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 University 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. So without further ado…
We examined the 59 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 2018:
- Terrell (Photos)
- Hutchins (Photos)
- Balch Springs (Photos)
- Lancaster (Photos)
- Seagoville (Photos)
- Mesquite (Photos)
- Glenn Heights
- Garland (Photos)
- Grand Prairie (Photos)
- Waxahachie (Photos)
Read on to see how we determined the places around Dallas that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Texas
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Texas
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Texas
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Dallas for 2018
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, 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 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 59 suburbs to evaluate around Dallas.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 59 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, Terrell.
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.
We’ll get the ball rolling with Terrell, the absolute worst place to live around Dallas according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Terrell beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Dallas 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 Terrell.
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.
Welcome to Hutchins. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 10.9 miles to Dallas. Income levels here are the 1st lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $36,845 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.
3. Balch Springs
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Dallas suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Balch Springs 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.
If you live in Lancaster, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 8th lowest Dallas suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 4th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Dallas. Remember, we looked at 59 cities for this study.
Lancaster is about 13.9 miles to downtown.
Seagoville has the distinction of being a Dallas suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Seagoville has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Dallas area, where the median price is $83,700. To put that into perspective, in University Park, the median income is $198,438, which is the best in the area.
Seagoville has an unemployment rate of 4.3% which ranks 43rd worst.
Mesquite has 143,771 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 15.8%.
7. Glenn Heights
Ah, Glenn Heights. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Dallas.
It’s the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the Dallas metro area (7.8%).
Garland is a city about 11.3 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. Garland has the 3rd most uninsured people, 10th worst incomes, and has the 6th highest unemployment rate (7.8%) in the entire Dallas metro area.
Homes only cost $121,400 for a reason. That’s cheap for Dallas standards.
9. Grand Prairie
If you absolutely have to live near Dallas, then Grand Prairie might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Dallas suburb.
About 6.7% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Dallas suburbs to call home is Waxahachie.
Located 27.3 miles outside the city, Waxahachies is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 22nd highest unemployment rate (6.0%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around Dallas where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Dallas with Terrell casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Dallas aren’t all bad. University Park takes the cake as the best place to live around Dallas.
For more Texas reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Texas
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Texas
- 10 Safest Places In Texas
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Texas
Detailed List Of The Worst Dallas Suburbs
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