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 2018:
- Kirby (Photos)
- Balcones Heights
- Leon Valley
- New Braunfels (Photos)
- St. Hedwig
- Live Oak
- Boerne (Photos)
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.
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.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around San Antonio for 2018
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, 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.
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.
Population: 2,810Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
Median Home Price: $90,600
Median Income: $55,536
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 3rd 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.
Population: 2,910Unemployment Rate: 9.6%
Median Home Price: $162,700
Median Income: $59,038
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 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $59,038 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.
Population: 8,441Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Home Price: $82,500
Median Income: $44,063
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.
4. Balcones Heights
Population: 3,017 Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Median Home Price: $100,600
Median Income: $30,962
If you live in Balcones Heights, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 1st lowest San Antonio suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 18th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Antonio. Remember, we looked at 23 cities for this study.
Balcones Heights is about 1.9 miles to downtown.
5. Leon Valley
Population: 10,990 Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Median Home Price: $147,000
Median Income: $57,817
Leon Valley has the distinction of being a San Antonio suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Leon Valley has the 6th lowest home values in the metro San Antonio area, where the median price is $147,000. To put that into perspective, in Terrell Hills, the median income is $180,128, which is the best in the area.
Leon Valley has an unemployment rate of 6.5% which ranks 7th worst.
Population: 21,169 Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $133,300
Median Income: $63,240
Converse has 21,169 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 9.1%.
7. New Braunfels
Population: 67,097Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Median Home Price: $177,200
Median Income: $61,618
Ah, New Braunfels. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around San Antonio.
It’s the place with the 13th most out of work residents in the San Antonio metro area (4.4%).
8. St. Hedwig
Population: 2,200 Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $179,500
Median Income: $75,035
St. Hedwig is a city about 19.5 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. St. Hedwig has the 10th most uninsured people, 10th worst incomes, and has the 4th highest unemployment rate (6.7%) in the entire San Antonio metro area.
Homes only cost $179,500 for a reason. That’s cheap for San Antonio standards.
9. Live Oak
Population: 15,021 Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $123,500
Median Income: $61,873
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 4.3% of residents are out of work.
Population: 13,066Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Median Home Price: $225,600
Median Income: $61,259
Rounding out the ten worst San Antonio suburbs to call home is Boerne.
Located 25.0 miles outside the city, Boernes is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 9th highest unemployment rate (5.4%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around San Antonio where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
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. Terrell Hills takes the cake as the best place to live around San Antonio.
For more Texas reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Texas
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Texas
- These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In Texas
Detailed List Of The Worst San Antonio Suburbs
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