The suburbs of Orlando call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Orlando to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
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 Saturday Night Science to determine which Orlando ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Orlando area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Orlando proper, although Windermere certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Orlando are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones.
We examined the 23 biggest suburbs of Orlando to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Florida lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Orlando in terms of quality of life.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Orlando? Eatonville ranks as the worst suburb of Orlando for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Orlando that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Orlando too.
For more Florida reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Orlando Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $27,917 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (highest)
Median Home Value: $123,800 (lowest)
More on Eatonville:
We’ll get the ball rolling with Eatonville, the absolute worst place to live around Orlando according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Eatonville beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Orlando 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 Eatonville.
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.
Median Income: $41,746 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $217,000 (6th lowest)
More on Kissimmee:
Welcome to Kissimmee. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 10.6 miles to Orlando. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $41,746 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Median Income: $55,428 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $196,100 (4th lowest)
More on Sanford:
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Orlando suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Sanford 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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Orlando suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
Median Income: $65,274 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $239,600 (8th lowest)
More on St. Cloud:
If you live in St. Cloud, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 8th lowest Orlando suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 7th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Orlando. Remember, we looked at 23 cities for this study.
St. Cloud is about 12.8 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $55,947 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $164,900 (2nd lowest)
More on Midway:
Midway has the distinction of being a Orlando suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Midway has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro Orlando area, where the median price is $164,900. The median income is $131,392.
Midway has an unemployment rate of 5.17% which ranks 11th worst.
Median Income: $56,345 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $234,600 (7th lowest)
More on Davenport:
Davenport has 9,049 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 9.761798753339267%.
Median Income: $83,690 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $284,500 (13th lowest)
More on Ocoee:
Ah, Ocoee. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Orlando.
It’s the place with the 3rd most out of work residents in the Orlando metro area (6.08%).
Median Income: $75,736 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $267,800 (10th lowest)
More on Apopka:
Apopka is a city about 24.3 miles from Orlando, but Orlando 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. Apopka has the 9th most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 14th highest unemployment rate (4.4%) in the entire Orlando metro area.
Homes only cost $267,800 for a reason. That’s cheap for Orlando standards.
Median Income: $53,150 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $195,800 (3rd lowest)
More on Casselberry:
If you absolutely have to live near Orlando, then Casselberry might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Orlando suburb.
About 3.8% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $69,418 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $241,900 (9th lowest)
More on Longwood:
Rounding out the ten worst Orlando suburbs to call home is Longwood.
Located 20.0 miles outside the city, Longwoods is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 6th highest unemployment rate (5.77%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Orlando for 2023
To figure out how bad a Orlando suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, 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 dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Orlando.
We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 23 suburbs to evaluate around Orlando.
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 Orlando.” We’re looking at you, Eatonville.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Orlando.
Summary: The areas around Orlando where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Orlando with Eatonville casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Orlando aren’t all bad. Windermere takes the cake as the best place to live around Orlando.
- Winter Park
- Lake Mary
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Detailed List Of The Worst Orlando Suburbs