These Are The 10 Worst Dallas Suburbs For 2018


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

  1. Terrell (Photos)
  2. Hutchins (Photos)
  3. Balch Springs (Photos)
  4. Lancaster (Photos)
  5. Seagoville (Photos)
  6. Mesquite (Photos)
  7. Glenn Heights
  8. Garland (Photos)
  9. Grand Prairie (Photos)
  10. 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.

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:

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.

1. Terrell

Terrell, Texas

Population: 16,626
Unemployment Rate: 14.0%
Median Home Price: $92,400
Median Income: $40,815
More on Terrell: Data | Jobs

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.

2. Hutchins

Hutchins, Texas

Population: 5,644
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $72,900
Median Income: $36,845
More on Hutchins: Data | Jobs

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

Balch Springs, Texas

Source: Public domain

Population: 25,043
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $83,000
Median Income: $41,983
More on Balch Springs: Data | Jobs

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.

4. Lancaster

Lancaster, Texas

Population: 38,426
Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Median Home Price: $104,500
Median Income: $51,382
More on Lancaster: Data | Jobs

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.

5. Seagoville

Seagoville, Texas

Population: 15,701
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $83,700
Median Income: $46,064
More on Seagoville: Data | Jobs

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.

6. Mesquite

Mesquite, Texas

Population: 143,771
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $112,400
Median Income: $50,804
More on Mesquite: Data | Jobs

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


Population: 11,958
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median Home Price: $137,200
Median Income: $58,590
More on Glenn Heights: Data | Jobs

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%).

8. Garland

Garland, Texas

Population: 234,810
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median Home Price: $121,400
Median Income: $53,220
More on Garland: Data | Jobs

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

Grand Prairie, Texas

Population: 185,631
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $132,600
Median Income: $60,246
More on Grand Prairie: Data | Jobs

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.

10. Waxahachie

Waxahachie, Texas

Source: Public domain

Population: 32,536
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Median Home Price: $135,600
Median Income: $55,385
More on Waxahachie: Data | Jobs

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:

Detailed List Of The Worst Dallas Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Terrell 16,626 14.0% $92,400 $40,815
2 Hutchins 5,644 6.4% $72,900 $36,845
3 Balch Springs 25,043 6.3% $83,000 $41,983
4 Lancaster 38,426 8.1% $104,500 $51,382
5 Seagoville 15,701 4.3% $83,700 $46,064
6 Mesquite 143,771 6.7% $112,400 $50,804
7 Glenn Heights 11,958 7.8% $137,200 $58,590
8 Garland 234,810 7.8% $121,400 $53,220
9 Grand Prairie 185,631 6.7% $132,600 $60,246
10 Waxahachie 32,536 6.0% $135,600 $55,385
11 Duncanville 39,599 7.9% $118,000 $51,545
12 Irving 232,013 5.9% $147,500 $54,868
13 Arlington 383,899 6.4% $137,900 $53,574
14 Farmers Branch 32,211 5.6% $152,000 $61,255
15 Hurst 38,690 6.9% $150,600 $55,807
16 Richland Hills 8,033 3.0% $111,000 $50,481
17 Lakewood 59,489 10.8% $218,600 $45,261
18 Kennedale 7,413 5.3% $170,900 $71,875
19 Red Oak 11,663 5.3% $154,000 $70,250
20 Cedar Hill 47,457 6.6% $139,100 $68,150
21 Desoto 51,854 6.9% $147,800 $60,350
22 Euless 53,675 6.0% $159,400 $58,606
23 Lewisville 102,327 4.9% $161,700 $57,549
24 Lake Dallas 7,575 6.7% $150,800 $68,785
25 Watauga 24,322 6.5% $109,500 $65,329
26 Carrollton 129,266 4.5% $183,100 $70,072
27 Forney 16,842 4.8% $160,400 $73,524
28 The Colony 40,757 6.3% $159,400 $73,830
29 Midlothian 21,530 3.5% $162,900 $72,956
30 North Richland Hills 67,994 4.8% $160,200 $63,537
31 Rowlett 59,203 6.7% $168,500 $85,565
32 Grapevine 50,538 3.3% $258,400 $81,571
33 Richardson 108,350 5.6% $209,500 $74,877
34 Little Elm 35,553 4.9% $177,100 $87,933
35 Lucas 6,585 10.3% $480,400 $133,419
36 Sunnyvale 5,871 7.1% $311,400 $126,250
37 Rockwall 41,672 4.7% $205,700 $89,173
38 Wylie 45,655 5.1% $163,500 $82,139
39 Bedford 48,864 5.2% $169,700 $62,701
40 Addison 15,363 4.3% $307,300 $70,559
41 Mckinney 156,821 3.5% $228,500 $83,257
42 Sachse 23,329 3.6% $184,200 $93,270
43 Mansfield 63,141 4.0% $204,800 $90,216
44 Fairview 8,235 6.2% $331,900 $73,339
45 Plano 279,088 4.8% $248,800 $85,085
46 Fate 9,234 3.5% $195,500 $99,667
47 Heath 7,992 5.8% $407,000 $150,319
48 Frisco 145,646 3.9% $300,900 $117,642
49 Allen 94,710 4.3% $234,600 $102,215
50 Murphy 20,015 5.2% $304,100 $118,843
51 Flower Mound 69,966 4.0% $292,600 $123,492
52 Keller 44,250 3.5% $311,700 $122,292
53 Highland 17,544 5.0% $461,500 $122,666
54 Coppell 40,631 3.0% $317,900 $114,839
55 Southlake 29,101 3.3% $586,400 $189,432
56 Colleyville 24,982 3.2% $432,600 $162,183
57 Highland Park 8,986 5.4% $1,253,600 $189,485
58 Trophy Club 10,987 2.0% $328,800 $133,457
59 University Park 24,346 3.6% $1,102,500 $198,438

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