The 10 Worst San Antonio Suburbs For 2021

We used science and data to determine which San Antonio 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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around San Antonio.

Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround San Antonio.

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 22 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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around San Antonio for 2021:

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

What's the worst suburb of San Antonio? Lytle ranks as the worst suburb of San Antonio for 2021 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.

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.

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 Texas reading, check out:

The 10 Worst San Antonio Suburbs To Live For 2021

Lytle, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,672
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $56,513 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $102,300 (2nd lowest)
More on Lytle:  Data | Photos

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Lytle beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th 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 Lytle.

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,199
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $55,777 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $165,900 (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 $55,777 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.

Kirby, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,664
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $45,918 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $91,900 (lowest)
More on Kirby:  Data | Photos

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,855
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $61,294 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $151,200 (4th lowest)
More on Live Oak:  Data

If you live in Live Oak, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 6th lowest San Antonio suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Antonio. Remember, we looked at 22 cities for this study.

Live Oak is about 12.5 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,282
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,410 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 0.4% (22nd highest)
Median Home Value: $136,700 (3rd lowest)
More on Balcones Heights:  Data

Balcones Heights has the distinction of being a San Antonio suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Balcones Heights has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro San Antonio area, where the median price is $136,700. To put that into perspective, in Alamo Heights, the median income is $204,737, which is the best in the area.

Balcones Heights has an unemployment rate of 0.45% which ranks 22nd worst.

Castroville, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,009
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 5)
Median Income: $59,600 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $189,400 (8th lowest)
More on Castroville:  Data | Photos

Castroville has 3,009 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 18.44726897973205%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,930
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $72,911 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $165,400 (5th lowest)
More on Converse:  Data

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

It's the place with the 7th most out of work residents in the San Antonio metro area (4.66%).

New Braunfels, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 79,438
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $71,044 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $219,200 (11th lowest)
More on New Braunfels:  Data | Photos

New Braunfels is a city about 29.2 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. New Braunfels has the 6th most uninsured people, 8th worst incomes, and has the 13th highest unemployment rate (3.39%) in the entire San Antonio metro area.

Homes only cost $219,200 for a reason. That's cheap for San Antonio standards.

Windcrest, TX

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,851
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $80,750 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (highest)
Median Home Value: $207,900 (9th lowest)
More on Windcrest:  Data | Photos

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 8.28% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,162
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $93,534 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $308,300 (15th lowest)
More on Bulverde:  Data

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

Located 21.1 miles outside the city, Bulverdes is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 6th highest unemployment rate (4.67%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around San Antonio for 2021

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 2015-2019, 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 22 suburbs to evaluate around San Antonio.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 22 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, Lytle. You can download the data here.

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.

The areas around San Antonio where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding San Antonio with Lytle 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
  • Terrell Hills
  • Shavano Park

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst San Antonio Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lytle 2,672 $56,513 $102,300
2 Leon Valley 12,199 $55,777 $165,900
3 Kirby 8,664 $45,918 $91,900
4 Live Oak 15,855 $61,294 $151,200
5 Balcones Heights 3,282 $31,410 $136,700
6 Castroville 3,009 $59,600 $189,400
7 Converse 26,930 $72,911 $165,400
8 New Braunfels 79,438 $71,044 $219,200
9 Windcrest 5,851 $80,750 $207,900
10 Bulverde 5,162 $93,534 $308,300
11 Selma 10,419 $73,175 $188,300
12 Boerne 15,891 $70,745 $286,300
13 Schertz 41,199 $87,059 $211,700
14 Castle Hills 4,447 $96,848 $298,200
15 Garden Ridge 3,961 $137,976 $450,800
16 Cibolo 28,920 $104,601 $230,800
17 Helotes 9,175 $116,875 $316,200
18 Fair Oaks Ranch 9,944 $128,398 $455,400
19 Hollywood Park 3,327 $114,750 $333,500
20 Shavano Park 3,787 $204,737 $664,900
21 Terrell Hills 5,371 $181,979 $617,200
22 Alamo Heights 8,374 $141,048 $627,500

How Is Your Town In ?