The 10 Worst St. Louis Suburbs For 2023


We used data and Friday Night Science to identify the worst suburbs of St. Louis for 2023. The worst St. Louis suburbs are Alorton and Venice.

The suburbs of St. Louis call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround St. Louis to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

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 Saturday Night Science 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 only expect some of 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.

We examined the 97 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.

The 10 worst suburbs around St. Louis for 2023

  1. Alorton
  2. Venice
  3. Centreville
  4. Washington Park
  5. Madison
  6. Pine Lawn
  7. Cahokia
  8. Pagedale
  9. East St. Louis
  10. Jennings

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of St. Louis? Alorton ranks as the worst suburb of St. Louis for 2023 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.


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


For more Missouri reading, check out:

The 10 Worst St. Louis Suburbs To Live For 2023

1. Alorton

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,864
Median Income: $19,605 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 23.6% (highest)
Median Home Value: $44,600 (4th lowest)
More on Alorton:

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Alorton beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the St. Louis area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 4th 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 Alorton.

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. Venice

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,926
Median Income: $32,446 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.3% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $46,000 (5th lowest)
More on Venice:

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

This city is 4.8 miles to St. Louis. Income levels here are the 9th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $32,446 a year, which only goes so far 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

Source: Flickr User TomGazpacho | CC BY-ND 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,346
Median Income: $24,088 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.3% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $53,900 (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 dropout rate is poor compared to other St. Louis suburbs.

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

4. Washington Park

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,732
Median Income: $26,928 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.6% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $31,000 (lowest)
More on Washington Park:

If you live in Washington Park, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 6th lowest St. Louis suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 6th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near St. Louis. Remember, we looked at 97 cities for this study.

Washington Park is about 8.2 miles to downtown.

5. Madison

Madison, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,752
Median Income: $33,958 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $50,000 (6th lowest)
More on Madison:

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

All snarkiness aside, Madison has the 6th lowest home values in the metro St. Louis area, where the median price is $50,000. The median income is $250,001.

Madison has an unemployment rate of 9.44% which ranks 14th worst.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,820
Median Income: $23,310 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 22.7% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $43,500 (3rd lowest)
More on Pine Lawn:

Pine Lawn has 2,820 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 45.815602836879435%.

7. Cahokia

Cahokia, IL

Source: Wikipedia User Rklawton | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,440
Median Income: $30,556 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $40,900 (2nd lowest)
More on Cahokia:

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

It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the St. Louis metro area (11.98%).

Pagedale, MO

Source: Wikipedia User Bridgian | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,648
Median Income: $26,426 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $56,800 (9th lowest)
More on Pagedale:

Pagedale is a city about 4.6 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. Pagedale has the 10th most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 16th highest unemployment rate (9.04%) in the entire St. Louis metro area.

Homes only cost $56,800 for a reason. That’s cheap for St. Louis standards.

9. East St. Louis

East St. Louis, IL

Source: Wikipedia User FlickreviewR | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 19,437
Median Income: $26,011 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.8% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $57,800 (10th lowest)
More on East St. Louis:

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

About 12.77% of residents are out of work.

Jennings, MO

Source: Wikipedia User User:LittletT889 | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,129
Median Income: $29,237 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $58,000 (11th lowest)
More on Jennings:

Rounding out the ten worst St. Louis suburbs to call home is Jennings.

Located 6.1 miles outside the city, Jenningss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 19th highest unemployment rate (8.33%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around St. Louis for 2023

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

It’s Saturday Night Science.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, 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 dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of St. Louis.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 1,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 97 suburbs to evaluate around St. Louis.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 97 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 looking at you, Alorton.

We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around St. Louis.

Summary: The areas around St. Louis where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding St. Louis with Alorton 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
  • Des Peres
  • Warson Woods

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst St. Louis Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Alorton 1,864 $19,605 $44,600
2 Venice 1,926 $32,446 $46,000
3 Centreville 4,346 $24,088 $53,900
4 Washington Park 2,732 $26,928 $31,000
5 Madison 2,752 $33,958 $50,000
6 Pine Lawn 2,820 $23,310 $43,500
7 Cahokia 12,440 $30,556 $40,900
8 Pagedale 2,648 $26,426 $56,800
9 East St. Louis 19,437 $26,011 $57,800
10 Jennings 13,129 $29,237 $58,000
11 South Roxana 2,121 $44,679 $80,400
12 Bel-Ridge 2,944 $38,866 $71,100
13 Dupo 4,001 $47,357 $87,500
14 Riverview 3,092 $44,750 $61,200
15 Breckenridge Hills 4,493 $39,973 $78,100
16 Pontoon Beach 6,153 $49,672 $105,600
17 Moline Acres 2,995 $41,250 $67,600
18 Alton 25,902 $45,225 $82,000
19 Ferguson 18,826 $40,195 $78,900
20 Caseyville 4,185 $51,667 $86,000
21 Bellefontaine Neighbors 10,702 $42,714 $68,200
22 Berkeley 8,310 $36,050 $66,000
23 Woodson Terrace 3,971 $51,781 $80,600
24 East Alton 5,887 $47,089 $88,400
25 Overland 15,908 $47,124 $96,300
26 Hazelwood 25,466 $54,061 $127,500
27 Valley Park 6,864 $57,399 $188,200
28 Normandy 4,328 $33,339 $81,200
29 Black Jack 6,663 $57,115 $141,100
30 St. John 6,617 $55,231 $80,100
31 St. Ann 13,007 $49,358 $95,600
32 Herculaneum 4,599 $77,734 $183,900
33 Belleville 42,463 $56,404 $105,700
34 Pacific 6,898 $47,733 $196,200
35 Dellwood 4,925 $52,688 $70,000
36 Wood River 10,325 $58,065 $91,100
37 Northwoods 3,738 $37,143 $55,000
38 Brighton 2,416 $63,421 $105,400
39 Florissant 52,382 $58,516 $107,700
40 Collinsville 24,627 $60,793 $130,400
41 Bridgeton 11,417 $64,808 $195,200
42 Pevely 5,974 $65,958 $156,700
43 Fairview Heights 16,601 $70,825 $141,300
44 Marlborough 2,753 $47,007 $161,500
45 Mascoutah 8,803 $79,189 $178,800
46 Arnold 20,808 $63,755 $168,400
47 Bethalto 9,414 $66,193 $139,900
48 New Baden 3,418 $79,662 $154,900
49 Edwardsville 25,236 $78,298 $247,000
50 Byrnes Mill 3,116 $86,888 $243,800
51 Godfrey 17,812 $80,560 $155,200
52 Freeburg 4,195 $65,188 $192,300
53 Lebanon 4,737 $75,179 $120,700
54 Swansea 15,037 $80,331 $170,200
55 Green Park 2,683 $67,102 $173,300
56 Glen Carbon 13,532 $86,406 $234,900
57 Maryville 8,115 $84,402 $207,200
58 Maryland Heights 28,141 $78,982 $171,600
59 Troy 10,858 $80,677 $203,500
60 Fenton 4,000 $97,356 $300,900
61 Maplewood 8,220 $52,420 $190,500
62 Shiloh 13,638 $86,292 $220,400
63 St. Charles 70,218 $75,516 $226,200
64 Waterloo 10,906 $79,107 $207,400
65 St. Peters 57,289 $83,624 $206,700
66 Millstadt 4,071 $85,845 $176,800
67 O’fallon 31,963 $96,698 $224,000
68 Manchester 18,308 $82,875 $257,000
69 O’fallon 90,802 $96,157 $246,100
70 Smithton 4,192 $99,279 $203,400
71 Cottleville 5,408 $131,618 $351,900
72 Ellisville 9,908 $89,951 $289,400
73 Columbia 11,090 $102,107 $238,800
74 Eureka 11,663 $112,622 $295,500
75 Sunset Hills 9,062 $107,820 $464,200
76 Olivette 8,408 $92,984 $400,300
77 Rock Hill 4,728 $78,529 $212,000
78 Wildwood 35,384 $140,685 $398,100
79 Crestwood 12,347 $102,045 $243,000
80 Weldon Spring 5,348 $131,213 $423,500
81 Chesterfield 49,675 $124,551 $384,600
82 Creve Coeur 18,648 $100,810 $457,100
83 Ballwin 30,998 $107,806 $295,400
84 Brentwood 8,198 $81,692 $234,800
85 Richmond Heights 9,188 $95,972 $280,600
86 Town And Country 11,440 $211,429 $794,100
87 Kirkwood 29,233 $98,637 $345,700
88 Webster Groves 23,817 $98,284 $312,700
89 Clarkson Valley 2,608 $202,750 $683,300
90 Frontenac 3,614 $200,625 $757,700
91 Shrewsbury 6,362 $75,556 $228,400
92 Dardenne Prairie 12,689 $134,784 $330,300
93 Clayton 16,905 $117,593 $683,400
94 Ladue 8,949 $250,001 $844,700
95 Warson Woods 2,229 $173,333 $470,500
96 Des Peres 9,096 $194,286 $479,400
97 Glendale 6,143 $147,685 $427,900
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.

One thought on “The 10 Worst St. Louis Suburbs For 2023

  1. A couple of these cities are in Illinois. These have got nothing to do with St Louis. They are not even in the jurisdiction of St Louis.
    Actually we don’t even need those Illinois towns in the stats. St Louis has Normandy, Ferguson and of course the infamous Natural Bridge rd. That’s already enough to put St Louis on the map.

Leave a Reply

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