The Bay Area conjures up images of tons of things to do, quality people, and a bustling economy. The region consistently ranks as one of the best places to live across the country.
But not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround the Bay Area.
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 Bay Area ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the region if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to San Francisco proper, although Piedmont certainly tries.
We examined the 73 biggest suburbs of the region to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t find them on the worst places to live in California, these ten places are a little too far downwind of the best cities in terms of quality of life:
- North Richmond
- Tara Hills
- San Pablo
- Marin City
- San Lorenzo
Read on to see how we determined the places around the Bay Area that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger. And once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of worst to best.
How we determined the worst Bay Area ‘burbs
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 Census’s most recent 2010-2014 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Low unemployment (Less jobs)
- Low median income (Less pay)
- Low population density (No things to do)
- Low home values (No one’s willing to pay to live here)
- High number of high school drop outs
Then, we ranked each place that have over 5,000 people around the Bay Area for each of these criteria from worst to best.
The place with the lowest average rankings for these criteria ranks as the worst suburb of the Bay Area.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around the region to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 73 suburbs ranked from worst to best.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Snarkiness incorporated for entertainment purposes only. Hold on to your pants.
1. North Richmond
Population: 3,926 Median Income: $35,288
Median Home Value: $232,000
Population: 106,469Median Income: $54,857
Median Home Value: $271,300
Population: 149,596Median Income: $62,691
Median Home Value: $339,700
4. Tara Hills
Population: 4,767 Median Income: $57,708
Median Home Value: $286,500
5. San Pablo
Population: 29,516Median Income: $42,746
Median Home Value: $183,300
Population: 2,832 Median Income: $48,974
Median Home Value: $166,400
Population: 15,244Median Income: $50,374
Median Home Value: $287,300
8. Marin City
Population: 2,958 Median Income: $39,872
Median Home Value: $475,000
9. San Lorenzo
Population: 24,563Median Income: $74,283
Median Home Value: $350,700
Population: 402,339Median Income: $52,962
Median Home Value: $435,000
The areas around the Bay Area that you probably don’t want to live in
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding the Bay Area with North Richmond landing ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around the Bay Area aren’t all bad. Piedmont takes the cake as the best place to live around the region.
For the chart below, these are ranked from worst to best.
For more California reading, check out:
- 15 Shocking Secrets People Working At Disneyland Won’t Tell You
- 10 San Jose Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate
- If You’re From San Francisco This Will Be The Most Inspiring Thing You See All Day. No Contest.
Detailed List Of San Francisco Suburbs
|East Palo Alto||14|
|El Sobrante CDP (Contra Costa County)||20|
|North Fair Oaks||22|
|South San Francisco||32|
|East Richmond Heights||39|
|Bayview CDP (Contra Costa County)||43|
|Strawberry CDP (Marin County)||50|
|Emerald Lake Hills||70|
|West Menlo Park||72|