These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Texas


We used science and data to determine which places in Texas are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Texas?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Texas – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Texas cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Lone Star State:

  1. Cleveland (Photos)
  2. Hempstead
  3. Commerce (Photos)
  4. Clarksville
  5. Aldine (Photos)
  6. Anthony
  7. San Elizario
  8. San Diego
  9. Linden
  10. Dallas (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, West University Place is the happiest place in Texas.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

If you’re looking for something more positive, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Texas

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Texas, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Texas with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 337 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Texas’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.

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1. Cleveland

Cleveland, Texas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,684
People Who Own Their Home: 49.68%
Married Adults: 37.52%

2. Hempstead

Hempstead, Texas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,197
People Who Own Their Home: 40.59%
Married Adults: 33.18%

3. Commerce

Commerce, Texas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,348
People Who Own Their Home: 29.19%
Married Adults: 27.26%

4. Clarksville


Population: 3,220
People Who Own Their Home: 40.65%
Married Adults: 36.59%

5. Aldine

Aldine, Texas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,375
People Who Own Their Home: 57.6%
Married Adults: 43.81%

6. Anthony


Population: 5,218
People Who Own Their Home: 52.48%
Married Adults: 41.29%

7. San Elizario


Population: 14,360
People Who Own Their Home: 67.73%
Married Adults: 46.41%

8. San Diego


Population: 4,813
People Who Own Their Home: 53.36%
Married Adults: 36.33%

9. Linden

Linden, Texas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,466
People Who Own Their Home: 37.69%
Married Adults: 34.92%

10. Dallas

Dallas, Texas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 1,240,985
People Who Own Their Home: 38.17%
Married Adults: 39.59%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Texas reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Texas

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Cleveland 1 49.68%
Hempstead 2 40.59%
Commerce 3 29.19%
Clarksville 4 40.65%
Aldine 5 57.6%
Anthony 6 52.48%
San Elizario 7 67.73%
San Diego 8 53.36%
Linden 9 37.69%
Dallas 10 38.17%
Huntington 11 49.81%
San Marcos 12 24.38%
Port Arthur 13 47.73%
Houston 14 38.67%
Wharton 15 34.53%
Jasper 16 40.01%
Bonham 17 48.18%
Mercedes 18 50.82%
Webster 19 11.02%
Balch Springs 20 50.71%
Cloverleaf 21 55.23%
Humble 22 39.69%
Jacinto City 23 53.46%
Galveston 24 28.02%
Nacogdoches 25 34.39%
Socorro 26 72.07%
Franklin 27 35.08%
Kingsville 28 40.97%
Freeport 29 47.65%
Pittsburg 30 44.17%
Pasadena 31 49.58%
Indian Hills 32 66.36%
Pinehurst 33 47.56%
Terrell 34 46.79%
Keene 35 42.66%
Whitney 36 41.88%
Denton 37 44.59%
Jacksonville 38 46.97%
San Benito 39 55.64%
Atlanta 40 58.75%
South Houston 41 53.01%
Mineral Wells 42 48.81%
Newton 43 49.6%
Buffalo 44 50.89%
Huntsville 45 31.47%
Gainesville 46 48.4%
Baytown 47 51.65%
La Homa 48 70.57%
Bartlett 49 63.88%
Hillsboro 50 43.94%
Corsicana 51 50.77%
Rio Grande City 52 56.03%
Waco 53 40.79%
Weslaco 54 50.89%
Beaumont 55 50.39%
Bryan 56 42.37%
Sherman 57 48.66%
Pharr 58 52.79%
Sparks 59 61.28%
Tomball 60 36.16%
Raymondville 61 63.95%
Robstown 62 49.24%
Conroe 63 43.63%
Gonzales 64 45.53%
Brownsville 65 56.34%
Canton 66 56.09%
Pinehurst 67 76.3%
Forest Hill 68 68.38%
Lancaster 69 61.64%
Ennis 70 49.83%
Edinburg 71 51.33%
Liberty 72 58.13%
Greenville 73 46.08%
Cameron Park 74 61.01%
Galena Park 75 65.28%
Texas City 76 52.4%
Santa Rosa 77 67.49%
Harlingen 78 49.11%
Donna 79 51.5%
Kingsland 80 44.7%
White Settlement 81 44.08%
Paris 82 43.87%
Alton 83 57.36%
Richmond 84 51.08%
Gatesville 85 46.88%
Haltom City 86 51.42%
Channelview 87 64.02%
Rosenberg 88 46.9%
Fort Worth 89 52.25%
San Antonio 90 50.06%
La Marque 91 63.02%
Texarkana 92 47.8%
Clute 93 37.55%
Dayton 94 53.96%
College Station 95 30.8%
Bay City 96 42.54%
Stephenville 97 38.45%
Arlington 98 51.67%
Seguin 99 55.5%
Hidalgo 100 66.14%
Farmersville 101 52.72%
Mcallen 102 52.74%
Austin 103 41.34%
Alamo 104 62.19%
Laredo 105 57.07%
Garland 106 59.79%
San Carlos 107 72.69%
Uvalde 108 55.85%
Stamford 109 44.98%
El Paso 110 54.79%
Beeville 111 50.58%
Irving 112 35.39%
Memphis 113 46.96%
Marshall 114 53.04%
Euless 115 39.84%
Lufkin 116 47.02%
Denison 117 54.56%
Tyler 118 48.31%
Mesquite 119 54.24%
Groesbeck 120 60.01%
Livingston 121 49.98%
Mineola 122 55.17%
Port Lavaca 123 51.99%
Medina 124 67.29%
Mount Pleasant 125 52.59%
Luling 126 58.12%
Wells Branch 127 27.02%
Bowie 128 51.24%
Sweetwater 129 48.78%
Orange 130 50.12%
Princeton 131 62.76%
Elgin 132 62.3%
Athens 133 49.44%
Alvin 134 53.14%
Sulphur Springs 135 50.18%
Taylor 136 58.14%
Trinity 137 48.0%
Smithville 138 58.04%
Mission 139 58.48%
Grand Prairie 140 57.47%
Hudson 141 53.03%
Pleasanton 142 53.85%
Eagle Pass 143 56.83%
Cleburne 144 54.36%
Lubbock 145 48.64%
Desoto 146 59.78%
Longview 147 51.58%
Cameron 148 47.26%
Killeen 149 38.95%
Big Spring 150 52.55%
Stafford 151 39.13%
Addison 152 20.45%
Belton 153 45.67%
Bastrop 154 53.86%
Corpus Christi 155 50.79%
Lewisville 156 41.18%
Glenn Heights 157 63.29%
Jefferson 158 55.14%
Wichita Falls 159 49.3%
Madisonville 160 50.64%
Canyon 161 45.22%
Victoria 162 52.92%
Highlands 163 62.9%
Plainview 164 52.58%
Abilene 165 48.78%
Palestine 166 51.86%
Vernon 167 51.8%
Lockhart 168 53.35%
Del Rio 169 56.14%
Horizon City 170 82.46%
Brownwood 171 44.44%
Seagoville 172 66.81%
West Odessa 173 74.08%
Graham 174 56.18%
Eden 175 43.37%
Mission Bend 176 76.52%
Canyon Lake 177 61.35%
Kilgore 178 57.16%
Kerrville 179 55.87%
San Angelo 180 53.22%
Dickinson 181 61.44%
Waxahachie 182 51.96%
Borger 183 57.17%
Farmers Branch 184 54.82%
Wellington 185 61.39%
Taft 186 60.32%
Alpine 187 44.36%
Hurst 188 61.6%
Harker Heights 189 51.11%
Castroville 190 70.81%
La Grange 191 52.52%
Mount Vernon 192 49.69%
Alice 193 55.86%
Reno 194 74.95%
Crosby 195 68.8%
Angleton 196 55.85%
Winters 197 51.07%
Live Oak 198 52.2%
Clifton 199 62.73%
Bridgeport 200 54.19%
Copperas Cove 201 48.1%
Duncanville 202 64.42%
Fort Hood 203 0.55%
Dublin 204 49.94%
Stanton 205 60.67%
Carthage 206 57.39%
Levelland 207 56.83%
Four Corners 208 77.0%
Azle 209 59.65%
Vidor 210 63.52%
The Colony 211 60.89%
Lake Worth 212 66.03%
Brenham 213 50.75%
Weatherford 214 55.51%
Decatur 215 46.73%
Cedar Hill 216 67.36%
El Campo 217 62.3%
Yorktown 218 65.57%
Sanger 219 58.47%
Forney 220 81.81%
Boerne 221 47.04%
Hereford 222 59.31%
Amarillo 223 55.8%
Richardson 224 57.17%
Temple 225 47.9%
Clyde 226 69.74%
Spring 227 70.21%
Odessa 228 56.32%
Watauga 229 75.61%
Carrollton 230 58.83%
West Columbia 231 60.28%
Rockport 232 43.85%
Fresno 233 77.81%
La Porte 234 68.61%
Groves 235 69.15%
Santa Fe 236 74.05%
Henderson 237 59.89%
Northlake 238 27.67%
Bedford 239 53.28%
Olney 240 49.62%
Rendon 241 75.86%
Hamilton 242 53.71%
Universal City 243 52.71%
Round Rock 244 56.66%
Leon Valley 245 56.38%
Converse 246 63.14%
Columbus 247 52.73%
New Braunfels 248 59.76%
Crowley 249 66.37%
Stratford 250 66.96%
North Richland Hills 251 59.82%
Seymour 252 56.71%
Shenandoah 253 48.72%
Roanoke 254 55.44%
Seabrook 255 56.0%
Pampa 256 61.1%
Midlothian 257 69.12%
Red Oak 258 65.0%
Missouri City 259 81.47%
Fredericksburg 260 53.7%
Little Elm 261 74.1%
Leander 262 74.19%
Rowlett 263 81.74%
Bridge City 264 72.42%
Georgetown 265 67.33%
Celina 266 76.94%
Saginaw 267 76.18%
Corinth 268 79.47%
Big Lake 269 64.21%
Plano 270 60.03%
Caldwell 271 57.46%
Midland 272 60.01%
Grapevine 273 54.95%
White Oak 274 67.94%
Burleson 275 68.35%
Chandler 276 65.83%
Dumas 277 62.12%
Katy 278 71.68%
Fairfield 279 58.93%
Deer Park 280 68.85%
Rockwall 281 69.68%
Snyder 282 58.6%
Atascocita 283 75.12%
Benbrook 284 62.94%
Andrews 285 68.9%
Heath 286 89.35%
Cedar Park 287 65.89%
Sienna Plantation 288 96.21%
Lakeway 289 72.23%
Mckinney 290 65.17%
Fairview 291 72.76%
Kyle 292 73.55%
Lake Jackson 293 61.68%
Schertz 294 73.4%
Pflugerville 295 74.71%
Seminole 296 69.88%
Brushy Creek 297 72.83%
The Woodlands 298 68.0%
Port Neches 299 70.05%
Albany 300 67.1%
Hutto 301 84.56%
Friendswood 302 76.56%
Mansfield 303 76.36%
Nederland 304 69.47%
Burkburnett 305 63.71%
Sachse 306 85.29%
Pearland 307 74.71%
League City 308 68.53%
Sugar Land 309 77.06%
Lumberton 310 66.38%
Allen 311 74.56%
Frisco 312 71.64%
Keller 313 81.61%
Timberwood Park 314 76.67%
Murphy 315 93.21%
Selma 316 70.01%
Portland 317 57.23%
Savannah 318 77.93%
Pecan Grove 319 80.27%
Parker 320 94.19%
Lantana 321 88.97%
Cibolo 322 77.82%
Coppell 323 68.15%
Cinco Ranch 324 73.76%
New Territory 325 82.03%
Sunnyvale 326 95.42%
Flower Mound 327 86.27%
University Park 328 71.99%
Highland Village 329 91.71%
Southlake 330 90.91%
Highland Park 331 72.93%
Robinson 332 73.53%
Greatwood 333 88.43%
Hewitt 334 67.03%
Colleyville 335 94.0%
Bellaire 336 80.78%
West University Place 337 82.21%

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13 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Texas

  1. I happen to be the mayor of San Elizario and I can attest, we are NOT miserable. As my cousin (and constituent) who made me aware of this article stated, “I think this is bull!”

    I left a gorgeous life in Culver City, CA to move specifically to San Elizario and it was the best decision I’ve ever made! Our boys soccer and cross country teams recently won state titles (X-country already repeated, boys soccer will too!) and we have the most quaint–not to mention historic–downtown in ALL of Texas!

    Just wait, we will soon be making “best of” lists because GOOD things are happening in San Eli!

    1. Maya,
      Never been to San Elizario but after looking at pictures on the web I believe you. Next time I am traveling through I will make a stop in your beautiful town.
      Dwayne

  2. You do realize that the criteria was faulty to begin with, as Commerce is a town that is half college students, who by definition are usually single and LIVING ON CAMPUS? Even the ones that don’t are somewhat transitory, as they are STUDENTS??

    1. I do realize this. I also realize this site is dedicated to “finding” the negative in cities across the country–and I use the term loosely because not much effort goes into their findings. Lastly, I get they exist to try to get a rise out of people that potentially gets some attention but given the opportunity to sing my town’s praises, I always will.

  3. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. “After analyzing the largest cities”…seriously?! With the exception of Dallas, these are some of the smallest cities in the state. You’ve shared the population of each town, did you not notice this?! Granted some of these towns aren’t great (a few I’ve never even heard of), many small towns aren’t centers of industry, THAT’S WHY THEY’RE SMALL! Commutes are long and income is low. Do the general public a favor and next time you do “a scientific study” don’t publish it.

  4. I live Mission and McAllen. I’m won sering if this,was done by the same clowns who put the “Ten Dumbest Cities,in Texas” together.

  5. Good Morning from Linden, Texas!
    We’d like to invite you all to our hometown for Wildflower Trails & Rodeo, April 23, 2016!
    You’ve given us an idea for a new festival in the Fall for the last Weekend in September: Depression Days in Deep East Texas!
    Surviving hard times and flourishing!
    Stay tuned!
    Emily Henderson
    Linden Economic Development Corporation

    1. Oh my Gosh I love your response!!! Way to support your town! Spoken like a motivated EDC that loves her town. Y’all mean so much to small town, small business owners such myself!

  6. Obviously, as President/Chairman of the Board of the Greater Cleveland, Texas Chamber of Commerce, I do not agree with Mr. Nick James definition of “miserable” and his cold census statistical, manipulative application of it to Cleveland, Texas. However, I will avoid the never-ending battle of who is right and who is wrong, as we often see in our polarized world. I simply want to invite everyone who reads this response, including Mr. James, to come and visit the Cleveland, Texas area and see for yourself if we are miserable. I want to you to come to our July 4th Celebration and challenge you to compare our patriotism and our happiness in being American citizens. I invite you to be a part of our Hometown Christmas on the first Saturday of December and feel and experience the joy and true warmth of the season from Cleveland area residents. Become a true Texan and enjoy our Rodeo in April, where we gather together for a good time and some fine Texas fellowship. Each year, we’ll show you how we care about each other and you when we raise an average of $85,000 for American Cancer Society research, now going on 14 years at Relay for Life, and show our gratefulness for blessings at the Community Thanksgiving Service. Every day, the 76,000 people in the Greater Cleveland, Texas area have many of the same feelings about life, which are experienced by most of Americans, but I would say that satisfaction, joy and happiness are at the top of the list. But don’t take my word for it. Visit our websites at clevelandtxchamber.com

    J. Andrew Rice, President/Chairman of the Board
    Greater Cleveland, Texas Chamber of Commerce and
    Lifelong resident of the Greater Cleveland, Texas Area

    1. I agree. I live between Cleveland and Coldspring. And love both cities. It’s has that small hometown atmosphere where the community always support one another. I call their ratings rubbish. How can someone judge a town by just looking and then writing about it. They should have to actually live there for that privilege.

  7. DUMB!! I know people in many of these small towns and have family in Dallas. This is a Dumb article. Where you live becomes what you personally make it. I know this from having lived in many different places in my life.

  8. I worked in Cleveland from Louisiana ad a powerline contractor for years. I have to disagree with this article because the people in Cleveland and surrounding areas are extremely friendly and happy! So much so that I had considered moving there since our job was a long term project. I ended up getting promoted and was transferred to a new area just north of Silsbee.

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