There are lots of people who throw the term ‘ghetto’ around. But where is the actual ghetto in your state?
How do you decide if a city is ghetto or not? You ask the internet. According to the Urban Dictionary, a ghetto is defined as:
“urban; of or relating to (inner) city life” and “poor; of or relating to the poor life.”
Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where ghettos might exist in a state and then put out a list.
After analyzing all cities with a decent amount of people in them, we came up with this list as the most ghetto cities in Georgia:
- Norcross (Photos)
- Brunswick (Photos)
- Lawrenceville (Photos)
- Buford (Photos)
- Conyers (Photos)
- Gainesville (Photos)
- Marietta (Photos)
- Waycross (Photos)
- Covington (Photos)
Read on below to see where your town ranked.
For more Georgia reading, check out:
What ghetto criteria did we use?
In order to rank the most ghetto cities in Georgia, we had to determine what criteria defines a ghetto city.
Since a ghetto is defined as a poor area, we used income levels and education levels as a guide to determine where the most broke citizens of a state live.
Additionally, the staples of inner city life include cheap and discounted retail outlets.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Area Vibes, this is the criteria we used:
- Household income levels
- High school graduation rates
- Number of convenience stores
- Number of drug stores
- Number of beauty supply stores
- Number of discount stores
Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.
All of these results are listed in a per capita basis. Meaning number of stores per person in a city. Additionally, high school graduation rates are determined by looking at the total number of people who live in a city, not the current graduation rate of an area’s high schools.
Convenience stores: 1st in Georgia
Beauty supply stores: 1st in Georgia
Discount stores: 2nd in Georgia
When you look at the numbers of inner city type stores, and the education level, Norcross is the most ghetto city in Georgia.
Norcross has the most convenience stores, the most beauty supply stores, and the 2nd most discount stores in the state. Plus, the high school graduation rate of its residents is 68%, meaning many people who live here are having trouble making ends meet. 18% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Norcross is an Atlanta suburb.
Convenience stores: 5th in Georgia
Median income: $28,496
The average household earns just above the poverty line here in Brunswick, which has the 12th lowest income in the state.
Additionally, there are a high number of convenience stores here, and Brunswick has the 13th most discount stores as well.
Brunswick is located along the coast, not too far from the Georgia/Florida line.
Beauty supply stores: 2nd in the state
Convenience stores: 4th in Georgia
Discount stores: 3rd
Per capita, there are almost more inner-city shopping experiences in Lawrenceville than there are in any other city in Georgia.
Just outside of the Atlanta metro area, households in Lawrenceville bring in an average of just over $42,000 a year, and 1 out of 4 residents never finished high school.
Discount stores: 1st in Georgia
Convenience stores: 3rd
Beauty supply stores: 3rd
Right behind Lawrenceville in the sheer number of discounted, inner city type shopping outlets is Buford. Here, there are more discount stores than anywhere else in Georgia, and the 3rd most convenience stores and beauty supply stores in the state.
Buford residents actually earn more, on average, than any other city on this list. Residents bring in a combined $47,000 a year. Buford is located on the northern fringes of Atlanta.
Beauty supply stores: 4th in Georgia
Convenience stores: 10th in the state
Conyers is east of Atlanta on I-20. Here, you’ll find the 4th most beauty supply stores per capita, and the 10th most convenience stores in the state.
The combined household income here is a tad over $40,000 a year.
High school graduation rate: 64%
Beauty supply stores: 20th in the state
Discount stores: 24th in the state
Gainesville doesn’t have as many inner-city shopping type experiences, but it’s hurt by income levels and education. More than 1 in 3 residents here never completed high school, and the annual income levels show as a result. The average family brings in around $40,000 a year.
Gainesville is north of Atlanta on I-985.
Income levels: 3rd lowest in Georgia
High school graduation rate: 68%
Beauty supply stores: 17th in the state
Those who live in Milledgeville are just straight up struggling. Families average $23,580 a year in income, which is below the poverty line. In fact, 1 out of 4 people lives in poverty here, and nearly 1 in 3 didn’t finish high school.
There are also a higher than average number of discounted stores to shop, including the 17th most beauty supply stores.
Beauty supply stores: 8th in Georgia
Convenience stores: 8th in the state
Discount stores: 5th
While parts of Marietta aren’t considered ghetto by this definition, it’s such a large city, and there are large parts of the city that are considered ghetto by the definition. There are a really high number of discounted shopping experiences such as convenience stores, dollar stores and beauty supply stores in Marietta.
Income levels: $25,639
High school graduation rate: 70%
Convenience stores: 12th in Georgia
Like several other cities on this list, a majority of residents in Waycross are broke. The average family is just about at the poverty line, and nearly 1 in 5 residents here most likely needs assistance to survive.
That’s not surprising when you consider than 3 in 10 Waycross residents never completed high school.
There are also a high number of convenience stores in the Waycross area, which is in the southeastern corner of the state.
Median income: $32,858
Beauty supply stores: 9th in the state
Convenience stores: 15th in the state
Covington is on the southern fringes of the Atlanta metro area. Residents in Covington earn far less than most other Georgia residents, and the city has one of the highest concentrations of discounted shopping experiences.
There You Have It
If you’re measuring the locations in Georgia where there are a high number of poor and uneducated residents, and where there are a high number of discounted shopping stores, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious, Atlanta ranked 15th on our list.
Additionally, here are the least ghetto places in Georgia:
- Milton (Pop. 32,428)
- Johns Creek (Pop. 77,338)
- St. Marys (Pop. 17,230)
- Sandy Springs (Pop. 94,816)
- Martinez (Pop. 35,698)
We also wrote about the worst places to live in Georgia if you didn’t happen to see it. Click here to read it.