The 10 Worst San Antonio Suburbs

The worst San Antonio suburbs are Elmendorf and Somerset based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more 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: what suburbs of San Antonio are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science 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 only expect some of the suburbs to live up to San Antonio proper, although Alamo Heights certainly tries.

We examined the 26 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.

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

The 10 worst suburbs around San Antonio for 2024

  1. Elmendorf
  2. Somerset
  3. Lytle
  4. Balcones Heights
  5. Kirby
  6. Leon Valley
  7. Converse
  8. Castroville
  9. Live Oak
  10. Windcrest

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of San Antonio? Elmendorf ranks as the worst suburb of San Antonio for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Texas check out the best places in Texas overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around San Antonio too.

The 10 Worst San Antonio Suburbs To Live For 2024

1. Elmendorf

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,479
Median Income: $55,313 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.1% (highest)
Median Home Value: $235,296 (4th lowest)
More on Elmendorf: Crime

We’ll get the ball rolling with Elmendorf, the absolute worst place to live around San Antonio according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Elmendorf beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the San Antonio area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 4th 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 Elmendorf.

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.

2. Somerset

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,152
Median Income: $73,217 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $228,291 (3rd lowest)
More on Somerset: Crime

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

This city is 18.6 miles to San Antonio. Income levels here are the 7th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $73,217 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.

3. Lytle

Lytle, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Billy Hathorn | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,262
Median Income: $51,875 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $282,513 (8th lowest)
More on Lytle: Crime

Back up the highway we go for the third worst San Antonio suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Lytle 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 San Antonio suburbs.

But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Balcones Heights

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,729
Median Income: $28,184 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $213,253 (2nd lowest)
More on Balcones Heights: Crime

If you live in Balcones Heights, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the lowest San Antonio suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 12th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Antonio. Remember, we looked at 26 cities for this study.

Balcones Heights is about 1.9 miles to downtown.

Kirby, TX

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,134
Median Income: $58,880 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $188,045 (lowest)
More on Kirby: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Kirby has the distinction of being a San Antonio suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Kirby has the lowest home values in the metro San Antonio area, where the median price is $188,045. The median income is $199,643.

Kirby has an unemployment rate of 5.45% which ranks 11th worst.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,485
Median Income: $58,784 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $266,122 (7th lowest)
More on Leon Valley: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Leon Valley has 11,485 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 11.284080914687777%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 28,052
Median Income: $77,237 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $259,387 (6th lowest)
More on Converse: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Ah, Converse. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around San Antonio.

It’s the place with the 16th most out of work residents in the San Antonio metro area (4.04%).

8. Castroville

Castroville, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Larry D. Moore | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,994
Median Income: $72,805 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (20th highest)
Median Home Value: $358,871 (14th lowest)
More on Castroville: Crime

Castroville is a city about 22.4 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. Castroville has the 11th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 20th highest unemployment rate (2.4%) in the entire San Antonio metro area.

Homes only cost $358,871 for a reason. That’s cheap for San Antonio standards.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,726
Median Income: $74,326 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $257,036 (5th lowest)
More on Live Oak: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

If you absolutely have to live near San Antonio, then Live Oak might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst San Antonio suburb.

About 5.5% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,825
Median Income: $85,984 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $319,618 (11th lowest)
More on Windcrest: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Rounding out the ten worst San Antonio suburbs to call home is Windcrest.

Located 9.1 miles outside the city, Windcrests is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (5.99%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around San Antonio for 2024

To figure out how bad a San Antonio suburb is to live in, we used Saturday Night Science to identify the kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2018-2022, 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 San Antonio.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 26 suburbs to evaluate around San Antonio.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 26 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 looking at you, Elmendorf.

We updated this article for 2024, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around San Antonio.

Summary: The areas around San Antonio where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2024

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding San Antonio with Elmendorf casting itself ahead of the pack.

The worst suburbs of San Antonio are .

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
  • Shavano Park
  • Hollywood Park

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst San Antonio Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Elmendorf 2,479 $55,313 $235,296
2 Somerset 2,152 $73,217 $228,291
3 Lytle 2,262 $51,875 $282,513
4 Balcones Heights 2,729 $28,184 $213,253
5 Kirby 8,134 $58,880 $188,045
6 Leon Valley 11,485 $58,784 $266,122
7 Converse 28,052 $77,237 $259,387
8 Castroville 2,994 $72,805 $358,871
9 Live Oak 15,726 $74,326 $257,036
10 Windcrest 5,825 $85,984 $319,618
11 Schertz 42,545 $94,173 $333,518
12 Boerne 18,475 $82,982 $556,332
13 New Braunfels 92,993 $85,827 $374,671
14 St. Hedwig 2,256 $113,173 $306,661
15 Castle Hills 3,982 $102,768 $450,113
16 Selma 11,067 $95,692 $305,330
17 Cibolo 32,640 $116,510 $341,576
18 Bulverde 5,827 $107,315 $484,817
19 Helotes 9,140 $124,367 $472,660
20 Garden Ridge 4,155 $156,711 $700,602
21 Fair Oaks Ranch 9,917 $150,237 $670,180
22 Terrell Hills 5,045 $199,643 $840,452
23 Olmos Park 2,286 $179,500 $951,332
24 Hollywood Park 3,123 $137,411 $510,127
25 Shavano Park 3,544 $187,750 $919,482
26 Alamo Heights 7,417 $149,332 $699,020
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.

8 thoughts on “The 10 Worst San Antonio Suburbs

  1. We love Lytle. Moved here 4 years ago. Lived in many areas within and outside San Antonio. Best community and not sure where they got their stats but incorrect.

    1. Good to know. I take these things as basic information. I don’t really care how much money people make or the home costs as long as the community is good. Being from Detroit, you’ll have to be pretty bad to make the do not fly list.

  2. Clearly you have not visited and of these “Suburbs”. New Braunsfel is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. Boerne is a highly visited tourist area. Castroville doesnt have a Big Lots or Kmart. Im wondering, what type of research did you actually do!? Horrible article. I dont live in any of these towns but can honestly say this list is BS!!

  3. Ahh, your adjatives for this ranking need better definition. The “worst” comment is not strictly related to economic indicators. I concur with your assement that there are limited things to do in Lytle, but it is a far friendlier environment than most higher $ sub burbs. Hard to put a number on that, but you know it when you’re there. Also science is NOT just numbers, it’s the evaluation and analysis of those numbers compared to the real world. Don’t take my word for it, come on down and stop by Pirates Cove for a quesadilla burger and you’ll know there is more to Lytle than your rankings. Take care!

  4. Boerne is in this list? You’re an idiot Boerne is a very nice and safe place to live…get a clue son.

  5. There is no way this person has ever visited these towns. Looking at numbers does NOT have anything to do with quality of life. Many of these towns do not have high unemployment. They have many retirees! Their income may be low because they retired 20 years ago and their homes are paid off. Also crime rates and feeling safe were not mentioned. That is worth a huge amount for quality of life!
    Whoever wrote this should be fired for doing NO true research and besmirching the names of the wonderful towns he named.

  6. I’m surprised y’all didn’t mention Somerset or Poteet or LaCoste. All these located between Castroville & Lytle & Elmendorf. These are such nice & safe & pretty communities. Even I would like to retire here. Y’all should apologize to the wonderful & decent good people of these so-called suburbs.

  7. I’m really glad I read everyone’s comments. I was stationed in SA 30 years ago. I thought the whole place was wonderful. I was only there for 6 months, but I loved it and have thought of moving back for eons! Thanks for your leaving the comments defending your cities, it gives me great relief to know the town I fell in love with all those years ago is still there!

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