These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2019


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 . This is our fourth 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 530 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 2019:

  1. La Pryor
  2. Fort Hancock
  3. Rosita
  4. Tornillo
  5. Seth Ward
  6. Escobares
  7. Abram
  8. Citrus City (Photos)
  9. Tenaha
  10. Laureles

So what is the worst small town to call home in Texas for 2019? According to the most recent census data, La Pryor 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.

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 2019

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 2013-2017 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 – 530 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.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,531
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $43,400 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.8% (16th worst)
More on La Pryor:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,466
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $42,600 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (272nd worst)
More on Fort Hancock:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,576
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $63,800 (116th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (92nd worst)
More on Rosita:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,120
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $58,800 (86th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (76th worst)
More on Tornillo:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,765
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $45,200 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (70th worst)
More on Seth Ward:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 2,512
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $59,100 (87th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.8% (16th worst)
More on Escobares:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 2,228
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $54,600 (68th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (146th worst)
More on Abram:  Data

Citrus City, TX

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 2,843
Rank Last Year: 42 (Up 34)
Median Home Value: $59,700 (90th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.6% (35th worst)
More on Citrus City:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,388
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $65,100 (128th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (131st worst)
More on Tenaha:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,204
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $63,400 (113th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (100th worst)
More on Laureles:  Data

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. Rollingwood (Pop. 1,565)
  2. Bunker Hill Village (Pop. 3,936)
  3. Spring Valley Village (Pop. 4,175)

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Texas

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 La Pryor 1,531 18.8% $43,400
2 Fort Hancock 1,466 5.9% $42,600
3 Rosita 2,576 11.4% $63,800
4 Tornillo 1,120 12.0% $58,800
5 Seth Ward 1,765 12.4% $45,200
6 Escobares 2,512 18.8% $59,100
7 Abram 2,228 9.0% $54,600
8 Citrus City 2,843 15.6% $59,700
9 Tenaha 1,388 9.4% $65,100
10 Laureles 4,204 10.9% $63,400
11 Indian Hills 2,676 7.3% $32,900
12 Timpson 1,338 10.3% $59,700
13 Trinity 2,741 15.6% $51,500
14 Doolittle 3,447 9.0% $56,500
15 Skidmore 1,181 13.4% $63,300
16 Groveton 1,259 22.7% $70,200
17 Olivarez 4,255 17.8% $71,200
18 Monte Alto 1,810 9.2% $56,100
19 Presidio 4,103 12.3% $46,500
20 Point 1,094 15.7% $87,000
21 San Augustine 2,136 20.6% $62,400
22 Ranchos Penitas West 1,011 13.8% $65,200
23 Santa Rosa 2,843 18.1% $38,900
24 San Diego 4,212 17.0% $37,800
25 Medina 4,891 13.5% $45,600
26 Scissors 3,635 11.8% $64,000
27 Sullivan City 4,125 10.6% $66,300
28 Agua Dulce 3,212 2.8% $65,400
29 Lyford 2,585 16.0% $43,600
30 Zavalla 1,120 20.8% $56,800
31 Calvert 1,331 22.1% $69,000
32 Barrett 3,453 19.6% $91,100
33 Shepherd 3,178 16.6% $74,300
34 La Villa 2,587 12.7% $44,900
35 Lopezville 3,916 18.0% $64,900
36 San Carlos 3,011 7.3% $50,900
37 Memphis 2,302 15.6% $46,700
38 Las Lomas 2,843 22.1% $51,200
39 Sparks 3,483 12.7% $53,400
40 El Cenizo 3,277 8.9% $55,200
41 Onalaska 2,648 8.0% $53,100
42 Hebbronville 4,746 19.4% $56,400
43 Chula Vista Cdp (Maverick County) 4,042 24.5% $64,700
44 Rio Bravo 4,820 11.6% $61,800
45 La Joya 4,229 17.4% $85,200
46 Spur 1,116 21.0% $46,100
47 Bloomington 2,059 12.9% $48,800
48 Alto 1,261 9.5% $78,400
49 Paducah 1,229 13.4% $39,900
50 Jewett 1,419 11.2% $74,100
51 Premont 2,621 14.6% $60,500
52 Morton 1,957 9.5% $31,800
53 Nocona 2,958 12.0% $63,200
54 North Alamo 4,062 5.7% $28,500
55 Dilley 4,269 24.3% $37,000
56 Wilmer 3,999 5.4% $57,200
57 Malakoff 2,890 9.5% $63,200
58 Hemphill 1,422 8.0% $58,500
59 Falfurrias 4,530 13.0% $62,000
60 Van Horn 2,059 6.0% $59,200
61 Vinton 1,721 7.4% $80,400
62 West Sharyland 2,324 16.2% $95,000
63 Zapata 4,449 13.8% $73,100
64 West Tawakoni 2,052 12.7% $55,300
65 Ranger 3,220 12.4% $47,800
66 Cooper 2,148 11.7% $54,100
67 Siesta Acres 2,436 13.4% $70,600
68 Benavides 1,685 7.9% $42,600
69 Rising Star 1,070 6.3% $40,000
70 Midway South 2,739 8.3% $67,700
71 La Grulla 1,468 9.0% $46,900
72 Buffalo 1,815 8.6% $73,100
73 Santa Anna 1,299 5.6% $42,300
74 Mathis 4,936 7.6% $52,600
75 Haskell 3,254 13.1% $54,300
76 Troup 1,782 13.6% $86,100
77 New Waverly 1,171 8.4% $85,000
78 Oak Trail Shores 3,233 5.2% $44,000
79 Laguna Heights 3,174 2.1% $24,600
80 Huntington 2,346 11.8% $69,000
81 Grand Saline 3,070 7.9% $71,600
82 Waskom 2,019 12.4% $81,100
83 Oyster Creek 1,258 14.3% $77,100
84 Wortham 1,171 12.5% $82,400
85 Linden 1,981 21.9% $74,800
86 Edcouch 3,289 5.7% $46,600
87 Penitas 4,795 10.4% $86,000
88 Midway North 4,717 6.4% $78,400
89 New London 1,091 11.5% $81,900
90 Charlotte 1,792 8.7% $46,900
91 Ames 1,164 7.8% $64,700
92 Electra 2,716 9.3% $30,900
93 Von Ormy 1,340 4.8% $62,300
94 Patton Village 1,459 4.9% $54,800
95 Lockney 1,612 13.3% $69,800
96 Shadybrook 1,535 7.6% $98,300
97 Redwood 4,239 5.0% $60,100
98 Gorman 1,056 0.0% $32,600
99 Meridian 1,499 7.4% $70,800
100 Crosbyton 1,762 4.8% $51,100

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14 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Texas For 2019

  1. I’M SORRY, BUT I LIVED AND TAUGHT IN ROCHESTER FOR MANY YEARS. IT IS A SMALL TOWN BUT A FRIENDLY TOWN. EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYONE AND THEY HELP EACH OTHER. YOUR PICTURE IS AN UNFAIR VIEW OF THE CITY. THEY HAVE A POST OFFICE, A GREAT LITTLE CAFE, A LENDING LIBRARY, A VETERANS PARK IN THE CENTER OF TOWN, THEY RENOVATED SOME EMPTY BUILDINGS AND MADE A ROCHESTER MUSEUM. I DONT CARE WHERE YOU PUT IT ON THE LIST–THIS LITTLE TOWN ISN’T GOING TO DIE. THEY HAVE PRIDE AND ARE THE FRIENDLIEST LITTLE TOWN IN THE BIG COUNTRY. I WAS PROUD TO CALL IT HOME.

    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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