The suburbs of Sacramento call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Sacramento to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
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 Saturday Night Science to determine which Sacramento ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Sacramento area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Sacramento proper, although Folsom certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Sacramento are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones.
We examined the 15 biggest suburbs of Sacramento 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 Sacramento in terms of quality of life.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Sacramento? Rancho Cordova ranks as the worst suburb of Sacramento for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Sacramento that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Sacramento too.
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The 10 Worst Sacramento Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $77,044 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $356,600 (2nd lowest)
More on Rancho Cordova:
We’ll get the ball rolling with Rancho Cordova, the absolute worst place to live around Sacramento according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Rancho Cordova beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th worst in the Sacramento area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd 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 Rancho Cordova.
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.
Median Income: $77,393 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $390,300 (4th lowest)
More on West Sacramento:
Welcome to West Sacramento. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 4.4 miles to Sacramento. Income levels here are the 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $77,393 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Median Income: $76,423 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (highest)
Median Home Value: $400,000 (5th lowest)
More on Rio Vista:
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Sacramento suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Rio Vista 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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Sacramento suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
Median Income: $68,457 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $349,500 (lowest)
More on Citrus Heights:
If you live in Citrus Heights, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the lowest Sacramento suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 4th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Sacramento. Remember, we looked at 15 cities for this study.
Citrus Heights is about 13.2 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $77,669 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $382,000 (3rd lowest)
More on Galt:
Galt has the distinction of being a Sacramento suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Galt has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Sacramento area, where the median price is $382,000. The median income is $128,421.
Galt has an unemployment rate of 7.56% which ranks 2nd worst.
Median Income: $84,208 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $442,100 (7th lowest)
More on Dixon:
Dixon has 19,038 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 6.671945104249143%.
Median Income: $78,279 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $404,400 (6th lowest)
More on Woodland:
Ah, Woodland. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Sacramento.
It’s the place with the 12th most out of work residents in the Sacramento metro area (4.33%).
Median Income: $90,887 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $449,800 (8th lowest)
More on Winters:
Winters is a city about 27.5 miles from Sacramento, but Sacramento 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. Winters has the most uninsured people, 10th worst incomes, and has the 15th highest unemployment rate (2.85%) in the entire Sacramento metro area.
Homes only cost $449,800 for a reason. That’s cheap for Sacramento standards.
Median Income: $72,955 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $525,900 (12th lowest)
More on Loomis:
If you absolutely have to live near Sacramento, then Loomis might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Sacramento suburb.
About 3.26% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $81,231 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $697,900 (15th lowest)
More on Davis:
Rounding out the ten worst Sacramento suburbs to call home is Davis.
Located 14.5 miles outside the city, Daviss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 5th highest unemployment rate (6.5%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Sacramento for 2023
To figure out how bad a Sacramento suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, 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 dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Sacramento.
We also limited the analysis to places with over 6,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 15 suburbs to evaluate around Sacramento.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 15 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 Sacramento.” We’re looking at you, Rancho Cordova.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Sacramento.
Summary: The areas around Sacramento where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Sacramento with Rancho Cordova casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Sacramento aren’t all bad. Folsom takes the cake as the best place to live around Sacramento.
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Detailed List Of The Worst Sacramento Suburbs