The suburbs of San Antonio call to all types of people looking to escape city live. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround San Antonio 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 science and data to determine which San Antonio ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the San Antonio area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to San Antonio proper, although Alamo Heights certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of San Antonio are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 23 biggest suburbs of San Antonio to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Texas lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of San Antonio in terms of quality of life.
What’s the worst suburb of San Antonio? Kirby ranks as the worst suburb of San Antonio for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around San Antonio that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around San Antonio too.
Article Table Of Contents
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The 10 Worst San Antonio Suburbs To Live For 2023
We’ll get the ball rolling with Kirby, the absolute worst place to live around San Antonio according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Kirby beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the San Antonio 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 Kirby.
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.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,531 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $183,500 (6th lowest)
More on Leon Valley: Data
Welcome to Leon Valley. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 5.6 miles to San Antonio. Income levels here are the 3rd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $54,531 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.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $27,431 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $162,500 (3rd lowest)
More on Balcones Heights: Data
Back up the highway we go for the third worst San Antonio suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Balcones Heights 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 San Antonio suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
If you live in Lytle, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest San Antonio suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 17th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Antonio. Remember, we looked at 23 cities for this study.
Lytle is about 23.1 miles to downtown.
Castroville has the distinction of being a San Antonio suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Castroville has the 7th lowest home values in the metro San Antonio area, where the median price is $203,300. To put that into perspective, in Alamo Heights, the median income is $194,531, which is the best in the area.
Castroville has an unemployment rate of 2.4% which ranks 16th worst.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $77,411 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $182,500 (5th lowest)
More on Converse: Data
Converse has 27,361 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 12.129370113586075%.
Ah, New Braunfels. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around San Antonio.
It’s the place with the 10th most out of work residents in the San Antonio metro area (4.05%).
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $69,374 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $181,600 (4th lowest)
More on Live Oak: Data
Live Oak is a city about 12.5 miles from San Antonio, but San Antonio 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. Live Oak has the 6th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 6th highest unemployment rate (4.95%) in the entire San Antonio metro area.
Homes only cost $181,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for San Antonio standards.
If you absolutely have to live near San Antonio, then Windcrest might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst San Antonio suburb.
About 7.63% of residents are out of work.
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $101,602 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 0.3% (23rd highest)
Median Home Value: $228,200 (10th lowest)
More on St. Hedwig: Data
Rounding out the ten worst San Antonio suburbs to call home is St. Hedwig.
Located 19.5 miles outside the city, St. Hedwigs is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 23rd highest unemployment rate (0.31%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around San Antonio for 2023
To figure out how bad a San Antonio 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.
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 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 drop outs
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of San Antonio.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 23 suburbs to evaluate around San Antonio.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 23 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 San Antonio.” We’re lookin’ at you, Kirby.
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.
Summary: The areas around San Antonio where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding San Antonio with Kirby casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around San Antonio aren’t all bad. Alamo Heights takes the cake as the best place to live around San Antonio.
- Alamo Heights
- Hollywood Park
- Shavano Park
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Detailed List Of The Worst San Antonio Suburbs
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