The 10 Worst Sacramento Suburbs For 2023

We used data and Friday Night Science to identify the worst suburbs of Sacramento for 2023. The worst Sacramento suburbs are Rancho Cordova and West Sacramento.

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.

The 10 worst suburbs around Sacramento for 2023

  1. Rancho Cordova
  2. West Sacramento
  3. Rio Vista
  4. Citrus Heights
  5. Galt
  6. Dixon
  7. Woodland
  8. Winters
  9. Loomis
  10. Davis

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.

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 Sacramento too.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

For more California reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Sacramento Suburbs To Live For 2023

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 78,358
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.

West Sacramento, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 53,589
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.

Rio Vista, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Brocken Inaglory | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,850
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.

Citrus Heights, CA

Source: Wikipedia User The original uploader was J.smith at English Wikipedia | CC BY-SA 2.5
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 87,521
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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,385
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.

Dixon, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,038
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%.

Woodland, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,977
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%).

Winters, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,138
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.

Loomis, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Magnolia677 | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,791
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.

Davis, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 67,208
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.

  • Folsom
  • Rocklin
  • Lincoln

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Sacramento Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Rancho Cordova 78,358 $77,044 $356,600
2 West Sacramento 53,589 $77,393 $390,300
3 Rio Vista 9,850 $76,423 $400,000
4 Citrus Heights 87,521 $68,457 $349,500
5 Galt 25,385 $77,669 $382,000
6 Dixon 19,038 $84,208 $442,100
7 Woodland 60,977 $78,279 $404,400
8 Winters 7,138 $90,887 $449,800
9 Loomis 6,791 $72,955 $525,900
10 Davis 67,208 $81,231 $697,900
11 Elk Grove 175,510 $106,797 $466,600
12 Roseville 145,687 $102,660 $502,800
13 Lincoln 49,203 $93,232 $498,400
14 Rocklin 70,317 $106,164 $553,800
15 Folsom 79,201 $128,421 $598,100
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.

3 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Sacramento Suburbs For 2023

  1. If Sacramento county is not near the worst places in the US to live, following after Placer county, the inarguable far worst, then its hard to find a worse place in the country, possibly the world for that matter. Consider that the chance of falling victim to serious property crime is almost 100 percent, meaning, in mathematical terms, that half the population are criminal. There is not doubt that criminality is strongly favored and the law compliance is apt to get you in trouble with the law or to have a gun pulled on you by police or taken down with injury by police. And example of life in unincorporated “Sac” County would be 14 burglaries and grand thefts over 5 years including $4000 riding tractor mower, $800 lawnmowers, $600 landscape equipment, $1200 window smash theft, $1300 dual door smash (sans lock sets), $2,500 semitrailer vehicle theft, $2100 Tech Ring theft, $100+ classic bike and $300 new bike in carton thefts; and on an one plus (in three days) $4000+ motorcycle, $1200 garage door theft by destroy (to remove motorcycle) $60 gas storage container, plus $265 hydraulic table and left if constant fear/vigilance due to removal of all protections and assurance the thieves will return to get what was left behind…oh and didd I mention $10,000 to replace 300+ foot destroyed fence….yes all of that including fence in three weeks to one Sacramento residence. Or how about a Sac Physician (UCDavis) filing perjured statements to Social Security an cutting off retiree/disabled social security for over 4 months after deliberately inflicting ten of thousands of personal and property injury on a patient and relatives plus causing relative to be arrested and prosecuted for doing what the law demands…and there is not recourse because physician/hospiital criminality is immunized from the state penal code and from civil liability. Sound like a good place to live? The by all means come to Sacramento County or its neighbor Placer County, California. Oh, and don’t worry about you kids having it too tough in school…at schools that provide the lowest quality education–and functional illiteracy to boot–of any other state in the U.S.

  2. Forgive the typo’s, but that, too, tells you what it is like to live there…in fear and totally on your own for protection.

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