapata 4,585 5.5% $81,400
92 Southmayd 1,007 14.1% $57,100
93 Perezville 4,612 5.2% $69,700
94 Kerens 1,735 8.3% $74,000
95 Sabinal 1,655 11.4% $65,000
96 Wellington 2,158 12.0% $45,400
97 Daingerfield 2,777 9.7% $59,800
98 Haskell 3,240 13.6% $58,800
99 Reid Hope King 1,081 0.0% $55,000
100 Hubbard 1,547 7.9% $76,300

How Is The Area In ?

14 thoughts on “Worst Small Towns In Texas, 2020


    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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