These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Texas For 2018

We looked at science and data to determine which cities in TX are really ghetto.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as info-tainment. Don’t freak out.

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There are lots of people who throw the term ‘ghetto’ around. But where is the actual ghetto in Texas?

How do you decide if a place 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 places in Texas:

  1. Balch Springs (Photos)
  2. Jacksonville (Photos)
  3. Mercedes (Photos)
  4. Corsicana (Photos)
  5. Big Spring (Photos)
  6. Beaumont (Photos)
  7. Houston (Photos)
  8. Humble (Photos)
  9. Port Arthur (Photos)
  10. Texarkana (Photos)

Ouch, Houston! Can this be true?

Read on below to see where your home town ranked and why.

For more Texas reading, check out:


What ghetto criteria did we use?

In order to rank the most ghetto places in Texas, we had to determine what criteria defines a ghetto city or neighborhood.

Since a ghetto is defined as a poor area, we used income levels, crime 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 started by making a list of every place in Texas with more than 10,000 people based on the 2013 American Community Survey. That left us with over 200 places in the Lone Star State.

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 discount stores
  • Crime

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 state. 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. Balch Springs

Source: wikipedia

Income: $38,798
Drop out rate: 40%
Crime: 7th highest

If you haven’t been through Balch Springs, know this: It’s dangerous and uneducated. This Dallas suburb is in a real fine mess, and can truly be defined as one of the more ghetto areas in Texas.

Balch Springs is the 7th most dangerous city in Texas, where residents face a 1 in 18 chance of being robbed for every year they live here. And 4 in 10 residents don’t have a high school diploma, meaning the unemployment rate and incomes aren’t going up any time soon.

There were quite a few people in Balch Springs who Tweeted about it being ghetto, especially the Walmart:

“I hate running into ghetto people in Balch springs.”

2. Jacksonville

Source: wikipedia

Income: $31,110
Drop out rate: 35%
Crime: 17th highest

About a quarter of the population in Jacksonville lives below the poverty line, which is simply not acceptable in America, especially in the state of Texas. That might be one of the reasons that crime is so high here. You’d be hard pressed to find a more dangerous place in eastern Texas.

Jacksonville also has a high number of convenience stores, which sociologists have determined are a strong indication of an inner city.

3. Mercedes

Source: wikipedia

Income: $25,394
Drop out rate: 50%
Crime: 15th highest

Mercedes is a very poor town, plain and simple. Being a border town, it’s understandable that a large portion of the community is uneducated, but more than half is a shame. More than a third of the population of 16,000 residents lives below the poverty line, which is defined by the government as $25,000 a year for a family of four.

The fact that Mercedes is the 15th most dangerous city in Texas may also not come as a surprise. There weren’t any murders here last year, but folks here face a 1 in 20 chance of being the victim of a property crime.

4. Corsicana

Source: wikipedia

Income: $33,078
Drop out rate: 30%
Crime: 15th highest

Corsicana is just about as dangerous as Mercedes is, overall. However, it appears to be more dangerous here. There was a murder here not too long ago.

The number of convenience stores per capita is in the top 10% in Texas, and there are quite a few drug stores here as well.

Twitter had a lot of interesting things to say about how ghetto Corsicana is in the eyes of its residents. Here’s one:

“Corsicana is ghetto at best.”

5. Big Spring

Source: wikipedia

Income: $35,345
Drop out rate: 41.5%
Crime: 38th highest

Big Spring is at a major crossroads, literally and figuratively. It lies in between Midland, Abilene, Lubbock and San Angelo. And, economically speaking, it’s a broke place.

4 in 10 of the residents here never got a high school diploma, so the income levels and job growth is going to be limited to the blue collar variety for at least the near future. But crime – while certainly far below average – isn’t plaguing the community here like it is for other cities on this list.

6. Beaumont

Source: wikipedia

Income: $39,486
Drop out rate: 21%
Crime: 5th highest

Here’s the deal with Beaumont: Sure, being a large city, it has a rich history and deep culture. There are plenty of jobs in the area as well.

However, the unemployment rate here is higher than it is for many of the smaller cities we’ve mentioned earlier. Which is an indication that people aren’t trying to get work. Folks make way too little money for such a large city.

And Beaumont is really, really dangerous. Like top 5 in the state dangerous. There were 16 murders here in 2013. If you live there for a year, you have less than a 1 in 100 chance of being raped, murdered or attacked, and less than a 1 in 20 chance of being robbed.

7. Houston

Source: wikipedia

Income: $40,000
Drop out rate: 29%
Crime: 7th highest

Oh, say it ain’t so!

Sure, there are TONS of big name companies here, lots to do, and some really wealthy people in the biggest city in the biggest state.

However, a very large portion of the Houston community is uneducated and broke. Would you have guessed than about 1 in 6 people in Houston lives below the poverty line? And the crime is off the charts for Texas.

But there were more than 200 people outright murdered here, and you have a 1 in 20 chance of being robbed yourself if you live here. Every day, 56 people are raped, attacked or killed in Houston. Wow.

So, yes, we’re aware that Forbes, and other places have called Houston one of the best cities for business in the nation. But we’re not measuring that here.

8. Humble

Source: wikipedia

Income: $46,389
Drop out rate: 25.4%
Crime: 8th highest

Like Houston, Humble is a case of the haves and have nots. This Houston suburb is, statistically almost as dangerous as Houston, if you’re measuring crimes per person. Although Humble didn’t have more than 20,000 violent attacks on its residents like Houston did in 2013.

Humble’s ghetto comes from its crime numbers, low economic outlook and significantly high number of convenience, drug and discount stores.

9. Port Arthur

Source: wikipedia

Income: $32,797
Drop out rate: 31%
Crime: 21st highest

After decades of oil industry woes, Port Arthur is trying to make a come back, and there are many blue collar jobs planned here for the near future. But a 9.1% unemployment rate is just about as high as you’ll see in the Lone Star State.

Does that make a community ghetto? Not always. But an uneducated, poor population that lives in a dangerous place does. And that just about sums up the state of Port Arthur at this very moment.

10. Texarkana

Source: wikipedia

Income: $38,495
Drop out rate: 17%
Crime: 2nd highest

Poor T-Town has taken some abuse from online media sites like this one. And when you look at the numbers, you can see why. It’s the 2nd most dangerous place in the entire state. There were two murders here in 2013 (which isn’t staggering), but the number of crimes per person (rapes, robberies, arson) is just about as high as you’ll see here.

The economy in Texarkana isn’t as far behind as some of the cities above, but it’s still bad there.

Twitter is filled with ghetto rants about Texarkana. Example:

“Ghetto level would be 100. #texarkana”

There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in Texas 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.

Additionally, here are the least ghetto places in Texas:

  1. Highland Village (Pop. 15,144)
  2. University Park (Pop. 23,241)
  3. Keller (Pop. 39,763)
  4. Southlake (Pop. 26,454)
  5. Friendswood (Pop. 35,859)

You’ll love an amazing video we found of Dallas. A videographer used a drone, and it might be the best video ever filmed of the Big D. Click here to watch it.

Desktop users, below is a chart of the top 100 ghetto cities in Texas, along with their crime rates:

City Crime Rank
Balch Springs 13.5 1
Jacksonville 25.5 2
Mercedes 23.5 3
Corsicana 23.5 4
Big Spring 44.5 5
Beaumont 9 6
Houston 13.5 7
Humble 13.5 8
Port Arthur 27.5 9
Texarkana 6.5 10
Greenville 22 11
Donna 7.5 12
Henderson 25.5 13
Dallas 33 14
Baytown 51 14
Palestine 15.5 16
Ennis 70.5 17
Paris 20.5 18
Weslaco 3 19
Waco 45.5 20
San Antonio 21 21
Sweetwater 25.5 22
Gainesville 25.5 23
Longview 37 24
Marshall 43.5 24
La Marque 30 26
Fort Worth 40 26
Mineral Wells 46.5 26
Stafford 58 26
Lockhart 88.5 30
Snyder 56 31
Huntsville 87.5 32
Pasadena 77 33
Lubbock 19 34
Arlington 52 35
Bay City 76.5 36
Bryan 81.5 37
Alice 10 38
Uvalde 27.5 39
Mount Pleasant 90.5 40
Webster 36 41
Lancaster 60 42
Odessa 40 43
Wichita Falls 48.5 43
Killeen 58.5 43
Haltom City 103 46
Seguin 82 46
Garland 104 48
Harker Heights 88.5 48
Hurst 30.5 50
Alamo 6.5 51
Laredo 53.5 52
Nacogdoches 88 53
Beeville 128.5 53
Victoria 45.5 55
Grand Prairie 110.5 56
Amarillo 33.5 57
Richmond 115 58
Raymondville 39.5 59
Kingsville 60.5 60
El Campo 89 61
Borger 29.5 62
Brownsville 76.5 63
Socorro 162 64
Corpus Christi 29.5 64
San Juan 68.5 66
Austin 51 67
Addison 54 68
Terrell 53 69
South Houston 44.5 70
Brenham 107 70
Dumas 123 72
Irving 124 73
Converse 93.5 74
Harlingen 49.5 75
Galena Park 148.5 76
Pampa 35 77
Glenn Heights 120 78
San Marcos 83 78
Edinburg 45 80
Abilene 68.5 81
Conroe 91 81
Cleburne 72 83
Live Oak 71.5 83
Rosenberg 132 83
Seagoville 132.5 83
Rio Grande City 98 87
Gatesville 176.5 88
Pharr 93.5 89
El Paso 106.5 90
Cedar Hill 114 91
Brownwood 51 92
Galveston 34.5 93
Angleton 109 94
Vidor 41 94
Bonham 125 96
Euless 123.5 96
Hereford 111 98
Robstown 109.5 99
Freeport 96.5 100

35 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Texas For 2018

  1. who researched this crap. Try again. Big Spring can’t be that broke my rent is $1500 and I work fast food.

  2. Try again, guys. Balch Springs has its problems, but it’s far from “ghetto.” You’ve obviously not seen the newer construction; the businesses that are, surprise, doing rather well; the newer-model automobiles (and even older cars that are kept in good repair); and other attributes. Perhaps if you conducted a study with a more representative cross-section of the city’s inhabitants, you’d arrive at a different and more favorable result.

    But then, Mark Twain said it best: “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.”

    1. Calm down the list isn’t official I think its funny and it kind of makes me smile I remember the rednecks wishing they had a good pair of barber scissors as they drove by on Platte

  3. I can’t believe they wasted space on this article. What good does it do? What’s the benefit? Put stuff like this on a social media website where people don’t have a life.

    1. you obviousally read it –does that mean you do not have a life–well it is social media for you then.

  4. You need to actually Vist Mercedes. Before writing an article. For way off on ate crime rate two we have grown. Three that most of the population us uneducated really. Obviously the one that wrote this article was un educated and dumb as they come. Pendejo

  5. What do you mean by “Being a border town, it’s understandable that a large portion of the community is uneducated”? That is a really stupid remark! Your criteria for determining how ghetto a place is, are totally wrong!

  6. Corsicana Texas is definitely ghetto. Especially with people like the Tiffany Stanwood Clan. who use IV drugs and sleeps with everyone and never uses protection. They are uneducated and think it’s pride to manage Mcdonalds.

  7. The entire rio grand valley is ghetto, no class, poor education, more than half of the population lives on government assistance. I lived in Harlingen and McAllen for 4 years, never again, people are down there are so disconnected with the rest of the world.

  8. A ghetto is an inner city concentration of black people. You can expect such an area to have high crime and drug rates.
    In these “ghettos” the black people reproduce like rats, filling the prisons, where they thrive.

  9. What about the ghettos in Warsaw Poland they are all white people a person has to be stupid to think ghettos are all black ghettos all over Europe

  10. I would just like to say, that Texas is not the biggest state. Alaska is three times as large as Texas. I feel like you need to do more research. Also your statement about border towns being uneducated and crime ridden; El Paso was rated one of the safest cities in America several times.

  11. Ghetto=Garland Texas and Pleasant Grove Texas..Two of the most ghetto areas near Dallas.Balch Springs does rate high on the ghetto list as does Oak Cliff

  12. first of all if you aren’t in a large city there is no ghetto. you may have hoods, and i can guarantee you’d wanna walk through a neighborhood in one of these towns instead of south or north Houstons ghettos haha… whoever wrote this article has no idea what they’re talking about.

  13. To call it WhiteTrash what about Black or Brown Trash, I mean really, that’s so racist. I am curious to know if this study was by a white person?

    1. Angie,
      Does the truth hurt? Lol. If this was about Blacks your ass would’ve stayed quiet! Quit making it about race and understand that’s there’s trash in every ethnicity…

  14. They forgot Odessa Texas….that’s as ghetto as it gets right there!! Odessa is the very definition of ghetto….I know cause I grew up there,moved my family out of Texas the first chance I got!! Never turning back either!!!

  15. Big Spring is my hometown. I got out very young. Moved back about 7 years ago n didn’t stay long. The town has became extremely drug infested!!! It’s sad.

  16. Corsicana is definitely ghetto! It’s where Houston trash meets Dallas trash at a sketch motel to cheat on their spouses and snort cocaine. #classy

  17. “This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as info-tainment. Don’t freak out.“

    Geez people this was meant for fun! Obviously, the fine print at the beginning of the article was not read by some…. smh

  18. The major problem with your methodology is the drop-out rate, which includes all residents. Unfortunately, the Census counts prisoners as residents in a town. Big Spring has roughly 4,500 prisoners who are primarily high school drop-outs from other parts of the state. Take that prisoner population away, and your numbers would look different.

  19. Samuel High School is not in the City of Balch Springs. Please check the map. I am quite disappointed in the flawed research populated with errors. Trumplike research!

  20. I live in Balch Springs. I have to disagree with you. It’s better than Dallas. You have not been there lately. It has never been ghetto. They should sue for your statement.

  21. Samuell High School is in Pleasant Grove, a neighborhood in the city of Dallas – not Balch Springs which is a city not Incorporated by Dallas. You should probably consider becoming literate yourself. Learn how to do actual research. Learn geography, sociology, economics and demography prior to writing a sociological opinion about towns or areas you have obviously never visited. I highly recommend learning how to go to the library it is a good beginning if you would like to continue writing.

  22. Well to the ding dong that compared anything to Warsaw Poland. Um…with a 97% white population, less than 1% black, you will be hard pressed to find a black ghetto…

  23. Garland? I used to live their. The sides near Sachse were great. But don’t move Towards Center ville Road. Also Pleasant Grove is a Neighborhood in Dallas.

  24. Just cause..People are poor and they hustle don’t mean it’s ghetto…Ghetto can be a apartment Complex in the middle of the nicest part of town Just saying.. Don’t stereotype people.. .It’s whatever you imagine it to be.. Act like it ghetto it will be ghetto.

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