The 10 Worst San Diego Suburbs For 2021

We used science and data to determine which San Diego 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 Diego.

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

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 Diego 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the San Diego area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to San Diego proper, although Del Mar certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of San Diego are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 17 biggest suburbs of San Diego to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in california lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of San Diego in terms of quality of life.

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

  1. Escondido
  2. Spring Valley
  3. Lemon Grove
  4. Imperial Beach
  5. El Cajon
  6. Vista
  7. Chula Vista
  8. Oceanside
  9. La Mesa
  10. San Marcos

What's the worst suburb of San Diego? Escondido ranks as the worst suburb of San Diego for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around San Diego that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

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

And remember, there are some good places to live around San Diego 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 California reading, check out:

The 10 Worst San Diego Suburbs To Live For 2021

Escondido, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 151,300
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $64,038 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $450,200 (5th lowest)
More on Escondido:  Data | Photos

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Escondido beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 5th worst in the San Diego area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 5th 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 Escondido.

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. Spring Valley