Worst St. Louis Suburbs For 2020


We used science and data to determine which St. Louis suburbs are the real pits.

Join RoadSnacks
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 suburbs around St. Louis.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround St. Louis.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which St. Louis 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the St. Louis area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to St. Louis proper, although Glendale certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of St. Louis are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

We examined the 96 biggest suburbs of St. Louis to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in missouri lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of St. Louis in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around St. Louis for 2020:

  1. Madison
  2. Washington Park
  3. Centreville
  4. Venice
  5. East St. Louis
  6. Cahokia
  7. Pagedale (Photos)
  8. Pine Lawn
  9. South Roxana
  10. Bel-Ridge

What's the worst suburb of St. Louis? Madison ranks as the worst suburb of St. Louis for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around St. Louis that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in missouri check out the best places in missouri overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around St. Louis too.

Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Missouri reading, check out:

The 10 Worst St. Louis Suburbs To Live For 2020

1. Madison

Madison, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,714
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $24,845 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $41,600 (3rd lowest)
More on Madison:

We'll get the ball rolling with Madison, the absolute worst place to live around St. Louis according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Madison beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th worst in the St. Louis area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it's cheap to live there. But there's a reason for that... it's Madison.

You won't feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren't a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

2. Washington Park

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 3,962
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $22,107 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.0% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $39,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Washington Park:

Welcome to Washington Park. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 8.2 miles to St. Louis. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $22,107 a year, which doesn't go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

3. Centreville

Centreville, IL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,059
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $18,955 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.4% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $52,800 (7th lowest)
More on Centreville:

Back up the highway we go for the third worst St. Louis suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Centreville on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that's an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it's in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other St. Louis suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Venice

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,128
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $25,511 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.4% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $35,000 (1st lowest)
More on Venice:

If you live in Venice, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 5th lowest St. Louis suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near St. Louis. Remember, we looked at 96 cities for this study.

Venice is about 4.8 miles to downtown.

5. East St. Louis

East St. Louis, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 26,647
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $23,072 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.4% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $52,200 (6th lowest)
More on East St. Louis:

East St. Louis has the distinction of being a St. Louis suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, East St. Louis has the 6th lowest home values in the metro St. Louis area, where the median price is $52,200. To put that into perspective, in Glendale, the median income is $192,500, which is the best in the area.

East St. Louis has an unemployment rate of 17.35% which ranks 4th worst.

6. Cahokia

Cahokia, IL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 14,271
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,330 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $50,900 (5th lowest)
More on Cahokia:

Cahokia has 14,271 residents that probably know it's a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you've ever been there, you don't need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 35.45927456709185%.

Pagedale, MO

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 3,291
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $27,017 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.0% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $53,700 (8th lowest)
More on Pagedale:  Data | Photos

Ah, Pagedale. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around St. Louis.

It's the place with the 5th most out of work residents in the St. Louis metro area (17.02%).

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,513
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,705 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.6% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $48,400 (4th lowest)
More on Pine Lawn:  Data

Pine Lawn is a city about 4.4 miles from St. Louis, but St. Louis probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You'd be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Pine Lawn has the 2nd most uninsured people, 9th worst incomes, and has the 1st highest unemployment rate (19.64%) in the entire St. Louis metro area.

Homes only cost $48,400 for a reason. That's cheap for St. Louis standards.

9. South Roxana

South Roxana, IL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,172
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Income: $41,250 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $74,600 (20th lowest)
More on South Roxana:

If you absolutely have to live near St. Louis, then South Roxana might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst St. Louis suburb.

About 13.44% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,718
Rank Last Year: -
Median Income: $32,482 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.0% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $65,500 (13th lowest)
More on Bel-Ridge:  Data

Rounding out the ten worst St. Louis suburbs to call home is Bel-Ridge.

Located 7.0 miles outside the city, Bel-Ridges is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (14.99%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around St. Louis for 2020

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2014-2018, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of St. Louis.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 96 suburbs to evaluate around St. Louis.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 96 in each category, where 1 was the "worst".

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the "Worst Suburb near St. Louis." We're lookin' at you, Madison. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

The areas around St. Louis where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2020

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding St. Louis with Madison casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around St. Louis aren't all bad. Glendale takes the cake as the best place to live around St. Louis.

  • Glendale
  • Ladue
  • Des Peres

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst St. Louis Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Madison 3,714 $24,845 $41,600
2 Washington Park 3,962 $22,107 $39,800
3 Centreville 5,059 $18,955 $52,800
4 Venice 2,128 $25,511 $35,000
5 East St. Louis 26,647 $23,072 $52,200
6 Cahokia 14,271 $29,330 $50,900
7 Pagedale 3,291 $27,017 $53,700
8 Pine Lawn 3,513 $31,705 $48,400
9 South Roxana 2,172 $41,250 $74,600
10 Bel-Ridge 2,718 $32,482 $65,500
11 Berkeley 8,991 $33,874 $64,700
12 Riverview 2,872 $37,149 $54,500
13 Moline Acres 2,355 $31,640 $67,400
14 Jennings 14,794 $32,383 $65,600
15 Breckenridge Hills 4,654 $35,039 $73,500
16 Bellefontaine Neighbors 10,613 $45,700 $63,600
17 Alton 26,884 $38,581 $80,400
18 Normandy 4,931 $34,358 $68,500
19 East Alton 6,099 $45,274 $80,100
20 Dellwood 4,912 $42,729 $69,800
21 Pontoon Beach 5,725 $58,682 $93,200
22 Ferguson 20,931 $41,657 $81,600
23 Bridgeton 11,690 $58,854 $161,700
24 Pacific 6,329 $49,451 $141,900
25 Wood River 10,234 $44,450 $83,900
26 Caseyville 4,018 $50,471 $79,500
27 Woodson Terrace 4,062 $54,916 $69,800
28 Overland 15,787 $44,860 $87,000
29 Northwoods 4,148 $37,823 $64,800
30 Dupo 3,893 $45,152 $82,400
31 St. Ann 12,853 $47,825 $87,800
32 St. John 6,432 $46,313 $77,900
33 Hazelwood 25,399 $53,907 $116,800
34 Belleville 41,926 $45,945 $95,200
35 Herculaneum 3,935 $63,824 $157,300
36 Collinsville 24,756 $52,394 $129,700
37 Pevely 5,784 $57,897 $126,100
38 Florissant 51,744 $53,750 $96,400
39 Black Jack 6,943 $56,270 $128,200
40 Arnold 21,107 $63,702 $153,300
41 Fairview Heights 16,360 $62,900 $127,200
42 Byrnes Mill 2,944 $68,224 $218,600
43 Maryland Heights 27,128 $63,594 $156,900
44 Marlborough 2,457 $42,484 $151,800
45 Brighton 2,215 $66,161 $106,200
46 New Athens 2,239 $59,659 $105,300
47 Valley Park 6,832 $62,467 $173,900
48 Lebanon 4,256 $56,250 $120,100
49 Mascoutah 8,007 $78,191 $159,300
50 Green Park 2,628 $60,563 $157,900
51 Godfrey 17,685 $69,192 $142,100
52 Edwardsville 24,868 $69,213 $220,100
53 New Baden 3,258 $69,303 $140,800
54 Freeburg 4,254 $72,582 $166,400
55 Bethalto 9,311 $64,545 $131,000
56 Maplewood 8,008 $45,095 $181,100
57 St. Charles 69,576 $64,483 $188,600
58 Swansea 13,863 $77,860 $165,900
59 Smithton 3,980 $74,531 $165,500
60 Shiloh 13,250 $80,271 $211,600
61 Manchester 18,189 $79,414 $224,900
62 Columbia 10,503 $95,354 $214,800
63 St. Peters 56,838 $76,803 $174,800
64 Maryville 7,955 $70,625 $197,000
65 Millstadt 3,915 $69,231 $173,900
66 Glen Carbon 12,845 $83,505 $217,500
67 O'fallon 29,277 $89,535 $198,400
68 Waterloo 10,268 $68,911 $189,400
69 Crestwood 11,881 $76,875 $195,800
70 Troy 10,356 $69,775 $175,100
71 Fenton 4,034 $92,544 $261,900
72 O'fallon 86,340 $87,238 $217,000
73 Eureka 10,575 $106,000 $270,600
74 Olivette 7,837 $80,323 $311,400
75 Cottleville 4,882 $106,321 $286,000
76 Shrewsbury 6,166 $55,804 $170,600
77 Sunset Hills 8,488 $98,450 $375,800
78 Richmond Heights 8,457 $78,481 $247,500
79 Ellisville 9,581 $75,017 $238,400
80 Ballwin 30,332 $91,886 $246,200
81 Weldon Spring 5,545 $102,105 $383,900
82 Rock Hill 4,637 $80,042 $180,500
83 Wildwood 35,517 $132,221 $372,000
84 Creve Coeur 18,445 $100,735 $399,400
85 Chesterfield 47,663 $106,250 $370,300
86 Webster Groves 23,029 $94,617 $278,500
87 Town And Country 11,066 $178,000 $726,600
88 Kirkwood 27,693 $88,378 $293,200
89 Clarkson Valley 2,640 $170,952 $629,200
90 Dardenne Prairie 13,139 $128,452 $283,400
91 Clayton 16,448 $97,145 $630,400
92 Brentwood 8,023 $79,469 $222,200
93 Frontenac 3,525 $149,643 $700,700
94 Des Peres 8,567 $140,658 $425,100
95 Ladue 8,586 $192,500 $835,300
96 Glendale 5,888 $141,217 $385,700

How Is Your Town In ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *