These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Georgia For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in GA are ghetto central.

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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:

  1. Norcross (Photos)
  2. Brunswick (Photos)
  3. Lawrenceville (Photos)
  4. Buford (Photos)
  5. Conyers (Photos)
  6. Gainesville (Photos)
  7. Milledgeville
  8. Marietta (Photos)
  9. Waycross (Photos)
  10. 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.


1. Norcross

Source: wikipedia

Population: 12,869
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.

2. Brunswick

Source: wikipedia

Population: 15,533
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.

3. Lawrenceville

Source: wikipedia

Population: 28,595
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.

4. Buford

Source: wikipedia

Population: 12,575
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.

5. Conyers

Source: wikipedia

Population: 15,102
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.

6. Gainesville

Source: wikipedia

Population: 33,969
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.

7. Milledgeville

Source: wikipedia

Population: 18,879
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.

8. Marietta

Source: wikipedia

Population: 57,471
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.

9. Waycross

Source: wikipedia

Population: 14,576
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.

10. Covington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 13,482
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:

  1. Milton (Pop. 32,428)
  2. Johns Creek (Pop. 77,338)
  3. St. Marys (Pop. 17,230)
  4. Sandy Springs (Pop. 94,816)
  5. 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.

City Population Rank
Norcross 12869 1
Brunswick 15533 2
Lawrenceville 28595 3
Buford 12575 4
Conyers 15102 5
Gainesville 33969 6
Milledgeville 18879 7
Marietta 57451 8
Waycross 14576 9
Covington 13264 10
Riverdale 15256 11
Calhoun 15562 12
Lilburn 11909 13
Monroe 13330 14
Atlanta 425931 15
Griffin 23610 16
Macon 91604 17
Tifton 16469 18
Cartersville 19714 19
Canton 22680 20
Forest Park 18856 21
Cedartown 9801 22
Savannah 137690 23
Carrollton 24483 24
Thomasville 18516 25
Duluth 26995 26
Decatur 19443 27
Cordele 11228 27
Kennesaw 29826 29
Statesboro 28527 30
Moultrie 14384 31
Dallas 11564 32
Winder 14123 33
Douglas 11669 34
Acworth 20367 35
Newnan 32724 36
Rome 36277 37
Lagrange 29751 38
Dublin 16276 39
Cairo 9657 40
Douglasville 30748 41
Snellville 18540 42
Vidalia 10628 43
Fayetteville 15881 44
Albany 77435 45
Bainbridge 12669 46
Valdosta 54944 47
Tucker 27700 48
Lithia Springs 16550 49
Woodstock 23849 50
Fort Valley 9744 51
Dalton 33049 52
Alpharetta 58075 53
Jesup 10262 54
Americus 16835 55
Chamblee 13297 55
Augusta 195646 57
Smyrna 51466 58
Athens 116353 59
Union City 19356 60
Suwanee 15442 61
Villa Rica 13692 62
Stockbridge 25378 63
Loganville 10395 64
Columbus 191278 64
Powder Springs 14027 66
College Park 13781 67
Kingsland 15803 68
Warner Robins 67313 69
Perry 13914 70
Hinesville 33904 71
East Point 34515 72
Roswell 89294 73
Grovetown 11264 74
Mableton 37896 75
Scottdale 10038 76
St. Simons 12612 77
Pooler 18921 78
Fairburn 12831 79
Mcdonough 21839 80
Peachtree City 34437 81
Evans 30200 82
Georgetown 11819 83
Dunwoody 46133 84
Sugar Hill 18674 85
Martinez 35698 86
Sandy Springs 94816 86
St. Marys 17230 88
Johns Creek 77338 89
Milton 32428 90

30 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Georgia For 2018

  1. This is stupid. Most of those areas listed are the suburbs and country areas where whites live. Why try to act like you know what ghetto means when you can’t even spell it?

  2. I do not take this personally. I am from Waycross. It is safe in this town and people are friendly. I have traveled to many other places and people are the same And trust me we have rednecks, we have uppity snobs and some really good and honest people. And we thank God for convenience stores and discount stores and belks , jc Penney and all out boutiques. It is enough. And we have less traffic. And our high schools have produced Ivy League students. Thank you very much. And we also have many wonderful Churches.

  3. Dude, this list is bogus. Most of the cities on here are some of the nicest areas in Georgia where middle-class families of all races live.

  4. This article is wrong on so many levels!! The westside of Atlanta like Bankhead and the west end are ghetto. Lawerenceville is actually one of the top cities where all middle class people raise their kids. Wherever you got your sources gave you fake information.

  5. This is the most asinine article I have ever read. Are you kidding me? I live in Lawrenceville and grew up there; the area is booming, the schools win awards, and my high school graduating class was almost 800 people (total school pop of 3000).

    I lived for a short while in Norcross for work until my apartment rent went to over $1000/mo for a 534 square foot one bedroom with 30 year old appliances.

    I have family in Brunswick in homes I could only dream of owning. It’s a major port city on the east coast and hosts hundreds of international container ships. Chances are if you live in Georgia your imported goods were brought in from the Brunswick port. The discount stores are to cater to the truckers and sailors to run in, grab a quick deal, and leave. The low income is because operating heavy machinery in the port or at the paper mill doesn’t exactly pay in gold bullion. Low income yes, sketchy: NO.

    I REALLY raised my eyebrow to see Buford on this list. Mall of Georgia ring any bells? What usually accompanies the largest mall in the state? Discount stores galore. Also neighboring it is the Gwinnett Braves Stadium which, once it was built, drew in more discount stores! My family drives up to Buford when we go out to expensive dinners. I’ll leave it at that.

    The only one I agree with on this list is Gainesville, and that’s about a 50/50 split. I graduated from Brenau University which is two blocks off of the Gainesville square. Off of campus you didn’t walk around at night. If you need to run to Walmart after sunset, you didn’t go to the one in Gainesville – you got in the car and went out to the Flowery Branch Walmart. However once you go to the west side, you have multi-million dollar lake homes on Lake Lanier – entire SUBDIVISIONS full of them. So while I would avoid southside Gainesville while in anything short of a five-strong group, elsewhere is far from “ghetto.”

    1. gainesville is not ghetto its full of mexicans that cross the border like my uncle but there not ghetto. Do u even know what ghetto is?

  6. A little limited in the observation of what makes. City ghetto or not. Unfortunately your science is limited. You don’t even post the graduation rate of Buford. So just in that there is no comparison. You also don’t discuss the expansion of parks and recreation, home prices along the lake or increased expansion of subdivision with homes over $400k prices. You’ve based your results on limited information and data.

  7. This is seriously dumb. I live in Florida, in a huge city of over 200,000 people. Convenience stores, dollar stores, WalMarts, everywhere. This is not the ghetto, people make a decent living here. This article is straight up stereotypical.

  8. Im from Tifton Georgia, were not Ghetto we dont just dont take the Bullshit we love to kill lol tho especially people that like to talk shit.

  9. In Tipton” you love to kill”? Wow! never heard of Tifton first of all. Secondly, kill what? hogs and chickens? I’m from Decatur but live in East Atlanta and I definitely know what ghetto is! I unfortunately know what killings are too which makes my city ghetto…

  10. Whoever wrote this bullsh*t didn’t know their butt from a hole in the ground. They obviously have never been to Georgia because the bluff (vine city) would be the first on the list for all the bad s**t about our state. There ain’t nothing ghetto about gwinnett or Rockdale compared to several areas in the city of Atlanta. And wtf is Marietta and Brunswick doing on this list?

  11. Riverdale should be on the ghetto list. Marietta on the other hand is not ghetto. It’s a beautiful town with a town square with charm Atlanta proper is so big it has lots of bad and good areas overall this article is pretty stupid

  12. So ghetto is equal to being black. Wow. You are more ignorant than the person who wrote this article.

  13. I knew this was bull when I saw “Yelp reviews” lol that’s like ranking the best and worst movies by critics

  14. The criteria used is shallow and does not provide an enough data to come to a conclusion that these cities are ghetto. Take the time to visit some of these places before making a biased determination that is not indicative of the truth. Criteria such as no grocery stores with fresh fruits and vegetables and high crime rates would have been better categories because these two criteria plague less desirable areas. However, you are entitled to your opinion, and I hope this article was for entertainment purposes only.

    Have you ever really been to the ghetto? There are serious problems in our country that we should be trying to repair and not make light of.

  15. What!!! This is a joke right. haha. these places are the opposite of ghetto. the criteria used makes no sense. clearly written by someone who either has no idea what ghetto means, live no where near georgia, or just trying to be funny and get comments.

  16. I appreciate that the authors define “ghetto” by income and employment, not by race. A lot of the commenters obviously have some racial prejudice. Georgia is interesting because there are a lot of poor, White areas with drugs and crime where I would not want to raise a child. Then there are some predominantly Black areas that are clean, safe, and most residents are professionals who own their homes and take good care of them. Thanks to the authors for not equating “ghetto” with “Black.”

  17. I lived in Woodstock last year and I am very offended because I don’t wear hoodies. I wear cardigans.

  18. This is AMERICA. ANYONE can live WHEREVER they Wish. If you want to get technical and a bit Racist, you go back to Europe where your Ancestors came from.. How about that much. This is NATIVE/AFRICAN American Land.

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