The 10 Worst Austin Suburbs For 2022

We used science and data to determine which Austin suburbs are the pits.

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Austin.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Austin 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Austin area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Austin proper, although The Hills certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Austin are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 21 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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Austin for 2022:

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

What's the worst suburb of Austin? Liberty Hill ranks as the worst suburb of Austin for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Austin that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

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.

Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Texas reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Austin Suburbs To Live For 2022

We'll get the ball rolling with Liberty Hill, the absolute worst place to live around Austin according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Liberty Hill 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 4th 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 Liberty Hill.

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,633
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $57,258 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $197,100 (4th lowest)
More on Liberty Hill:  Data

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 6th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $70,313 a year, which doesn't go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,231
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $70,313 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (highest)
Median Home Value: $171,400 (3rd lowest)
More on Elgin:  Data | Photos

Elgin, TX

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Austin suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Taylor 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 drop out rate is poor compared to other Austin suburbs.

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,291
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $57,672 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $170,500 (2nd lowest)
More on Taylor:  Data | Photos

Taylor, TX

Source: Public domain

If you live in Bastrop, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the lowest Austin suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 6th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Austin. Remember, we looked at 21 cities for this study.

Bastrop is about 29.4 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,094
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $49,118 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $217,200 (8th lowest)
More on Bastrop:  Data | Photos

Bastrop, TX

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 lowest home values in the metro Austin area, where the median price is $158,400. To put that into perspective, in The Hills, the median income is $208,641, which is the best in the area.

Lockhart has an unemployment rate of 1.49% which ranks 2worst.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,782
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $59,253 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (2highest)
Median Home Value: $158,400 (lowest)
More on Lockhart:  Data | Photos

Lockhart, TX

Manor has 11,643 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 7.932379713914174%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,643
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $87,500 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $207,800 (5th lowest)
More on Manor:  Data | Photos

Manor, TX

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 (8.68%).

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,168
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $66,540 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $372,200 (16th lowest)
More on Wimberley:  Data | Photos

Wimberley, TX

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 5th most uninsured people, 7th worst incomes, and has the 15th highest unemployment rate (3.07%) in the entire Austin metro area.

Homes only cost $209,300 for a reason. That's cheap for Austin standards.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 45,828
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Income: $75,413 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $209,300 (6th lowest)
More on Kyle:  Data | Photos

Kyle, TX

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 6.2% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,778
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $87,333 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $213,800 (7th lowest)
More on Hutto:  Data | Photos

Hutto, TX

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

Located 25.1 miles outside the city, Georgetowns is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 4th highest unemployment rate (7.07%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 75,470
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $77,188 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $287,100 (12th lowest)
More on Georgetown:  Data | Photos

Georgetown, TX

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Austin for 2022

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2016-2020, 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 drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Austin.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 21 suburbs to evaluate around Austin.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 21 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 lookin' at you, Liberty Hill. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

Summary: The areas around Austin where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Austin with Liberty Hill casting itself ahead of the pack.

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
  • West Lake Hills

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Austin Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Liberty Hill 4,633 $57,258 $197,100
2 Elgin 10,231 $70,313 $171,400
3 Taylor 17,291 $57,672 $170,500
4 Bastrop 9,094 $49,118 $217,200
5 Lockhart 13,782 $59,253 $158,400
6 Manor 11,643 $87,500 $207,800
7 Wimberley 3,168 $66,540 $372,200
8 Kyle 45,828 $75,413 $209,300
9 Hutto 26,778 $87,333 $213,800
10 Georgetown 75,470 $77,188 $287,100
11 Jonestown 2,015 $95,809 $327,300
12 Dripping Springs 4,951 $87,646 $393,400
13 Round Rock 128,812 $86,121 $259,400
14 Leander 60,613 $106,108 $292,000
15 Pflugerville 63,610 $95,471 $252,300
16 Buda 16,484 $84,074 $279,000
17 Cedar Park 77,181 $108,194 $327,400
18 Bee Cave 6,778 $87,688 $513,800
19 West Lake Hills 3,302 $208,641 $1,128,500
20 Lakeway 15,605 $134,461 $481,900
21 The Hills 2,397 $153,500 $564,400

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor's Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don't freak out we updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around Austin.

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.