The 10 Worst Dallas Suburbs For 2021


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

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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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Dallas.

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

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 Dallas 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Dallas area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Dallas proper, although Highland Park certainly tries.

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

We examined the 76 biggest suburbs of Dallas 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 Dallas in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Dallas for 2021:

  1. Hutchins
  2. Seagoville
  3. Terrell
  4. Wilmer
  5. Balch Springs
  6. Glenn Heights
  7. Ferris
  8. Cockrell Hill
  9. Lancaster
  10. Palmer

What's the worst suburb of Dallas? Hutchins ranks as the worst suburb of Dallas for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Dallas 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 Dallas 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 Dallas Suburbs To Live For 2021

Hutchins, TX

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 5,718
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $36,087 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $68,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Hutchins:  Data | Photos

We'll get the ball rolling with Hutchins, the absolute worst place to live around Dallas according to the data.

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

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.

Seagoville, TX

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 16,514
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $52,378 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $114,200 (7th lowest)
More on Seagoville:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 16.1 miles to Dallas. Income levels here are the 7th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $52,378 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.

Terrell, TX

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 17,869
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $47,636 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $118,600 (8th lowest)
More on Terrell:  Data | Photos

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

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

Wilmer, TX

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,383
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $46,765 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (59th highest)
Median Home Value: $56,800 (lowest)
More on Wilmer:  Data | Photos

If you live in Wilmer, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Dallas suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 59th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Dallas. Remember, we looked at 76 cities for this study.

Wilmer is about 14.3 miles to downtown.

Balch Springs, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 25,190
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $51,446 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $106,000 (6th lowest)
More on Balch Springs:  Data | Photos

Balch Springs has the distinction of being a Dallas suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Balch Springs has the 6th lowest home values in the metro Dallas area, where the median price is $106,000. To put that into perspective, in Highland Park, the median income is $240,248, which is the best in the area.

Balch Springs has an unemployment rate of 5.29% which ranks 16th worst.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,802
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $68,739 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (highest)
Median Home Value: $162,600 (16th lowest)
More on Glenn Heights:  Data

Glenn Heights has 12,802 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 14.951441102756894%.

Ferris, TX

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,692
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $59,129 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (63rd highest)
Median Home Value: $91,500 (3rd lowest)
More on Ferris:  Data | Photos

Ah, Ferris. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Dallas.

It's the place with the 63rd most out of work residents in the Dallas metro area (2.84%).

Cockrell Hill, TX

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,240
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $44,777 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $99,000 (5th lowest)
More on Cockrell Hill:  Data | Photos

Cockrell Hill is a city about 8.0 miles from Dallas, but Dallas 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. Cockrell Hill has the 2nd most uninsured people, 2nd worst incomes, and has the 11th highest unemployment rate (5.52%) in the entire Dallas metro area.

Homes only cost $99,000 for a reason. That's cheap for Dallas standards.

Lancaster, TX

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 39,214
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $57,259 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $136,700 (10th lowest)
More on Lancaster:  Data | Photos

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

About 6.18% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,279
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Income: $56,250 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (70th highest)
Median Home Value: $93,700 (4th lowest)
More on Palmer:  Data

Rounding out the ten worst Dallas suburbs to call home is Palmer.

Located 26.3 miles outside the city, Palmers is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 70th highest unemployment rate (1.83%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Dallas for 2021

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 2015-2019, 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 Dallas.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 76 suburbs to evaluate around Dallas.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 76 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 Dallas." We're lookin' at you, Hutchins. 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.

The areas around Dallas where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Dallas with Hutchins casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Dallas aren't all bad. Highland Park takes the cake as the best place to live around Dallas.

  • Highland Park
  • University Park
  • Southlake

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Dallas Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Hutchins 5,718 $36,087 $68,800
2 Seagoville 16,514 $52,378 $114,200
3 Terrell 17,869 $47,636 $118,600
4 Wilmer 4,383 $46,765 $56,800
5 Balch Springs 25,190 $51,446 $106,000
6 Glenn Heights 12,802 $68,739 $162,600
7 Ferris 2,692 $59,129 $91,500
8 Cockrell Hill 4,240 $44,777 $99,000
9 Lancaster 39,214 $57,259 $136,700
10 Palmer 2,279 $56,250 $93,700
11 Mesquite 143,456 $57,824 $143,000
12 Duncanville 39,415 $56,412 $149,600
13 Lake Dallas 8,016 $64,073 $166,100
14 Garland 238,418 $61,211 $160,800
15 Grand Prairie 192,565 $67,388 $162,400
16 Combine 2,222 $78,942 $180,700
17 Arlington 395,477 $60,571 $170,700
18 Irving 239,783 $64,868 $177,500
19 Cedar Hill 48,560 $72,463 $168,800
20 Waxahachie 35,376 $65,589 $176,300
21 Kennedale 8,197 $77,763 $215,500
22 Lakewood 60,111 $51,972 $269,200
23 Hurst 38,976 $63,722 $190,800
24 Desoto 53,090 $71,578 $169,800
25 Lewisville 106,386 $64,493 $209,000
26 Crandall 3,650 $91,125 $175,700
27 Watauga 24,582 $71,897 $136,300
28 Red Oak 12,724 $71,957 $207,600
29 Farmers Branch 39,039 $74,464 $196,300
30 Richland Hills 8,051 $62,549 $149,400
31 Parker 4,722 $134,495 $554,900
32 North Richland Hills 70,202 $71,076 $203,800
33 Euless 55,763 $65,921 $200,500
34 Shady Shores 2,843 $95,045 $297,700
35 Wylie 49,759 $92,395 $227,700
36 Pantego 2,531 $54,946 $223,900
37 Forney 21,459 $102,716 $204,600
38 Little Elm 45,967 $98,803 $255,200
39 Carrollton 135,834 $78,306 $238,300
40 Addison 15,302 $74,986 $335,300
41 Rowlett 63,793 $101,085 $228,800
42 Richardson 116,432 $85,678 $274,200
43 Midlothian 29,743 $95,306 $228,000
44 Grapevine 53,317 $91,143 $320,400
45 Sachse 25,607 $102,175 $241,800
46 Rockwall 44,101 $95,653 $261,400
47 Mckinney 182,055 $93,354 $309,200
48 Sunnyvale 6,484 $132,488 $380,400
49 The Colony 43,005 $87,187 $231,700
50 Hickory Creek 4,574 $109,766 $283,100
51 Plano 287,064 $95,602 $320,100
52 Mansfield 69,557 $99,510 $257,100
53 Bedford 49,323 $70,362 $217,300
54 Oak Point 4,410 $90,625 $274,900
55 Ovilla 3,903 $106,333 $245,600
56 Heath 8,709 $155,781 $484,600
57 Fate 12,787 $110,373 $256,800
58 Allen 101,699 $105,925 $303,300
59 Murphy 20,612 $126,196 $351,400
60 Lavon 3,271 $89,474 $240,600
61 Double Oak 3,066 $144,313 $470,500
62 Dalworthington Gardens 2,188 $109,375 $427,900
63 Talty 2,440 $128,875 $337,600
64 Fairview 8,832 $94,507 $376,400
65 Frisco 177,020 $127,055 $395,900
66 Flower Mound 76,555 $137,285 $361,900
67 Mclendon-Chisholm 2,912 $147,542 $466,800
68 Trophy Club 11,949 $147,477 $400,500
69 Keller 46,813 $141,364 $386,200
70 Lucas 7,763 $160,278 $594,400
71 Colleyville 26,462 $163,509 $516,500
72 Highland 18,726 $139,453 $559,600
73 Coppell 41,645 $122,340 $388,800
74 Southlake 31,292 $240,248 $676,900
75 University Park 25,036 $224,485 $1,295,500
76 Highland Park 9,168 $211,136 $1,508,900

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