The 10 Worst San Antonio Suburbs For 2022


We used science and data to determine which San Antonio suburbs are the real pits.

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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 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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around San Antonio for 2022:

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

What's the worst suburb of San Antonio? Lytle ranks as the worst suburb of San Antonio for 2022 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 2022

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 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

6
/10

Population: 2,429
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,583 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.2% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $99,600 (lowest)
More on Lytle:  Data | Photos

Lytle, TX

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 $53,948 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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,279
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $53,948 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $174,300 (6th lowest)
More on Leon Valley:  Data

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

6
/10

Population: 8,709
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $43,565 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $109,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Kirby:  Data | Photos

Kirby, TX

If you live in Converse, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 7th lowest San Antonio suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 6th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Antonio. Remember, we looked at 23 cities for this study.

Converse is about 13.5 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,582
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $69,048 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $170,400 (4th lowest)
More on Converse:  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 $156,300. To put that into perspective, in Alamo Heights, the median income is $198,295, which is the best in the area.

Balcones Heights has an unemployment rate of 0.39% which ranks 22nd worst.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,128
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,543 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 0.4% (22nd highest)
Median Home Value: $156,300 (3rd lowest)
More on Balcones Heights:  Data

Windcrest has 5,854 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 15.349570702645874%.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,854
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Income: $80,069 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $218,000 (9th lowest)
More on Windcrest:  Data | Photos

Windcrest, TX

Source: Wikipedia

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

It's the place with the 17th most out of work residents in the San Antonio metro area (1.67%).

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,097
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $61,375 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $191,800 (7th lowest)
More on Castroville:  Data | Photos

Castroville, TX

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 8th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 4th highest unemployment rate (5.72%) in the entire San Antonio metro area.

Homes only cost $171,800 for a reason. That's cheap for San Antonio standards.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 16,118
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Income: $66,201 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $171,800 (5th lowest)
More on Live Oak:  Data

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

About 4.39% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 84,622
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $71,274 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $237,900 (13th lowest)
More on New Braunfels:  Data | Photos

New Braunfels, TX

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 13th highest unemployment rate (2.67%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,279
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $95,450 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $287,900 (14th lowest)
More on Bulverde:  Data

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around San Antonio for 2022

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 2016-2020, 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, 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.

Summary: The areas around San Antonio where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

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
  • Hollywood Park
  • Fair Oaks Ranch

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst San Antonio Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lytle 2,429 $54,583 $99,600
2 Leon Valley 12,279 $53,948 $174,300
3 Kirby 8,709 $43,565 $109,800
4 Converse 27,582 $69,048 $170,400
5 Balcones Heights 3,128 $29,543 $156,300
6 Windcrest 5,854 $80,069 $218,000
7 Castroville 3,097 $61,375 $191,800
8 Live Oak 16,118 $66,201 $171,800
9 New Braunfels 84,622 $71,274 $237,900
10 Bulverde 5,279 $95,450 $287,900
11 Boerne 16,909 $77,917 $305,600
12 St. Hedwig 2,474 $95,778 $229,500
13 Schertz 42,433 $84,527 $223,400
14 Selma 11,241 $84,712 $201,900
15 Castle Hills 4,459 $89,464 $324,600
16 Cibolo 30,333 $102,109 $237,300
17 Helotes 9,525 $112,730 $314,600
18 Garden Ridge 4,054 $140,453 $478,600
19 Terrell Hills 5,409 $183,832 $645,000
20 Shavano Park 3,874 $198,295 $668,100
21 Fair Oaks Ranch 10,753 $129,154 $474,200
22 Hollywood Park 3,343 $117,440 $336,700
23 Alamo Heights 8,501 $147,475 $614,000

How Is Your Town In ?

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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around San Antonio.

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.