Worst San Antonio Suburbs For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst suburbs around San Antonio.

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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 Terrell Hills 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. So without further ado...

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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around San Antonio for 2020:

  1. Elmendorf
  2. Castroville (Photos)
  3. Lytle (Photos)
  4. Kirby (Photos)
  5. Balcones Heights
  6. Leon Valley
  7. Live Oak
  8. Converse
  9. Boerne (Photos)
  10. New Braunfels (Photos)

What's the worst suburb of San Antonio? Elmendorf ranks as the worst suburb of San Antonio for 2020 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 2020

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,077
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,188 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $99,000 (3rd lowest)
More on Elmendorf:  Data

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 3rd 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.

Castroville, TX

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,970
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $55,326 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $183,100 (9th lowest)
More on Castroville:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 22.4 miles to San Antonio. Income levels here are the 4th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $55,326 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.

Lytle, TX

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,886
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $62,670 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $94,300 (2nd lowest)
More on Lytle:  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 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 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.

Kirby, TX

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,625
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $42,412 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $86,400 (1st lowest)
More on Kirby:  Data | Photos

If you live in Kirby, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 2nd lowest San Antonio suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 19th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Antonio. Remember, we looked at 23 cities for this study.

Kirby is about 8.4 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,185
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $33,497 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 0.5% (23rd highest)
Median Home Value: $115,400 (4th 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 4th lowest home values in the metro San Antonio area, where the median price is $115,400. To put that into perspective, in Terrell Hills, the median income is $208,021, which is the best in the area.

Balcones Heights has an unemployment rate of 0.48% which ranks 23rd worst.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,306
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $59,029 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $160,100 (7th lowest)
More on Leon Valley:  Data

Leon Valley has 11,306 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 12.003546099290778%.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 15,595
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Income: $62,419 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $141,200 (5th lowest)
More on Live Oak:  Data

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

It's the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the San Antonio metro area (5.23%).

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 26,246
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $70,726 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $156,700 (6th lowest)
More on Converse:  Data

Converse is a city about 13.5 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. Converse has the 12th most uninsured people, 10th worst incomes, and has the 10th highest unemployment rate (4.68%) in the entire San Antonio metro area.

Homes only cost $156,700 for a reason. That's cheap for San Antonio standards.

Boerne, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,799
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $63,420 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $259,600 (14th lowest)
More on Boerne:  Data | Photos

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

About 4.96% of residents are out of work.

New Braunfels, TX

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 74,587
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $67,510 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $199,700 (12th lowest)
More on New Braunfels:  Data | Photos

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

Located 29.2 miles outside the city, New Braunfelss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 17th highest unemployment rate (3.58%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around San Antonio for 2020

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 2014-2018, 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, Elmendorf. 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 2020

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

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around San Antonio aren't all bad. Terrell Hills takes the cake as the best place to live around San Antonio.

  • Terrell Hills
  • Alamo Heights
  • 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 2,077 $47,188 $99,000
2 Castroville 2,970 $55,326 $183,100
3 Lytle 2,886 $62,670 $94,300
4 Kirby 8,625 $42,412 $86,400
5 Balcones Heights 3,185 $33,497 $115,400
6 Leon Valley 11,306 $59,029 $160,100
7 Live Oak 15,595 $62,419 $141,200
8 Converse 26,246 $70,726 $156,700
9 Boerne 14,799 $63,420 $259,600
10 New Braunfels 74,587 $67,510 $199,700
11 Selma 9,895 $74,293 $173,900
12 Windcrest 5,802 $79,604 $191,900
13 Bulverde 5,104 $103,750 $301,800
14 Castle Hills 4,422 $94,583 $291,300
15 Schertz 38,991 $82,647 $196,500
16 Garden Ridge 3,887 $131,471 $437,700
17 Cibolo 27,963 $97,277 $222,800
18 Helotes 8,895 $131,379 $319,200
19 Fair Oaks Ranch 10,857 $125,806 $433,800
20 Shavano Park 3,667 $208,021 $653,500
21 Hollywood Park 3,342 $112,083 $326,200
22 Alamo Heights 8,193 $132,313 $579,900
23 Terrell Hills 5,330 $175,913 $495,700

How Is Your Town In ?

5 thoughts on “Worst San Antonio Suburbs, 2020

  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.

  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. 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.

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