The 10 Worst Los Angeles Suburbs For 2022

We used science and data to determine which Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles.

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

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

We examined the 79 biggest suburbs of Los Angeles to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in California lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Los Angeles in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Los Angeles for 2022:

  1. Huntington Park
  2. Compton
  3. Cudahy
  4. Lynwood
  5. Bell Gardens
  6. Bell
  7. Commerce
  8. Maywood
  9. South Gate
  10. South El Monte

What's the worst suburb of Los Angeles? Huntington Park ranks as the worst suburb of Los Angeles for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in California check out the best places in California overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Los Angeles 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 California reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Los Angeles Suburbs To Live For 2022

We'll get the ball rolling with Huntington Park, the absolute worst place to live around Los Angeles according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Huntington Park beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the Los Angeles area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 9th 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 Huntington Park.

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 57,761
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Income: $46,738 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (highest)
Median Home Value: $426,700 (9th lowest)
More on Huntington Park:  Data | Photos

Huntington Park, CA

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

This city is 13.6 miles to Los Angeles. Income levels here are the 15th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $58,703 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 95,804
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $58,703 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $383,500 (3rd lowest)
More on Compton:  Data | Photos

Compton, CA

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

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,606
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Income: $46,279 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $422,700 (8th lowest)
More on Cudahy:  Data | Photos

Cudahy, CA

If you live in Lynwood, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 11th lowest Los Angeles suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 2nd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Los Angeles. Remember, we looked at 79 cities for this study.

Lynwood is about 13.7 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 69,625
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Income: $57,063 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $422,200 (7th lowest)
More on Lynwood:  Data | Photos

Lynwood, CA

Source: Public domain

Bell Gardens has the distinction of being a Los Angeles suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Bell Gardens has the 5th lowest home values in the metro Los Angeles area, where the median price is $402,600. To put that into perspective, in Hermosa Beach, the median income is $250,001, which is the best in the area.

Bell Gardens has an unemployment rate of 6.47% which ranks 26th worst.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,770
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Income: $45,289 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (26th highest)
Median Home Value: $402,600 (5th lowest)
More on Bell Gardens:  Data | Photos

Bell Gardens, CA

Source: Public domain

Bell has 35,301 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 22.962161546564932%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,301
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $47,740 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $436,400 (14th lowest)
More on Bell:  Data | Photos

Bell, CA

Source: Public domain

Ah, Commerce. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Los Angeles.

It's the place with the 38th most out of work residents in the Los Angeles metro area (5.56%).

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,738
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 6)
Median Income: $54,639 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (38th highest)
Median Home Value: $429,800 (12th lowest)
More on Commerce:  Data | Photos

Commerce, CA

Maywood is a city about 13.0 miles from Los Angeles, but Los Angeles 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. Maywood has the 5th most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 19th highest unemployment rate (6.81%) in the entire Los Angeles metro area.

Homes only cost $427,300 for a reason. That's cheap for Los Angeles standards.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,127
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Income: $50,996 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $427,300 (10th lowest)
More on Maywood:  Data | Photos

Maywood, CA

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

About 8.83% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 94,905
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $55,084 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $438,100 (16th lowest)
More on South Gate:  Data | Photos

South Gate, CA

Source: Public domain

Rounding out the ten worst Los Angeles suburbs to call home is South El Monte.

Located 20.8 miles outside the city, South El Montes is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 36th highest unemployment rate (5.7%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,791
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,208 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (36th highest)
Median Home Value: $452,700 (19th lowest)
More on South El Monte:  Data

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Los Angeles for 2022

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 2016-2020, 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 Los Angeles.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 79 suburbs to evaluate around Los Angeles.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 79 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 Los Angeles." We're lookin' at you, Huntington Park. 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.

Summary: The areas around Los Angeles where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Los Angeles with Huntington Park casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Los Angeles aren't all bad. Hermosa Beach takes the cake as the best place to live around Los Angeles.

  • Hermosa Beach
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Redondo Beach

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Los Angeles Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Huntington Park 57,761 $46,738 $426,700
2 Compton 95,804 $58,703 $383,500
3 Cudahy 23,606 $46,279 $422,700
4 Lynwood 69,625 $57,063 $422,200
5 Bell Gardens 41,770 $45,289 $402,600
6 Bell 35,301 $47,740 $436,400
7 Commerce 12,738 $54,639 $429,800
8 Maywood 27,127 $50,996 $427,300
9 South Gate 94,905 $55,084 $438,100
10 South El Monte 20,791 $54,208 $452,700
11 Paramount 53,949 $57,313 $388,300
12 El Monte 113,917 $53,874 $480,100
13 Azusa 49,584 $65,912 $438,700
14 Westlake 4,788 $55,963 $107,400
15 Montebello 62,697 $62,781 $519,000
16 Stanton 38,317 $66,017 $432,600
17 Inglewood 109,309 $58,536 $555,000
18 La Puente 39,780 $66,132 $446,800
19 Bellflower 76,339 $63,848 $483,100
20 Hawaiian Gardens 14,212 $61,422 $428,300
21 Hawthorne 85,410 $57,849 $602,100
22 Baldwin Park 75,659 $68,741 $436,800
23 Long Beach 462,081 $66,410 $584,200
24 Lawndale 32,533 $65,923 $551,800
25 San Fernando 24,244 $60,655 $471,500
26 Duarte 21,399 $82,620 $519,700
27 Glendale 199,357 $70,596 $821,500
28 Santa Fe Springs 17,643 $69,922 $462,400
29 Rosemead 53,850 $60,006 $576,000
30 Carson 91,354 $86,040 $494,800
31 Gardena 59,401 $64,015 $519,000
32 Norwalk 104,524 $77,425 $461,000
33 La Habra 62,787 $83,532 $577,900
34 Pico Rivera 62,507 $70,620 $464,700
35 Monterey Park 60,597 $63,389 $641,700
36 Fullerton 141,061 $85,471 $667,300
37 Temple 4,709 $67,628 $123,800
38 Los Alamitos 11,521 $89,323 $772,300
39 Downey 111,263 $75,974 $582,500
40 Signal Hill 11,430 $86,140 $528,300
41 Artesia 16,456 $74,375 $600,000
42 Whittier 84,821 $76,026 $598,000
43 San Gabriel 40,108 $70,892 $712,400
44 Pasadena 142,017 $85,129 $822,100
45 Burbank 103,411 $79,212 $790,300
46 West Covina 105,808 $85,626 $578,800
47 Monrovia 37,636 $81,990 $694,700
48 Buena Park 82,228 $84,680 $608,800
49 Santa Clarita 212,519 $100,932 $564,500
50 Alhambra 84,509 $66,593 $630,200
51 Lomita 20,212 $76,090 $618,700
52 Seal Beach 24,268 $72,596 $417,700
53 Calabasas 23,842 $136,138 $1,127,500
54 La Mirada 48,260 $92,493 $606,200
55 Simi Valley 125,768 $99,245 $612,700
56 West Hollywood 35,506 $71,692 $743,700
57 Lakewood 79,676 $96,487 $595,200
58 Beverly Hills 33,709 $101,241 $2,000,001
59 Thousand Oaks 127,648 $108,377 $751,900
60 Santa Monica 91,600 $98,300 $1,452,100
61 Arcadia 57,053 $95,736 $1,136,700
62 Torrance 144,430 $94,781 $796,800
63 Cypress 49,137 $102,005 $665,100
64 Cerritos 49,388 $109,229 $716,000
65 El Segundo 16,575 $115,846 $1,180,000
66 La Habra Heights 5,318 $163,750 $916,500
67 Malibu 12,280 $162,716 $2,000,001
68 Hidden Hills 2,218 $250,001 $2,000,001
69 Sierra Madre 10,829 $106,719 $1,007,800
70 Agoura Hills 20,269 $126,956 $828,100
71 La Palma 15,657 $108,363 $686,800
72 Rolling Hills Estates 8,025 $149,632 $1,362,900
73 South Pasadena 25,478 $109,927 $1,113,100
74 San Marino 13,020 $164,423 $2,000,001
75 Rancho Palos Verdes 41,635 $146,163 $1,209,200
76 Palos Verdes Estates 13,359 $197,826 $1,935,900
77 Redondo Beach 66,663 $116,832 $974,200
78 Manhattan Beach 35,064 $153,926 $2,000,001
79 Hermosa Beach 19,147 $142,500 $1,649,900

How Is Your Town In ?

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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around Los Angeles.

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.