The 10 Worst Tampa Suburbs

The worst Tampa suburbs are Zephyrhills and New Port Richey based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Tampa to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises: what suburbs of Tampa are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Tampa ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Tampa area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Tampa proper, although Redington Shores certainly tries.

We examined the 24 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.

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

The 10 worst suburbs around Tampa for 2024

  1. Zephyrhills
  2. New Port Richey
  3. Port Richey
  4. Pinellas Park
  5. Clearwater
  6. Mulberry
  7. Oldsmar
  8. Temple Terrace
  9. Largo
  10. Tarpon Springs

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Tampa? Zephyrhills ranks as the worst suburb of Tampa for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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.

The 10 Worst Tampa Suburbs To Live For 2024

Zephyrhills, FL

Source: Wikipedia User User:Wknight94 | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,575
Median Income: $45,745 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $294,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Zephyrhills: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

We’ll get the ball rolling with Zephyrhills, the absolute worst place to live around Tampa according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Zephyrhills beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd 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 Zephyrhills.

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.

New Port Richey, FL

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


Population: 16,742
Median Income: $42,254 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $315,600 (4th lowest)
More on New Port Richey: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Welcome to New Port Richey. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 24.0 miles to Tampa. Income levels here are the lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $42,254 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. Port Richey

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,132
Median Income: $44,872 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (2highest)
Median Home Value: $241,688 (lowest)
More on Port Richey: Crime

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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Tampa suburbs.

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

Pinellas Park, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 53,352
Median Income: $62,306 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $319,993 (5th lowest)
More on Pinellas Park: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

If you live in Pinellas Park, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 10th lowest Tampa suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 8th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Tampa. Remember, we looked at 24 cities for this study.

Pinellas Park is about 15.9 miles to downtown.

Clearwater, FL

Source: Wikipedia User 2candle | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 116,984
Median Income: $59,358 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $370,771 (9th lowest)
More on Clearwater: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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 9th lowest home values in the metro Tampa area, where the median price is $370,771. The median income is $114,556.

Clearwater has an unemployment rate of 4.67% which ranks 13th worst.

6. Mulberry

Mulberry, FL

Source: Wikipedia User Ebyabe | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,962
Median Income: $50,645 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (20th highest)
Median Home Value: $295,173 (3rd lowest)
More on Mulberry:

Mulberry has 3,962 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 14.462392730943966%.

Oldsmar, FL

Source: Wikipedia User Wknight94 talk | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,877
Median Income: $73,984 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $398,002 (11th lowest)
More on Oldsmar: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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

It’s the place with the 7th most out of work residents in the Tampa metro area (5.33%).

Temple Terrace, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,818
Median Income: $62,415 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $327,406 (6th lowest)
More on Temple Terrace: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Temple Terrace is a city about 8.1 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. Temple Terrace has the 4th most uninsured people, 11th worst incomes, and has the 19th highest unemployment rate (3.45%) in the entire Tampa metro area.

Homes only cost $327,406 for a reason. That’s cheap for Tampa standards.

Largo, FL

Source: Wikipedia User The original uploader was Baylink at English Wikipedia. Copyright 2005 Jay R. Ashworth. | CC BY-SA 2.5
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 82,541
Median Income: $56,266 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $357,692 (7th lowest)
More on Largo: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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 5.03% of residents are out of work.

Tarpon Springs, FL

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,355
Median Income: $63,836 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $424,180 (15th lowest)
More on Tarpon Springs: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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

Located 22.0 miles outside the city, Tarpon Springss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 5th highest unemployment rate (5.54%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Tampa for 2024

To figure out how bad a Tampa suburb is to live in, we used Saturday Night Science to identify the kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2018-2022, 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 Tampa.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 24 suburbs to evaluate around Tampa.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 24 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 looking at you, Zephyrhills.

We updated this article for 2024, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Tampa.

Summary: The areas around Tampa where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2024

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Tampa with Zephyrhills casting itself ahead of the pack.

The worst suburbs of Tampa are .

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
  • Belleair
  • Safety Harbor

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Tampa Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Zephyrhills 17,575 $45,745 $294,800
2 New Port Richey 16,742 $42,254 $315,600
3 Port Richey 3,132 $44,872 $241,688
4 Pinellas Park 53,352 $62,306 $319,993
5 Clearwater 116,984 $59,358 $370,771
6 Mulberry 3,962 $50,645 $295,173
7 Oldsmar 14,877 $73,984 $398,002
8 Temple Terrace 26,818 $62,415 $327,406
9 Largo 82,541 $56,266 $357,692
10 Tarpon Springs 25,355 $63,836 $424,180
11 South Pasadena 5,334 $48,490 $363,694
12 Belleair Bluffs 2,476 $51,913 $415,321
13 Gulfport 11,796 $60,461 $398,423
14 St. Petersburg 259,343 $70,333 $375,897
15 Dunedin 36,089 $63,824 $445,513
16 St. Leo 2,426 $82,115 $518,090
17 Seminole 19,287 $69,417 $401,887
18 Madeira Beach 3,931 $71,712 $789,884
19 Indian Rocks Beach 3,689 $92,283 $890,350
20 St. Pete Beach 8,905 $112,578 $715,388
21 Treasure Island 6,590 $87,941 $634,262
22 Safety Harbor 17,087 $102,670 $519,382
23 Belleair 4,295 $114,556 $700,159
24 Redington Shores 2,078 $96,250 $812,674
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 Tampa Suburbs

  1. This list is so factually inaccurate it hurts.. St. Petersburg’s unemployment rate is 3.4% not 6.8% . Where did you pull these statistics?

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