These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Washington For 2018


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

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

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

After analyzing more than 161 of Washington’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Washington where you’d never want to live:

  1. Keller
  2. Amanda Park
  3. Inchelium
  4. Queets
  5. Taholah
  6. Skokomish
  7. White Swan
  8. Hamilton
  9. Wishram
  10. Malden

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Washington 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 Washington or the worst places to live in Washington.

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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 Washington, 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 – 161 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. Keller


Population: 219
Median Income: $15,313
Median Home Value: $75,000

2. Amanda Park


Population: 150
Median Income: $31,750
Median Home Value: $82,500

3. Inchelium


Population: 466
Median Income: $24,531
Median Home Value: $86,800

4. Queets


Population: 189
Median Income: $36,250
Median Home Value: $37,800

5. Taholah


Population: 688
Median Income: $31,875
Median Home Value: $91,100

6. Skokomish


Population: 840
Median Income: $35,000
Median Home Value: $84,000

7. White Swan


Population: 633
Median Income: $44,659
Median Home Value: $82,000

8. Hamilton


Population: 197
Median Income: $41,250
Median Home Value: $118,200

9. Wishram


Population: 473
Median Income: $29,479
Median Home Value: $89,800

10. Malden


Population: 180
Median Income: $31,250
Median Home Value: $72,500

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Washington

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Evergreen 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 Washington, according to science.

  1. Best: Beaux Arts Village
  2. 2nd Best: Raft Island
  3. 3rd Best: Keyport

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Washington
  • These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Washington
  • These Are The 10 Safest Places In Washington
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Washington

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Keller 1 219 $75,000
    Amanda Park 2 150 $82,500
    Inchelium 3 466 $86,800
    Queets 4 189 $37,800
    Taholah 5 688 $91,100
    Skokomish 6 840 $84,000
    White Swan 7 633 $82,000
    Hamilton 8 197 $118,200
    Wishram 9 473 $89,800
    Malden 10 180 $72,500
    Startup 11 621 $175,500
    North Omak 12 695 $150,900
    Northport 13 352 $100,000
    Ocean City 14 186 $176,300
    George 15 742 $110,500
    Bucoda 16 593 $107,900
    Riverside 17 395 $98,800
    Mesa 18 371 $105,900
    Malone 19 503 $190,300
    Concrete 20 744 $147,500
    Clayton 21 374 $176,400
    Skamokawa Valley 22 265 $168,200
    Neilton 23 332 $113,100
    Quilcene 24 499 $161,400
    Centerville 25 124 $153,400
    Grand Coulee 26 982 $108,000
    Nisqually Indian Community 27 735 $177,900
    Springdale 28 308 $100,000
    Nespelem 29 214 $82,000
    Metaline Falls 30 194 $87,000
    Grays River 31 510 $176,900
    Prescott 32 386 $112,900
    Roosevelt 33 128 $92,500
    Elmer City 34 319 $110,800
    Banks Lake South 35 288 $141,700
    Lakeview 36 861 $99,300
    Spangle 37 202 $111,700
    Harrah 38 647 $112,100
    Vader 39 712 $114,700
    Carlsborg 40 750 $84,000
    Ione 41 399 $120,500
    Klickitat 42 433 $87,200
    Port Gamble Tribal Community 43 846 $258,000
    Grayland 44 501 $141,400
    Sprague 45 524 $89,200
    Wilson Creek 46 262 $82,300
    Gorst 47 403 $168,300
    Hoodsport 48 684 $155,500
    Baring 49 177 $176,800
    Mossyrock 50 670 $119,600
    Skykomish 51 122 $322,200
    Satsop 52 565 $164,000
    Marcus 53 186 $127,400
    Deep River 54 168 $200,000
    Lyle 55 472 $118,200
    Steptoe 56 157 $104,200
    Twin Lakes 57 108 $162,500
    Pateros 58 768 $211,800
    Swede Heaven 59 980 $227,800
    Creston 60 279 $92,500
    Coulee City 61 574 $158,300
    Toledo 62 552 $116,500
    Endicott 63 240 $75,000
    Winthrop 64 385 $229,300
    Lind 65 545 $90,800
    Almira 66 271 $100,000
    Rock Island 67 917 $150,100
    Washtucna 68 326 $81,000
    Dixie 69 276 $142,500
    Greenwater 70 100 $465,400
    Conconully 71 193 $175,000
    Alger 72 156 $330,000
    Rosalia 73 587 $99,300
    Pe Ell 74 586 $117,400
    Oso 75 293 $352,400
    Loon Lake 76 710 $168,800
    Reardan 77 655 $137,500
    Cathlamet 78 653 $164,500
    Lacrosse 79 286 $67,000
    Kahlotus 80 222 $105,700
    Odessa 81 817 $87,600
    Latah 82 137 $123,600
    Brinnon 83 778 $263,400
    Oakville 84 724 $140,300
    Hartline 85 152 $108,000
    Tekoa 86 866 $104,600
    Wilbur 87 780 $112,100
    Touchet 88 473 $178,400
    Packwood 89 332 $123,900
    Garfield 90 499 $134,700
    Oakesdale 91 444 $111,700
    Harrington 92 332 $87,500
    Bingen 93 708 $163,600
    Roslyn 94 788 $196,400
    Metaline 95 160 $147,500
    River Road 96 495 $177,500
    Albion 97 691 $115,000
    South Prairie 98 282 $167,500
    Onalaska 99 772 $174,600
    Roy 100 689 $188,200

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    22 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Washington For 2018

    1. What a bunch of racist, classist garbage. People being poor or being high school dropouts doesn’t mean they aren’t good people with worth. Boredom is absolutely relative. Has the author ever heard of compassion? Truly idiotic.

    2. FYI- I am the 5th generation of a Proud family who has lived in this beautiful country of small towns since 1862. I grew up in Tekoa Washington, which seems to fall 11th on their list of towns least desirable. I would contend that they shouldn’t talk with their mouth full, these are Farming communities, which supply the nation with FOOD. Contrary to popular thought, the food is “NOT” manufactured at the Grocery store, and YES we appreciate our businesses that exist here, they like the Farmers around, are a Vital part of small town America. We spend time at our kitchen tables talking with each other, and growing our OWN food. Small town America is like a pond in a remote beautiful forest, you can walk up and see the still waters, with some wildlife teaming around, reaping benefit from its life giving traits. But, look below the surface, life begins. You can skip a rock across the water, and the waves turn to ripples. It’s really what’s below the surface that matters. When that rock settles, it does Damage, just like this ignorant, insensitive article is doing. What a concept.

    3. Looks like all the towns listed are small towns and rural communities… just because they are not big cities with shopping malls and traffic jams doesn’t mean they are not good places to live. Let the author think how they want. Unless they have lived in any of these towns themselves they have no basis to Pas judgement. There are a lot of well educated people and a lot of good athletic , caring and compassionate folks who live in these towns. Who simply have chose to reside due to various reasons like family ties history, or simply, dreams that keep them grounded to their roots. Genarations.. where people and families know each other help a neighbor, and work together… enjoying nature, peace and quiet. Where if someone was sick or injured neighbors would help each other out. I know a lot of people or families in most of these listed towns… they are great folks.
      This article is just some computer generated statistics based on certain input of the author of the article… holding no weight and that’s ok… can’t believe everything ya read on the internet. Would be nice to have better info tho… but I like these small towns and communities just the same!!! & The people , friends, and families that reside in them! Go small Towns in Washington!! 😉

    4. I live in Malden, I dont know where you get your facts, but there off. We have a store in Rosalia which is 6 miles away not 30 thats a fact, and we are not poor, alot of retired people, kids do graduate from high school, smaller schools are better, more time for each child. I could go on with more true facts. Thumbs down on your article, Im sure you have insulted alot of good people in these small towns

    5. Riverside is actually a lovely little town. It is close to the city of Omak where shopping is good and there are several “Eateries”.It is also close to Hospitals and doctors. The author had to pick one of the least attractive locations to take his picture. Obviously the author has never read the history of Riverside. He would find it fascinating. Where does he get his erroneous statistics??

    6. I was in Malden for 15yrs as a kid and it wasn’t too bad, the statistics on them towns are wrong. Awsome festivals happen every year there like Battle Days if you haven’t gone then you need to go put it on your bucket list of things to do. By the way “GO COUGS”

    7. all these towns have great redeeming features, too bad this author used stats to judge us and our homes. you will have a waive and a smile and a kind words in most of these places, can’t think of better towns to raise my kids!

    8. Doesn’t seem this INFOTAINMENT “journalist” visited Malden, WA before churning out his list. It’s 2016, but he includes a Google image from 2009 (pre road improvement). Not sure his source for population data, but appears to be from 2014, while we’ve been back above 200 since July, 2015. He uses vague and implied meanings to get a reader to form negative conclusions about the cost of homes. Seems he ran out of negative spin to include about Malden, so he widened his snipe to a 30minute radius, making insinuations about area independently owned grocery stores.

      There are some fine markets in Rosalia, Oakesdale, and Spangle, and if you want to reach a chain store, unless your driving on the slow side, whithin a 30minute drive, you’ll have your choice of 4 popular grocery stores in nearby Colfax and Cheney.

      The target audience for this piece of infotainment seems to be education and wealth snobs. So, I suppose if the article dissuades that crowd from moving here, we’re no worse for the wear.

      So, for everyone else, if you want to move out of an over-crowded neighborhood, if you like a quiet community, where you get a glimpse of wildlife, if you want a commute that includes lovely landscapes instead of traffic stops and congestion, make an appointment to see one of the property’s for sale in Malden, WA. We’ve got a nice little home for sale on Aerie, and a few lots for sale inside the Town limits as well.

    9. I left Spokane to find a quieter more laid back life after I retried from the Air Force, finally finding a home in the small town of St John, it was perfect for us, here you can get just about anyone to help you do anything, people share the fruits of their labor sharing garden vegetables, fruits or even offering to loan you a tool if you need it, something you cannot get in a larger town, plus our little school has great kids that perform one check of a winter Christmas show, are great in sports, the fact we have to drive 60 miles sometimes is minor compared to having the life we have now

    10. I’m glad to see this article discouraging people from moving to these little towns. Our shining jems are best kept secret, least the ‘educated city folk’ come bringing with them the ways they pretend to want to leave behind.

    11. Crime rate + unemployment + lack of education = these towns.
      These were pointed out as the criteria for basing this list. People getting all worked up about statistics that are used world wide as indicators. Of course there are good people in these towns and I would bet that many of them sleep with a loaded gun close by their bed.

      1. Your equation, Chris, is a stilted and incomplete portrayal of the towns people are speaking up about in response to the Infotainment article because articles such as these perpetuate inflammatory statements such as your bet about sleeping near guns.

        1. Do some research.. you won’t find high crime in Latah. But go the 30 miles to Spokane and you had better keep your eyes wide open.

    12. I was born and raised in Northport, number 4 on your very stupid and biased listing. Northport was a great place to grow up in. We new every body in town, including the names of their pets. Granted there is not much works there except in the woods or mines. But it was home. I hardly ever remember any crime there either. So get a life and look at the big cities. I bet Seattle would probably be number 1 as the wo st big cities to live in.

    13. I lives in Northport for alot of years you can say what you like yes all the factors you stateday be true but the crime lvl. Have not lived there for a few years but have many friends that still do.And for your info there are some very highly educated people that have grown up there and live there

    14. I would far prefer to live in these towns than live in Tacoma or Seattle or Portland. I have lived there and never would I ever live in a big city again. High crime and nothing to do. You couldn’t even go out after dark if you wanted to live. What dumps! Give me a small town any day/ Or better yet out in the country. Neighbors a mile away!

    15. I actually know most of the places on this list, several of them well. I’d live in any of these without a second thought.

      Not that there aren’t some unpleasant towns in this state; a few aren’t even in King County. But whoever compiled this list clearly has some kind of attitude problem. A place must be bad if you can afford to live there? I’m guessing he’s from California.

      Northport? Seriously, dude? Have you ever _been_ to Northport?

    16. RK Henderson ~ SHHHHHH! Do we really want everyone to know wht a perfect and caring place Northport is to live?
      LOL, income below poverty line, but what percentage of people here own their property outright compared to other places, and provide for most if not all their food?
      Actually, I think most readers would be happiest to stay in the wonderful cities on the west side. Where living is easy.

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