The 10 Worst Tampa Suburbs For 2021

We used science and data to determine which Tampa suburbs are the real 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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Tampa.

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

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 Tampa 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Tampa area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Tampa proper, although Redington Shores certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Tampa are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 23 biggest suburbs of Tampa to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in florida lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Tampa in terms of quality of life.

What's the worst suburb of Tampa? New Port Richey ranks as the worst suburb of Tampa for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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

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

And remember, there are some good places to live around Tampa 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 Florida reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Tampa Suburbs To Live For 2021

New Port Richey, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,223
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,384 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $87,500 (2nd lowest)
More on New Port Richey:  Data | Photos

We'll get the ball rolling with New Port Richey, the absolute worst place to live around Tampa according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, New Port Richey beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Tampa area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd 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 New Port Richey.

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.

Zephyrhills, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,573
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $36,260 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $98,800 (3rd lowest)
More on Zephyrhills:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 26.1 miles to Tampa. Income levels here are the 3rd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $36,260 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,831
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $39,808 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $157,600 (6th lowest)
More on Port Richey:  Data

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Tampa suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Port Richey 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 Tampa suburbs.

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

Mulberry, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,124
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $43,065 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $58,400 (lowest)
More on Mulberry:  Data | Photos

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

Not only that, but this is the 9th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Tampa. Remember, we looked at 23 cities for this study.

Mulberry is about 28.9 miles to downtown.

Clearwater, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 115,159
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $48,691 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $206,300 (12th lowest)
More on Clearwater:  Data | Photos

Clearwater has the distinction of being a Tampa suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Clearwater has the 12th lowest home values in the metro Tampa area, where the median price is $206,300. To put that into perspective, in Redington Shores, the median income is $96,250, which is the best in the area.

Clearwater has an unemployment rate of 6.96% which ranks 4th worst.

Pinellas Park, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 52,857
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $49,652 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $154,700 (5th lowest)
More on Pinellas Park:  Data | Photos

Pinellas Park has 52,857 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 13.730807424948438%.

Tarpon Springs, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,176
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $50,012 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $209,400 (13th lowest)
More on Tarpon Springs:  Data | Photos

Ah, Tarpon Springs. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Tampa.

It's the place with the 5th most out of work residents in the Tampa metro area (6.89%).

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,088
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $33,718 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (highest)
Median Home Value: $175,700 (7th lowest)
More on South Pasadena:  Data

South Pasadena is a city about 21.8 miles from Tampa, but Tampa 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. South Pasadena has the 13th most uninsured people, worst incomes, and has the highest unemployment rate (9.11%) in the entire Tampa metro area.

Homes only cost $175,700 for a reason. That's cheap for Tampa standards.

Largo, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 84,130
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $44,323 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $124,700 (4th lowest)
More on Largo:  Data | Photos

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

About 5.69% of residents are out of work.

Oldsmar, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,657
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $57,283 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $228,400 (15th lowest)
More on Oldsmar:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Tampa suburbs to call home is Oldsmar.

Located 12.9 miles outside the city, Oldsmars is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 7th highest unemployment rate (6.4%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Tampa for 2021

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 2015-2019, 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 Tampa.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 23 suburbs to evaluate around Tampa.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 23 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 Tampa." We're lookin' at you, New Port Richey. 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 Tampa where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Tampa with New Port Richey casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Tampa aren't all bad. Redington Shores takes the cake as the best place to live around Tampa.

  • Redington Shores
  • Safety Harbor
  • Belleair

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Tampa Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 New Port Richey 16,223 $35,384 $87,500
2 Zephyrhills 15,573 $36,260 $98,800
3 Port Richey 2,831 $39,808 $157,600
4 Mulberry 4,124 $43,065 $58,400
5 Clearwater 115,159 $48,691 $206,300
6 Pinellas Park 52,857 $49,652 $154,700
7 Tarpon Springs 25,176 $50,012 $209,400
8 South Pasadena 5,088 $33,718 $175,700
9 Largo 84,130 $44,323 $124,700
10 Oldsmar 14,657 $57,283 $228,400
11 Temple Terrace 26,539 $63,018 $228,900
12 St. Petersburg 261,338 $56,982 $205,000
13 Belleair Bluffs 2,329 $47,326 $224,400
14 Dunedin 36,381 $50,356 $198,700
15 Madeira Beach 4,300 $65,118 $431,800
16 Gulfport 12,335 $52,705 $185,600
17 Seminole 18,657 $53,975 $203,800
18 Indian Rocks Beach 4,243 $71,532 $495,800
19 St. Pete Beach 9,587 $76,516 $462,500
20 Treasure Island 6,889 $75,423 $382,200
21 Belleair 4,146 $96,250 $407,100
22 Safety Harbor 17,803 $78,026 $268,800
23 Redington Shores 2,176 $78,375 $443,500

How Is Your Town In ?