The 10 Worst Austin Suburbs

The worst Austin suburbs are Taylor and Elgin based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Austin to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises: what suburbs of Austin are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Austin ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Austin area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Austin proper, although The Hills certainly tries.

We examined the 23 biggest suburbs of Austin to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Texas lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Austin in terms of quality of life.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 worst suburbs around Austin for 2024

  1. Taylor
  2. Elgin
  3. Bastrop
  4. Liberty Hill
  5. Lockhart
  6. Manor
  7. Wimberley
  8. Kyle
  9. Hutto
  10. Woodcreek

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Austin? Taylor ranks as the worst suburb of Austin for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Texas check out the best places in Texas overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Austin too.

The 10 Worst Austin Suburbs To Live For 2024

Taylor, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,449
Median Income: $66,626 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $300,890 (2nd lowest)
More on Taylor: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

We’ll get the ball rolling with Taylor, the absolute worst place to live around Austin according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Taylor beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Austin 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 Taylor.

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.

Elgin, TX

Source: Wikipedia User JMWalling | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 10,043
Median Income: $85,014 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $292,243 (lowest)
More on Elgin: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Welcome to Elgin. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 22.0 miles to Austin. Income levels here are the 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $85,014 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.

Bastrop, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Larry D. Moore | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 9,955
Median Income: $59,087 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $364,373 (6th lowest)
More on Bastrop: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Austin suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Bastrop 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 Austin suburbs.

But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Liberty Hill

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Population: 5,265
Median Income: $93,198 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $479,584 (14th lowest)
More on Liberty Hill: Crime

If you live in Liberty Hill, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 10th lowest Austin suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Austin. Remember, we looked at 23 cities for this study.

Liberty Hill is about 26.4 miles to downtown.

Lockhart, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Liveon001 ©Travis Witt | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 14,463
Median Income: $68,270 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.3% (22nd highest)
Median Home Value: $303,514 (3rd lowest)
More on Lockhart: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Lockhart has the distinction of being a Austin suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Lockhart has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Austin area, where the median price is $303,514. The median income is $210,000.

Lockhart has an unemployment rate of 1.26% which ranks 22nd worst.

Manor, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Larry D. Moore | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,341
Median Income: $96,657 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $337,782 (5th lowest)
More on Manor: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Manor has 15,341 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 5.581029739289925%.

7. Wimberley

Wimberley, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Travis K. Witt | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,858
Median Income: $92,868 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $547,624 (18th lowest)
More on Wimberley:

Ah, Wimberley. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Austin.

It’s the place with the 2nd most out of work residents in the Austin metro area (11.58%).

Kyle, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Liveon001 ©Travis Witt | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,484
Median Income: $85,199 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $331,816 (4th lowest)
More on Kyle: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Kyle is a city about 21.9 miles from Austin, but Austin 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. Kyle has the 6th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 18th highest unemployment rate (2.96%) in the entire Austin metro area.

Homes only cost $331,816 for a reason. That’s cheap for Austin standards.

Hutto, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Billy Hathorn | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 29,498
Median Income: $105,743 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $367,638 (7th lowest)
More on Hutto: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

If you absolutely have to live near Austin, then Hutto might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Austin suburb.

About 6.12% of residents are out of work.

10. Woodcreek

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,389
Median Income: $80,227 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.7% (highest)
Median Home Value: $414,550 (10th lowest)
More on Woodcreek:

Rounding out the ten worst Austin suburbs to call home is Woodcreek.

Located 28.7 miles outside the city, Woodcreeks is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the highest unemployment rate (16.71%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Austin for 2024

To figure out how bad a Austin suburb is to live in, we used Saturday Night Science to identify the kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2018-2022, 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 Austin.

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 Austin.

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 Austin.” We’re looking at you, Taylor.

We updated this article for 2024, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Austin.

Summary: The areas around Austin where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2024

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Austin with Taylor casting itself ahead of the pack.

The worst suburbs of Austin are .

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Austin aren’t all bad. The Hills takes the cake as the best place to live around Austin.

  • The Hills
  • Lakeway
  • Bee Cave

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Austin Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Taylor 16,449 $66,626 $300,890
2 Elgin 10,043 $85,014 $292,243
3 Bastrop 9,955 $59,087 $364,373
4 Liberty Hill 5,265 $93,198 $479,584
5 Lockhart 14,463 $68,270 $303,514
6 Manor 15,341 $96,657 $337,782
7 Wimberley 2,858 $92,868 $547,624
8 Kyle 48,484 $85,199 $331,816
9 Hutto 29,498 $105,743 $367,638
10 Woodcreek 2,389 $80,227 $414,550
11 Georgetown 71,788 $87,465 $447,599
12 Round Rock 120,465 $91,888 $436,302
13 Jonestown 2,395 $112,841 $485,485
14 Pflugerville 64,528 $111,151 $402,967
15 Buda 14,997 $105,378 $411,841
16 Leander 62,491 $129,684 $445,365
17 Dripping Springs 5,495 $104,141 $737,947
18 West Lake Hills 3,360 $210,000 $2,124,938
19 Cedar Park 76,344 $118,903 $489,193
20 Briarcliff 2,273 $123,000 $531,771
21 Bee Cave 8,771 $104,949 $910,939
22 Lakeway 18,835 $154,118 $782,679
23 The Hills 2,505 $152,250 $867,346
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

9 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Austin Suburbs

  1. You’ve obviously never spent any time in Taylor, Nick. Where’d your info come from?
    After spending more than 24 years in Austin, Taylor is heaven. The people are friendly and when we enter the locally-owned businesses, we are greeted by name.
    There’s no Kmart or Big Lots here. If you’re going to report, at least do it with facts.

  2. Hi, you people are morons. Where do you get your stats?

    BLS stats for March (most recent I can find easily)
    Leander unemployment rate 3.3%
    Round Rock unemployment rate 3.1%
    Georgetown unemployment rate 3.7%

    Median housing cost (source, Zillow)
    Leander $325,000
    Round Rock $269,000
    Georgetown $297,000

    and unemployment, if anything, has gone down consistently region-wide this year. If you get something this basic so wrong, how bad are the rest of your numbers?

  3. Lies regarding Taylor….. “Home to KMart, Big Lots…” We have neither….. try HEB, Walmart, or Bealls…. did you visit the city ir just “research?” Not sure I can believe an article that is misinformed.

  4. Nick James, clearly you’ve never visited the area you’re writing about otherwise some of the worst places you’re writing about wouldn’t be on this list. Elgin is certainly NOT a suburb of Austin. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read in my life. Crime is highly significant when considering a superb. The types of people that move to suburbs are adults with children or those looking to start a family for the higher quality schools and safer neighborhoods. Removing crime as part of your criteria makes no sense.

  5. Manor is one of the biggest booming suburbs in the nation right now and for good reason, followed closely by Hutto. Have you ever been to north east Austin?

  6. This is the dumbest article I’ve ever read. None of this information is factual… Not one word is true.

  7. I find this list very insulting (and I live in Round Rock). A few of the towns on your list are very nice places to live and I’m sure each town has its own special uniqueness. Besides, Austin is not all it’s cracked up to be and those that live here (and all the surrounding ‘burbs know that). Not sure where you are from or where you get your information, but I disagree with this article.

  8. This site is problematic for several reasons. Let’s start with the racist viewpoints. Let’s be honest, Austin is one of the most segregated cities. White supremacy, lead to people being pushed out of the city to accommodate white folk with money. Redlining, discrimination and racist practices are the reasons people can’t afford to live in Austin, and have to live in the cities you’ve listed. Do you know the definition of cities vs. suburbs? I suggest you attend a training on Undoing Racism or the Groundwater Analysis, perhaps you might open your tiny, little brain, and realize the level of your ignorance. Read more, on the history of white supremacy. Start with White Fragility by Robin Di’Angelo.

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