The suburbs of Tampa call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Tampa 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 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.
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.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Tampa? New Port Richey ranks as the worst suburb of Tampa for 2023 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.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Tampa too.
For more Florida reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Tampa Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $40,319 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $113,500 (2nd lowest)
More on New Port Richey:
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 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.
Median Income: $42,023 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $124,900 (3rd lowest)
More on Zephyrhills:
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 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $42,023 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.
Median Income: $44,792 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $206,200 (6th lowest)
More on Port Richey:
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.
Median Income: $54,111 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $181,100 (5th lowest)
More on Pinellas Park:
If you live in Pinellas Park, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 8th 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 23 cities for this study.
Pinellas Park is about 15.9 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $54,182 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $241,200 (9th lowest)
More on Clearwater:
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 $241,200. The median income is $104,969.
Clearwater has an unemployment rate of 5.74% which ranks 6th worst.
Median Income: $44,702 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $48,000 (lowest)
More on Mulberry:
Mulberry has 3,920 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 13.06122448979592%.
Median Income: $50,948 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $152,800 (4th lowest)
More on Largo:
Ah, Largo. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Tampa.
It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the Tampa metro area (5.28%).
Median Income: $58,328 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $244,600 (12th lowest)
More on Tarpon Springs:
Tarpon Springs is a city about 22.0 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. Tarpon Springs has the 13th most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 2nd highest unemployment rate (6.28%) in the entire Tampa metro area.
Homes only cost $244,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for Tampa standards.
Median Income: $43,383 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $226,600 (7th lowest)
More on South Pasadena:
If you absolutely have to live near Tampa, then South Pasadena might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Tampa suburb.
About 5.78% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $58,853 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (2highest)
Median Home Value: $242,900 (11th lowest)
More on Temple Terrace:
Rounding out the ten worst Tampa suburbs to call home is Temple Terrace.
Located 8.1 miles outside the city, Temple Terraces is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 2highest unemployment rate (2.68%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Tampa for 2023
To figure out how bad a Tampa 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 Tampa.
We also limited the analysis to places with 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 looking at you, New Port Richey.
We updated this article for 2023, 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 2023
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
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Detailed List Of The Worst Tampa Suburbs
|1||New Port Richey||16,348|
|19||St. Pete Beach||8,963|
|20||Indian Rocks Beach||3,740|