These Are The 10 Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth 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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Pittsburgh for 2019:

  1. Duquesne (Photos)
  2. McKeesport (Photos)
  3. Clairton (Photos)
  4. Midland (Photos)
  5. Brownsville (Photos)
  6. North Braddock (Photos)
  7. Rankin (Photos)
  8. Aliquippa (Photos)
  9. McKees Rocks (Photos)
  10. Donora (Photos)

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:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Pittsburgh for 2019

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 2013-2017, 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, Duquesne.

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.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,544
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $24,390 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.2% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $37,800 (1st lowest)
More on Duquesne:  Data | Photos

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Duquesne beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 1st worst in the Pittsburgh 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 Duquesne.

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.

Mckeesport, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 19,488
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $28,750 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $46,100 (8th lowest)
More on Mckeesport:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 9.7 miles to Pittsburgh. Income levels here are the 7th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $28,750 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.

Clairton, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,692
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $31,112 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $45,700 (7th lowest)
More on Clairton:  Data | Photos

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

Midland, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,561
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $30,474 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (42nd highest)
Median Home Value: $66,200 (20th lowest)
More on Midland:  Data | Photos

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

Not only that, but this is the 42nd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Pittsburgh. Remember, we looked at 97 cities for this study.

Midland is about 28.6 miles to downtown.

Brownsville, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,181
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $28,548 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $58,200 (13th lowest)
More on Brownsville:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Brownsville has the 13th lowest home values in the metro Pittsburgh area, where the median price is $58,200. To put that into perspective, in Seven Fields, the median income is $162,054, which is the best in the area.

Brownsville has an unemployment rate of 12.1% which ranks 9th worst.

North Braddock, PA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,794
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $29,293 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $38,100 (2nd lowest)
More on North Braddock:  Data | Photos

North Braddock has 4,794 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 33.2%.

Rankin, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,195
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Median Income: $29,470 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $45,100 (6th 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 9th most out of work residents in the Pittsburgh metro area (12.1%).

Aliquippa, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,173
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,121 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $72,000 (25th 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 31st most uninsured people, 13th worst incomes, and has the 15th highest unemployment rate (10.9%) in the entire Pittsburgh metro area.

Homes only cost $72,000 for a reason. That’s cheap for Pittsburgh standards.

Mckees Rocks, PA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,037
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $28,571 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (38th highest)
Median Home Value: $39,600 (3rd lowest)
More on Mckees Rocks:  Data | Photos

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

About 7.1% of residents are out of work.

Donora, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,650
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $35,221 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.8% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $57,000 (10th lowest)
More on Donora:  Data | Photos

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

Located 18.9 miles outside the city, Donoras is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 7th highest unemployment rate (12.8%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Pittsburgh where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2019

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Pittsburgh with Duquesne 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 Duquesne 5,544 $24,390 $37,800
2 Mckeesport 19,488 $28,750 $46,100
3 Clairton 6,692 $31,112 $45,700
4 Midland 2,561 $30,474 $66,200
5 Brownsville 2,181 $28,548 $58,200
6 North Braddock 4,794 $29,293 $38,100
7 Rankin 2,195 $29,470 $45,100
8 Aliquippa 9,173 $31,121 $72,000
9 Mckees Rocks 6,037 $28,571 $39,600
10 Donora 4,650 $35,221 $57,000
11 Homestead 3,153 $24,815 $42,600
12 Tarentum 4,480 $33,464 $54,300
13 Mount Oliver 3,364 $36,204 $58,100
14 Beaver Falls 8,641 $35,368 $61,400
15 Glassport 4,435 $37,786 $60,500
16 Bentleyville 2,528 $36,944 $111,200
17 Charleroi 4,004 $32,705 $39,700
18 Washington 13,624 $35,858 $95,900
19 Liberty 3,200 $35,986 $87,400
20 Arnold 4,980 $28,713 $59,400
21 Arnold 4,980 $28,713 $59,400
22 Arnold 4,980 $28,713 $59,400
23 Arnold 4,980 $28,713 $59,400
24 Wilkinsburg 15,748 $32,961 $79,800
25 Vandergrift 5,037 $38,456 $66,900
26 New Brighton 5,889 $36,712 $70,100
27 Butler 13,292 $30,266 $94,300
28 Sharpsburg 3,414 $40,380 $77,400
29 New Kensington 12,679 $40,858 $97,300
30 Monessen 7,474 $38,777 $74,500
31 Pitcairn 3,260 $35,250 $57,900
32 New Eagle 2,143 $41,250 $81,700
33 Ambridge 6,853 $35,582 $65,000
34 Monongahela 4,194 $47,044 $77,100
35 California 6,513 $36,127 $109,300
36 Verona 2,639 $38,306 $76,000
37 Leechburg 2,114 $37,372 $81,000
38 Rochester 3,563 $38,894 $75,600
39 Millvale 3,692 $36,107 $69,600
40 Youngwood 2,950 $50,779 $104,800
41 Coraopolis 5,607 $42,533 $91,700
42 West Newton 2,550 $42,337 $96,700
43 Swissvale 8,881 $42,161 $86,300
44 West Mifflin 20,075 $50,368 $93,800
45 Greensburg 14,476 $36,412 $123,300
46 Baden 4,033 $42,534 $102,200
47 Jeannette 9,341 $41,049 $86,200
48 Port Vue 3,747 $46,125 $67,700
49 Mcdonald 2,134 $44,762 $114,500
50 Irwin 3,841 $47,201 $159,000
51 Carnegie 7,935 $45,087 $109,100
52 Etna 3,399 $46,667 $83,100
53 Brackenridge 3,227 $41,369 $72,700
54 East Mckeesport 2,073 $43,750 $73,100
55 Bridgeville 5,091 $45,403 $125,000
56 Canonsburg 8,913 $52,268 $137,500
57 Monaca 5,614 $39,669 $107,100
58 South Greensburg 2,143 $45,938 $102,000
59 Turtle Creek 5,281 $36,466 $59,200
60 Bellevue 8,269 $42,464 $115,300
61 Conway 2,190 $54,955 $129,300
62 Lower Burrell 11,413 $61,814 $133,900
63 Munhall 11,296 $49,332 $85,400
64 Springdale 3,375 $50,495 $94,800
65 Trafford 3,113 $48,273 $107,700
66 Ingram 3,284 $49,848 $102,900
67 Whitehall 13,828 $60,914 $146,300
68 Baldwin 19,743 $57,439 $125,400
69 Crafton 5,887 $52,289 $119,000
70 East Washington 2,134 $68,098 $205,200
71 White Oak 7,774 $56,316 $100,900
72 Brentwood 9,528 $55,192 $97,800
73 Manor 3,308 $61,462 $171,200
74 New Stanton 2,558 $62,368 $177,300
75 Castle Shannon 8,251 $53,041 $121,100
76 Avalon 4,642 $41,926 $96,500
77 Emsworth 2,411 $56,958 $125,000
78 Pleasant Hills 8,225 $69,091 $157,000
79 Plum 27,390 $71,989 $144,900
80 Zelienople 3,696 $52,500 $189,800
81 Dormont 8,488 $60,349 $123,400
82 Delmont 2,621 $60,885 $151,400
83 Southwest Greensburg 2,157 $47,118 $115,200
84 Green Tree 4,843 $75,139 $169,400
85 Beaver 4,419 $52,438 $174,300
86 Aspinwall 2,769 $67,096 $270,000
87 Oakmont 6,440 $64,635 $178,800
88 Churchill 2,984 $89,013 $173,800
89 Economy 9,230 $81,137 $168,100
90 West View 6,698 $60,000 $123,600
91 Jefferson Hills 11,244 $88,328 $203,300
92 Forest Hills 6,439 $65,096 $121,400
93 Fox Chapel 5,363 $162,054 $603,900
94 Franklin Park 14,301 $121,711 $322,100
95 Sewickley 3,862 $73,266 $319,800
96 Edgewood 3,071 $72,863 $197,500
97 Seven Fields 2,829 $102,791 $313,100

2 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Pittsburgh Suburbs For 2019

  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?

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