Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst suburbs around Pittsburgh.

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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 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 Seven Fields certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Pittsburgh are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

We examined the 97 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.

What's the worst suburb of Pittsburgh? Midland ranks as the worst suburb of Pittsburgh for 2020 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 2020

Midland, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,003
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Income: $30,773 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (21st highest)
Median Home Value: $60,400 (15th lowest)
More on Midland:  Data | Photos

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

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

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: 5,544
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $26,532 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.6% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $39,600 (2nd 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 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $26,532 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.

Mckeesport, PA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 19,365
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $29,312 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.1% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $46,500 (6th lowest)
More on Mckeesport:  Data | Photos

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

Brownsville, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,046
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $29,309 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $60,300 (14th lowest)
More on Brownsville:  Data | Photos

If you live in Brownsville, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Pittsburgh suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 5th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Pittsburgh. Remember, we looked at 97 cities for this study.

Brownsville is about 29.4 miles to downtown.

Clairton, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,640
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $31,374 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.0% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $43,800 (4th lowest)
More on Clairton:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Clairton has the 4th lowest home values in the metro Pittsburgh area, where the median price is $43,800. To put that into perspective, in Seven Fields, the median income is $168,073, which is the best in the area.

Clairton has an unemployment rate of 14.98% which ranks 1st worst.

Homestead, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,153
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Income: $24,231 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $49,700 (8th lowest)
More on Homestead:  Data | Photos

Homestead has 3,153 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 35.17285125277513%.

Rankin, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,100
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,321 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.9% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $45,500 (5th lowest)
More on Rankin:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the Pittsburgh metro area (11.88%).

Aliquippa, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,066
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,799 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $72,600 (26th lowest)
More on Aliquippa:  Data | Photos

Aliquippa is a city about 19.0 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. Aliquippa has the 17th most uninsured people, 14th worst incomes, and has the 15th highest unemployment rate (9.29%) in the entire Pittsburgh metro area.

Homes only cost $72,600 for a reason. That's cheap for Pittsburgh standards.

North Braddock, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,758
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $31,406 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $37,900 (1st lowest)
More on North Braddock:  Data | Photos

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

About 9.12% of residents are out of work.

Beaver Falls, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,547
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Income: $33,288 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (26th highest)
Median Home Value: $63,100 (18th lowest)
More on Beaver Falls:  Data | Photos

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

Located 28.6 miles outside the city, Beaver Fallss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 26th highest unemployment rate (8.32%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Pittsburgh for 2020

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 2014-2018, 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 97 suburbs to evaluate around Pittsburgh.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 97 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, Midland. 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 2020

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

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

  • Seven Fields
  • Edgewood
  • Sewickley

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Midland 3,003 $30,773 $60,400
2 Duquesne 5,544 $26,532 $39,600
3 Mckeesport 19,365 $29,312 $46,500
4 Brownsville 2,046 $29,309 $60,300
5 Clairton 6,640 $31,374 $43,800
6 Homestead 3,153 $24,231 $49,700
7 Rankin 2,100 $32,321 $45,500
8 Aliquippa 9,066 $31,799 $72,600
9 North Braddock 4,758 $31,406 $37,900
10 Beaver Falls 8,547 $33,288 $63,100
11 Glassport 4,391 $38,950 $61,600
12 Mckees Rocks 5,966 $30,587 $49,100
13 Tarentum 4,441 $31,604 $61,400
14 Liberty 3,185 $40,039 $93,400
15 Donora 4,635 $34,365 $57,000
16 Sharpsburg 3,374 $37,182 $76,500
17 New Kensington 12,568 $41,691 $98,400
18 Bentleyville 2,515 $37,778 $117,700
19 New Eagle 2,118 $38,398 $79,400
20 Arnold 4,930 $29,457 $56,300
21 Arnold 4,930 $29,457 $56,300
22 Arnold 4,930 $29,457 $56,300
23 Arnold 4,930 $29,457 $56,300
24 California 6,441 $38,050 $122,100
25 Mount Oliver 3,340 $42,588 $57,500
26 Washington 13,590 $41,331 $99,100
27 Charleroi 3,976 $34,403 $41,500
28 Wilkinsburg 15,637 $35,380 $83,600
29 Butler 13,182 $33,034 $98,900
30 New Brighton 5,827 $38,329 $71,000
31 Vandergrift 4,987 $42,261 $66,000
32 Coraopolis 5,587 $44,583 $92,000
33 Pitcairn 3,230 $33,769 $63,700
34 West Newton 2,671 $40,377 $101,600
35 Verona 2,736 $41,947 $79,200
36 Leechburg 2,119 $42,578 $80,900
37 Rochester 3,530 $31,630 $70,800
38 Turtle Creek 5,244 $30,643 $55,200
39 Ambridge 6,787 $38,875 $70,400
40 Monessen 7,397 $40,583 $77,000
41 Millvale 3,636 $38,554 $72,200
42 Monongahela 4,173 $46,810 $79,100
43 Youngwood 2,923 $53,810 $106,600
44 Jeannette 9,280 $41,026 $86,900
45 Port Vue 3,724 $52,520 $70,200
46 Etna 3,388 $43,194 $87,200
47 West Mifflin 19,946 $53,056 $98,800
48 Brackenridge 3,203 $41,858 $73,700
49 Mcdonald 2,135 $43,673 $114,200
50 Swissvale 8,808 $44,315 $97,500
51 Monaca 5,570 $39,858 $114,300
52 Greensburg 14,377 $39,212 $130,500
53 Bridgeville 5,066 $45,746 $135,700
54 Irwin 3,829 $53,419 $159,100
55 Munhall 11,229 $46,715 $90,400
56 Carnegie 7,905 $47,798 $114,500
57 Canonsburg 8,864 $47,500 $138,900
58 East Mckeesport 2,106 $45,292 $73,200
59 Springdale 3,353 $55,104 $97,200
60 Bellevue 8,196 $44,589 $122,400
61 Baden 3,977 $43,709 $99,100
62 Lower Burrell 11,321 $63,929 $141,900
63 South Greensburg 2,217 $50,221 $99,700
64 Trafford 3,039 $49,028 $107,100
65 Conway 2,141 $57,885 $131,100
66 Ingram 3,271 $51,611 $105,200
67 Emsworth 2,541 $56,078 $126,400
68 Brentwood 9,453 $55,809 $98,800
69 Castle Shannon 8,229 $55,484 $124,400
70 New Stanton 2,351 $63,690 $177,600
71 White Oak 7,621 $56,128 $104,300
72 East Washington 2,041 $75,893 $208,500
73 Baldwin 19,651 $61,996 $132,700
74 Whitehall 13,759 $63,518 $153,700
75 Crafton 5,839 $54,311 $129,700
76 West View 6,640 $56,048 $128,400
77 Southwest Greensburg 2,187 $47,120 $112,000
78 Avalon 4,626 $43,921 $106,000
79 Economy 9,207 $80,208 $170,100
80 Manor 3,294 $82,031 $174,100
81 Plum 27,304 $75,326 $149,300
82 Churchill 2,963 $90,114 $173,900
83 Delmont 2,605 $61,544 $158,600
84 Oakmont 6,450 $64,054 $191,200
85 Zelienople 3,683 $53,683 $200,300
86 Pleasant Hills 8,184 $73,164 $158,900
87 Dormont 8,438 $60,337 $133,000
88 Green Tree 4,913 $84,952 $175,600
89 Forest Hills 6,401 $69,044 $126,000
90 Jefferson Hills 11,231 $88,625 $209,400
91 Beaver 4,368 $64,239 $187,700
92 Fox Chapel 5,331 $168,073 $622,600
93 Aspinwall 2,756 $73,818 $274,000
94 Franklin Park 14,448 $122,028 $327,200
95 Sewickley 3,838 $72,727 $326,000
96 Edgewood 3,070 $74,375 $198,900
97 Seven Fields 2,791 $102,454 $318,200

How Is Your Town In ?

3 thoughts on “Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs, 2020

  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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