The 10 Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs For 2021


We used science and data to determine which Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh.

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

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

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

We examined the 95 biggest suburbs of Pittsburgh to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in pennsylvania lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Pittsburgh in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Pittsburgh for 2021:

  1. McKeesport
  2. Duquesne
  3. Brownsville
  4. Aliquippa
  5. McKees Rocks
  6. Homestead
  7. Midland
  8. North Braddock
  9. Clairton
  10. Tarentum

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

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

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

And remember, there are some good places to live around Pittsburgh 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 Pennsylvania reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs To Live For 2021

Mckeesport, PA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 19,225
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Income: $29,094 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $48,000 (5th lowest)
More on Mckeesport:  Data | Photos

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

And in the world of worst rankings, McKeesport beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the Pittsburgh area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 5th 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 McKeesport.

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.

Duquesne, PA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,543
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,844 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $42,600 (3rd lowest)
More on Duquesne:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 8.1 miles to Pittsburgh. Income levels here are the 6th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $29,844 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.

Brownsville, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,217
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $31,202 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $57,900 (14th lowest)
More on Brownsville:  Data | Photos

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

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

Aliquippa, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,004
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Income: $31,985 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $75,800 (27th lowest)
More on Aliquippa:  Data | Photos

If you live in Aliquippa, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 10th lowest Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh. Remember, we looked at 95 cities for this study.

Aliquippa is about 19.0 miles to downtown.

Mckees Rocks, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,919
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 7)
Median Income: $26,259 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $51,800 (8th lowest)
More on Mckees Rocks:  Data | Photos

McKees Rocks has the distinction of being a Pittsburgh suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, McKees Rocks has the 8th lowest home values in the metro Pittsburgh area, where the median price is $51,800. To put that into perspective, in Aspinwall, the median income is $205,987, which is the best in the area.

McKees Rocks has an unemployment rate of 9.23% which ranks 17th worst.

Homestead, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,170
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $26,220 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $50,200 (7th lowest)
More on Homestead:  Data | Photos

Homestead has 3,170 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 29.14826498422713%.

Midland, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,918
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 6)
Median Income: $44,889 (4lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (highest)
Median Home Value: $64,800 (16th lowest)
More on Midland:  Data | Photos

Ah, Midland. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Pittsburgh.

It's the place with the most out of work residents in the Pittsburgh metro area (14.76%).

North Braddock, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,741
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $32,272 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $40,700 (2nd lowest)
More on North Braddock:  Data | Photos

North Braddock is a city about 7.0 miles from Pittsburgh, but Pittsburgh 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. North Braddock has the 2most uninsured people, 11th worst incomes, and has the 14th highest unemployment rate (9.79%) in the entire Pittsburgh metro area.

Homes only cost $40,700 for a reason. That's cheap for Pittsburgh standards.

Clairton, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,619
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Income: $37,282 (22nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $43,200 (4th lowest)
More on Clairton:  Data | Photos

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

About 14.64% of residents are out of work.

Tarentum, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,413
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $33,970 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $59,300 (15th lowest)
More on Tarentum:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Pittsburgh suburbs to call home is Tarentum.

Located 16.1 miles outside the city, Tarentums is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 16th highest unemployment rate (9.33%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 95 suburbs to evaluate around Pittsburgh.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 95 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 Pittsburgh." We're lookin' at you, McKeesport. 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 Pittsburgh where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

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

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

  • Aspinwall
  • Edgewood
  • Seven Fields

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Mckeesport 19,225 $29,094 $48,000
2 Duquesne 5,543 $29,844 $42,600
3 Brownsville 2,217 $31,202 $57,900
4 Aliquippa 9,004 $31,985 $75,800
5 Mckees Rocks 5,919 $26,259 $51,800
6 Homestead 3,170 $26,220 $50,200
7 Midland 2,918 $44,889 $64,800
8 North Braddock 4,741 $32,272 $40,700
9 Clairton 6,619 $37,282 $43,200
10 Tarentum 4,413 $33,970 $59,300
11 Beaver Falls 8,464 $32,899 $70,600
12 Glassport 4,371 $40,823 $65,000
13 Rankin 2,068 $34,091 $49,100
14 Donora 4,598 $33,620 $55,700
15 California 6,347 $37,091 $114,200
16 Mount Oliver 3,324 $38,795 $55,400
17 Sharpsburg 3,358 $36,360 $81,800
18 New Eagle 2,349 $43,387 $86,100
19 Turtle Creek 5,197 $33,292 $57,100
20 Liberty 3,177 $50,541 $96,800
21 Charleroi 3,953 $34,866 $39,500
22 Arnold 4,902 $29,487 $55,800
23 Arnold 4,902 $29,487 $55,800
24 Arnold 4,902 $29,487 $55,800
25 Arnold 4,902 $29,487 $55,800
26 Vandergrift 4,950 $41,567 $65,500
27 Butler 13,092 $31,361 $100,200
28 Pitcairn 3,195 $32,864 $68,100
29 New Kensington 12,468 $42,264 $104,100
30 Rochester 3,502 $30,120 $72,000
31 Jeannette 9,216 $40,750 $87,300
32 Bentleyville 2,441 $46,938 $114,200
33 Washington 13,532 $42,533 $100,700
34 New Brighton 5,780 $37,460 $73,100
35 Brackenridge 3,175 $41,204 $70,800
36 Coraopolis 5,488 $43,145 $94,700
37 Monessen 7,344 $43,823 $76,300
38 West Newton 2,646 $40,878 $108,100
39 Monongahela 4,138 $48,986 $81,800
40 Ambridge 6,707 $41,377 $71,400
41 Mcdonald 2,164 $45,534 $115,400
42 Verona 2,767 $46,146 $87,400
43 Millvale 3,706 $41,060 $74,100
44 Monaca 5,521 $39,974 $122,000
45 Wilkinsburg 15,485 $36,743 $87,800
46 West Mifflin 19,834 $52,679 $99,000
47 Port Vue 3,697 $54,063 $70,000
48 Munhall 11,121 $47,649 $91,100
49 Canonsburg 8,844 $50,077 $133,900
50 Greensburg 14,290 $42,058 $134,000
51 Youngwood 2,900 $52,711 $113,000
52 Leechburg 2,095 $46,298 $82,400
53 Irwin 3,797 $49,570 $159,300
54 Bridgeville 4,968 $47,917 $139,600
55 Etna 3,350 $49,432 $88,900
56 Trafford 3,083 $44,150 $112,100
57 Carnegie 7,883 $52,612 $123,700
58 Swissvale 8,760 $50,067 $109,900
59 Baden 3,948 $45,583 $99,300
60 Bellevue 8,146 $46,397 $122,000
61 Springdale 3,326 $54,118 $103,700
62 South Greensburg 2,162 $46,750 $99,400
63 Emsworth 2,503 $55,926 $135,400
64 Baldwin 19,752 $65,420 $135,800
65 Ingram 3,237 $55,870 $105,300
66 Conway 2,114 $57,042 $134,700
67 Brentwood 9,386 $58,303 $98,500
68 Crafton 5,838 $52,449 $147,900
69 Lower Burrell 11,229 $64,696 $143,800
70 White Oak 7,540 $59,514 $107,000
71 Whitehall 13,517 $66,484 $162,600
72 Avalon 4,584 $43,939 $111,400
73 West View 6,601 $60,997 $132,400
74 New Stanton 2,199 $61,464 $179,700
75 Southwest Greensburg 2,242 $52,784 $118,200
76 Castle Shannon 8,213 $62,149 $125,500
77 Zelienople 3,651 $54,235 $201,400
78 Economy 9,182 $81,938 $183,100
79 Manor 3,318 $82,500 $171,800
80 Churchill 2,957 $93,171 $186,000
81 Pleasant Hills 8,113 $76,480 $166,900
82 Delmont 2,563 $66,838 $181,800
83 Plum 27,195 $78,709 $153,700
84 Beaver 4,334 $58,750 $190,800
85 Green Tree 4,885 $86,684 $182,600
86 Forest Hills 6,377 $71,709 $130,100
87 Oakmont 6,480 $65,833 $206,200
88 Franklin Park 14,589 $134,688 $350,200
89 Jefferson Hills 11,200 $93,140 $228,600
90 Sewickley 3,829 $63,475 $343,300
91 Dormont 8,373 $64,688 $147,500
92 Fox Chapel 5,121 $205,987 $662,400
93 Seven Fields 2,766 $102,529 $316,200
94 Edgewood 3,040 $80,547 $216,500
95 Aspinwall 2,724 $84,375 $286,400

How Is Your Town In ?

3 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs For 2021

  1. Your science and data is flawed, Vandergrift is not a suburb of Pittsburgh, most of those you have listed are towns surrounding Pittsburgh.

  2. Derry ranks higher than greensburg….???? And Latrobe is not even listed??? And hempfield??? Did I miss something?

  3. Pittsburgh and surrounding “suburbs” are run by entrenched Democrats and their cronies. Pittsburgh is a dump and most of the voters continue to elect the idiot socialists (Democrats) who have made it a dump. Take me back to a conservative state (Ohio) PLEASE !!

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