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 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 2018:
- Hutchins (Photos)
- Terrell (Photos)
- Balch Springs (Photos)
- Cockrell Hill
- Lancaster (Photos)
- Seagoville (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.
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 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, Wilmer.
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.
Population: 3,903Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $55,300
Median Income: $37,546
We’ll get the ball rolling with Wilmer, the absolute worst place to live around Dallas according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Wilmer 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 1st 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 Wilmer.
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.
Population: 5,644Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $72,900
Median Income: $36,845
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.
Population: 16,626Unemployment Rate: 14.0%
Median Home Price: $92,400
Median Income: $40,815
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.
Population: 2,527Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Median Home Price: $80,500
Median Income: $50,150
If you live in Ferris, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 9th lowest Dallas suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 18th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Dallas. Remember, we looked at 76 cities for this study.
Ferris is about 18.5 miles to downtown.
5. Balch Springs
Population: 25,043Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $83,000
Median Income: $41,983
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 4th lowest home values in the metro Dallas area, where the median price is $83,000. To put that into perspective, in University Park, the median income is $198,438, which is the best in the area.
Balch Springs has an unemployment rate of 6.3% which ranks 24th worst.
Population: 2,008 Unemployment Rate: 9.1%
Median Home Price: $164,000
Median Income: $70,114
Combine has 2,008 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 18.2%.
7. Cockrell Hill
Population: 4,301Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
Median Home Price: $84,200
Median Income: $41,473
Ah, Cockrell Hill. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Dallas.
It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the Dallas metro area (7.1%).
Population: 38,426Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Median Home Price: $104,500
Median Income: $51,382
Lancaster is a city about 13.9 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. Lancaster has the 25th most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (8.1%) in the entire Dallas metro area.
Homes only cost $104,500 for a reason. That’s cheap for Dallas standards.
Population: 15,701Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $83,700
Median Income: $46,064
If you absolutely have to live near Dallas, then Seagoville might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Dallas suburb.
About 4.3% of residents are out of work.
Population: 2,268 Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Home Price: $83,000
Median Income: $49,125
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 36th highest unemployment rate (5.3%), 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 Wilmer 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:
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Texas
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Texas
- These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Texas
Detailed List Of The Worst Dallas Suburbs
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