These Are The 10 Worst Chicago Neighborhoods For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Chicago hoods are the pits.

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Chicago’s neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You’ve got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos. As a whole, the region consistently ranks as one of the best places to live across the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment.

It seems as if there’s a neighborhood for everyone in Chicago.

So the question arises, which Chicago neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Chicago hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Chicago area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to all be amazing, although Forest Glen certainly tries.

We examined 76 of Chicago’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These ten places are a little too far downwind of Chicago in terms of quality of life:

  1. Riverdale
  2. Fuller Park
  3. Englewood
  4. West Englewood
  5. South Deering
  6. Washington Park
  7. New City
  8. Pullman
  9. West Pullman
  10. Grand Crossing

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

We’re also aware that we didn’t list every single neighborhood. There are places like Wrigleyville and Wicker Park that are great neighborhoods, and thus, we didn’t measure them. You know they are awesome already.

For more reading on Illinois, check out:

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How we determined the worst Chicago hoods

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 criteria found on Area Vibes (which itself gets data from the Census, the FBI, and the Council for Community and Economic Research), here’s what we measured:

  • Less jobs
  • Low incomes
  • High population density (too crowded)
  • Low home values
  • Higher crime

We crunched the numbers, and got the list from worst to best. Then, we ranked the list based on places that are the worst in all of these categories.

Read on below to learn more about these places around Chicago to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 76 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 onto your pants.

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1. Riverdale

Population: 7,172
Median Income: $15,734
Median Home Value: $23,943

We’ll get the ball rolling with Riverdale, the absolute worst neighborhood to live around Chicago, according to the data.

It’s shocking that in America, we can have neighborhoods in which the entire population lives well below the poverty level like we do here in Riverdale. Actually, it’s pretty sad.

Crime is the absolute worst of any other Chicago neighborhood, nearly 1 in 5 residents doesn’t have a job, and homes sell for an average of $24,000. Yea, we double checked.

When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why people are fleeing this neighborhood in droves.

Riverdale is about halfway between downtown and Chicago Heights, along I-94. If you find yourself lost, don’t get off on E. 130th Street. That’s Riverdale. That’s bad.

2. Fuller Park

Population: 2,508
Median Income: $19,195
Median Home Value: $91,075

Want to play a joke on your friends? Text them that you’re going to Fuller Park for a house party and see their reactions.

Up the road a bit from Auburn Gresham is the teeny hood of Fuller Park. And we mean, this place is a real hood. All of the nearly 3,000 residents live in or very near poverty, and this is the 2nd most dangerous place you can live in the Chicago area.

No wonder homes sell for around $91,000 each. We’re surprised it’s even that high.

3. Englewood

Population: 27,122
Median Income: $19,930
Median Home Value: $96,432

Englewood is the slightly smaller, much poorer ‘twin’ of West Englewood. Here, folks are just straight living in poverty. Believe it or not, but at $20,000 a year, that’s only the 3rd poorest hood in south Chicago. A family of four needs about $25,000 a year to stay out of poverty every year, according to the government standards.

It’s just about as dangerous here as it is next door in West Englewood. You don’t want to walk alone through these places, even in the daytime.

4. West Englewood

Population: 34,129
Median Income: $29,019
Median Home Value: $95,724

West Englewood is down a few spots from last year, but still isn’t a great place to live.

You know this place is bad when Google autosuggests, “West Englewood crime” before you even finish typing the neighborhood’s name.

West Englewood’s crime is the third worst of all Chicago neighborhoods, and just about the entire population struggles to make ends meet every month.

This neighborhood is defined as the area surrounded by W. Garfield Blvd, S. Racine Ave., and a couple of railroad tracks.

So yeah, this ‘hood is on the other side of the tracks, literally.

5. South Deering

Population: 15,532
Median Income: $37,259
Median Home Value: $104,400

So far, all of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago are on the south side. That isn’t a surprise at all.

South Deering is a densely packed hood. Here, crime isn’t as bad as it is for the cities above, but it’s still really rough. When 16% of the neighborhood is out of work, and families bring in about $37K a year, you’re going to have some big problems to contend with.

6. Washington Park

Population: 11,647
Median Income: $24,840
Median Home Value: $141,442

The neighborhood of Washington Park, where it’s dangerous and poor. Incomes are actually on the lower side here relative to other neighborhooda on this list, which puts into perspective just how broke some of the neighborhoods are in south Chicago.

7. New City

Population: 41,576
Median Income: $32,448
Median Home Value: $127,708

This is the 8th most dangerous hood in Chicago, and homes are only valued at $128,000 as a result.

On the bright side, ‘only’ 10% of the residents in New City are unemployed. That’s still twice the national average, but good for a Chicago hood.

8. Pullman

Population: 6,913
Median Income: $39,095
Median Home Value: $101,938

Continuing our journey of the worst Chicago neighborhoods, we come to Pullman, which is a bit worst than West Pullman.

Here, most of the residents live at or below poverty, and crime is far higher than it is in other neighborhoods in the Chicago area. You have a 1 in 20 chance of being the victim of crime for every year you spend in West Garfield Park neighborhood limits.

To get there, head due west on, nevermind why would you want to go there?

9. West Pullman

Population: 28,059
Median Income: $34,936
Median Home Value: $113,508

West Pullman glocks… umm… clocks in at number 9.

Almost 14% of the people who live here don’t work, and homes go for less than $114,000 on average. Trust us, there’s a reason there’s no demand to live here.

10. Grand Crossing

Population: 32,583
Median Income: $29,910
Median Home Value: $122,230

Grand Crossing is the final ‘worst’ Chicago neighborhood to make this list.

The Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago is between E. 67th and E. 79th, not too far away from the lake. If you want to head to the lake, you’d best veer around this place, since it’s very dangerous and poor.

The only reason Grand Crossing didn’t rank higher is that it’s a lot less crowded than most other neighborhoods in the region, and we felt as if ‘less’ crowded was a good thing.

The ‘hoods around Chicago that are really hoods

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘hoods surrounding Chicago with West Englewood landing ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods around Chicago aren’t all bad. Forest Glen takes the cake as being the best neighborhood you can live in. Other great Chicago hoods: Beverly, Edison Park, Near South Side and Norwood Park.

For more Illinois reading , check out:

For the chart below, these are ranked from worst to best.

Detailed List Of The Worst Chicago Neighborhoods

Neighborhood Rank Population Median Income Median Home Values
Riverdale 1 7,172 $15,734 $23,943
Fuller Park 2 2,508 $19,195 $91,075
Englewood 3 27,122 $19,930 $96,432
West Englewood 4 34,129 $29,019 $95,724
South Deering 5 15,532 $37,259 $104,400
Washington Park 6 11,647 $24,840 $141,442
New City 7 41,576 $32,448 $127,708
Pullman 8 6,913 $39,095 $101,938
West Pullman 9 28,059 $34,936 $113,508
Grand Crossing 10 32,583 $29,910 $122,230
South Chicago 11 28,036 $33,094 $118,210
Burnside 12 2,597 $27,452 $120,400
North Lawndale 13 35,618 $25,914 $136,123
Roseland 14 44,238 $38,896 $117,793
Woodlawn 15 21,821 $26,940 $137,768
Chatham 16 31,252 $37,337 $119,055
East Side 17 23,253 $45,270 $121,188
Auburn Gresham 18 47,446 $34,422 $131,604
East Garfield Park 19 20,134 $27,326 $147,878
Chicago Lawn 20 55,898 $34,714 $127,751
Washington Heights 21 26,229 $45,942 $134,772
Oakland 22 5,631 $34,015 $180,533
Avalon Park 23 9,946 $47,342 $149,500
Gage Park 24 40,138 $38,056 $131,578
Austin 25 99,093 $33,819 $166,135
West Garfield Park 26 18,664 $25,658 $170,300
South Shore 27 48,080 $28,617 $179,090
Archer Heights 28 13,978 $44,395 $192,190
South Lawndale 29 72,433 $31,846 $153,114
Grand Boulevard 30 22,503 $34,292 $181,704
Calumet Heights 31 13,329 $51,390 $161,994
Humboldt Park 32 54,089 $33,523 $180,953
Douglas 33 18,266 $40,424 $167,315
Brighton Park 34 44,112 $37,831 $177,040
O’Hare 35 13,934 $46,180 $167,957
Hegewisch 36 9,232 $56,500 $152,462
Armour Square 37 13,602 $25,249 $244,012
West Lawn 38 33,202 $51,896 $164,571
West Elsdon 39 19,006 $46,173 $163,020
Ashburn 40 42,627 $66,542 $160,250
Lower West Side 41 34,986 $37,427 $219,240
Mckinley Park 42 16,559 $41,698 $213,175
Morgan Park 43 23,822 $65,250 $182,317
Clearing 44 24,218 $60,652 $177,338
Montclare 45 12,741 $43,245 $196,400
Belmont Cragin 46 78,761 $44,450 $207,872
Garfield Ridge 47 34,592 $65,876 $195,866
Hermosa 48 24,592 $38,191 $212,118
Bridgeport 49 31,680 $45,875 $269,319
Mount Greenwood 50 18,314 $89,877 $226,559
North Park 51 17,898 $60,431 $301,123
Near West Side 52 58,252 $58,249 $256,392
Pottage Park 53 64,201 $56,219 $255,643
Rogers Park 54 53,103 $38,924 $215,214
Dunning 55 42,869 $61,594 $235,753
Uptown 56 53,151 $45,640 $224,063
Kenwood 57 14,610 $47,162 $325,275
Jefferson Park 58 26,808 $67,206 $274,418
West Ridge 59 72,811 $54,415 $238,570
Beverly 60 20,993 $94,107 $284,345
Norwood Park 61 38,021 $74,627 $289,086
Avondale 62 38,798 $45,886 $278,231
Irving Park 63 56,114 $52,804 $278,961
Albany Park 64 52,544 $54,545 $261,856
Edgewater 65 48,640 $50,067 $252,083
Hyde Park 66 24,246 $55,852 $275,148
Forest Glen 67 18,148 $101,222 $422,600
Edison Park 68 10,818 $90,852 $326,580
Near South Side 69 20,952 $64,263 $289,429
Lincoln Square 70 39,389 $64,267 $380,262
Logan Square 71 72,859 $60,650 $335,070
West Town 72 84,915 $72,318 $400,940
Loop 73 28,280 $92,187 $397,629
Near North Side 74 81,359 $90,036 $413,085
North Center 75 34,804 $92,806 $496,500
Lake View 76 95,881 $81,886 $383,336
Lincoln Park 77 63,685 $94,993 $491,661

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20 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Chicago Neighborhoods For 2018

  1. That you have 533 thumbs up on this b.s. article says a lot about your readers and what they don’t know as well as their gullibility when jargon accompanied by “statistics” as fact. The moment I saw Riverdale on your list, I knew the whole thing was b.s. Riverdale is NOT a Chicago neighborhood!

    1. Check it out…Riverdale, one of the 77 official community areas of Chicago, Illinois, is located on the city’s far south side.

  2. This entire website is just “science and data” on every US state around.

    Someone needs to hack and crash this place

  3. What I am having a problem understanding is how the median income is so low that anyone could even afford one of the houses. Example Riverdale median income $14,000 average home sells for $90,000. Nobody making $14,000 could buy a house for $90,000.

  4. Thanks for the guide. I need to drive AROUND Chicago to
    get to Wisc. this summer. I’d like to avoid getting shot, if
    possible.

  5. I guess this new day in age is I’m a teenager. I don’t need school I’ll sell drugs better yet forget education. I’ll rob somebody oh crap I didn’t know he was packing cops don’t care nobody cares so neighbourhoods go to crap stay in school knowledge is the real respect no work leave find a job else where. If you believe you can or you can’t your right either way.

  6. Hey all I can do is quote the old
    Saying:

    Whenever there is blood in the street, buy the property
    Which means if people are foolish enough to give up prime property out of fears then capitalize on it

  7. This is incorrect… As an example, Logan Square has had more homicides than neighborhoods like, Bridgeport, Dunning and Clearing in the last several years. This list was likely created by a suburbanite that ranked the neighborhoods based on his or her desire to live in them due to it being trendy to do so. There are more muggings, burglaries and thefts in Lakeview than Dunning. But, there’s no cool s*** to do in Dunning.

    Clearing, Bronzeville, Hyde Park and Bridgeport are all on the South side, and have lower crime rates than Logan Square. Only places like Beverly are safer than Clearing. That neighborhood is almost all cops and firefighters.

    The person that wrote this clearly did no unbiased empirical research.

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