Atlanta’s neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You’ve got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.
It seems as if there’s a neighborhood for everyone in Atlanta.
And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in Atlanta. Some neighborhoods aren’t as great as others.
So the question arises, which Atlanta neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Atlanta hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Atlanta area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Virginia-Highland ranks way above the rest.
We examined 32 of Atlanta’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Atlanta’s reputation.
Here are the 10 worst neighborhoods in Atlanta according to data:
- Grove Park
- Lakewood Heights-Southeastern Atlanta
- Center Hill
- Adair Park
- Oakland City
- Vine City
- Cascade Heights
- Adams Park
- Sandtown-Southeastern Atlanta
Read on to see how we determined the places around Atlanta that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best.
Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of Atlanta.
For more reading on Georgia, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Georgia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Georgia
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Georgia
How we determined the worst Atlanta hoods
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 places have the least amount of those things. We threw the following criteria into this analysis in order to get the best, most complete results possible. We used this set of criteria for each neighborhood in Atlanta:
- High unemployment (Less jobs)
- Low median income (Less pay)
- Low population density (No things to do)
- Low home values (No one’s willing to pay to live here)
- High crime (Estimated)
Then, we ranked each neighborhood in Atlanta for each of these criteria from worst to best.
Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a “Worst Score”.
The neighborhood with the lowest “Worst Score” ranks as the worst neighborhood of Atlanta.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Atlanta to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 32 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.
Median Income: $29,469
Median Home Value: $74,100
Adamsville is a predominantly African-American neighborhood on the west side of Atlanta, Georgia. It is located where Interstate 20 and Interstate 285 meet on the west side.
The entertainers Killer Mike, Bone Crusher, and Stevie-the-Steve-Man Corby came from Adamsville.
The skating rink “Cascades” in the movie ATL is located in Adamsville.
In the year 2000, the city of Atlanta parks and recreation department started construction on a new recreation center. It was finished in 2003 at the price of $13.1 million. The recreation center is known as the C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center. The 103,000-square-foot building features an indoor 50-meter pool and a gymnasium and is 10 times larger than the existing Adamsville Recreation Center.
2. Grove Park
Median Income: $24,709
Median Home Value: $71,868
Grove Park is a northwest Atlanta, inside-the-perimeter neighborhood bounded by:
Center Hill on the west
Dixie Hills, West Lake, and Hunter Hills on the south
Bankhead on the east
Almond Park, West Highlands and Rockdale to the north
3. Lakewood Heights-Southeastern Atlanta
Median Income: $23,190
Median Home Value: $79,694
Lakewood Heights is a neighborhood in southeast Atlanta. It is bounded by:
the Betmar LaVilla, the Villages at Carver, and South Atlanta neighborhoods on the north,
the Chosewood Park neighborhood on the northeast,
the Norwood Manor neighborhood on the southeast,
the Polar Rock, Swallow Circle/Baywood and Lakewood neighborhoods on the south
the Downtown Connector on the west, across which lie the Sylvan Hills and Capitol View Homes neighborhoods
Lakewood Heights contains the Lakewood Heights Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
4. Center Hill
Median Income: $26,597
Median Home Value: $74,691
Center Hill is a neighborhood located in northwest Atlanta, Georgia. Center Hill is centered on Donald L. Hollowell Highway, Hamilton E. Holmes Drive, and Simpson Road.
5. Adair Park
Median Income: $25,861
Median Home Value: $79,300
Adair Park is a residential neighborhood located southwest of downtown Atlanta. It has the form of a left curly bracket, bordered by the MARTA north-south rail line on the northwest, the BeltLine trail on the southwest and Metropolitan Parkway on the east. Historically Adair Park also included the area from Metropolitan Parkway to McDaniel Street on the east, but the city now considers that area part of the Pittsburgh neighborhood.
6. Oakland City
Median Income: $26,157
Median Home Value: $77,803
Oakland City is a neighborhood in southwestern Atlanta, Georgia, just southwest across the BeltLine from West End and Adair Park.
Oakland City was incorporated as a city in 1894 and annexed to Atlanta in 1910.
Oakland City Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It contains wood and brick bungalows as well as Minimal Traditional, English Vernacular Revival, and Craftsman houses. The district included the Withers House, which was demolished in the first decade of the 2000s.
7. Vine City
Median Income: $24,767
Median Home Value: $117,733
English Avenue and Vine City are two adjacent and closely linked neighborhoods of Atlanta, Georgia. Together the neighborhoods make up neighborhood planning unit L. The two neighborhoods are frequently cited together in reference to shared problems and to shared redevelopment schemes and revitalization plans.
English Avenue is bounded by the railroad line and the Marietta Street Artery neighborhood to the northeast, Northside Drive, the North Avenue railyards and downtown Atlanta to the east, Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. and the Bankhead neighborhood to the west, and Joseph E. Boone Blvd. and Vine City to the south. Its population was 3,309 in 2010.
8. Cascade Heights
Median Income: $33,174
Median Home Value: $99,774
Cascade Heights is an affluent neighborhood in southwest Atlanta. It is bisected by Cascade Road, which was known as the Sandtown Road in the nineteenth century. The road follows the path of the ancient Sandtown Trail which ran from Stone Mountain to the Creek village of Sandtown on the Chattahoochee and from there on into Alabama. Ironically, the name lived on even after the Indians were expelled in the 1830s.
9. Adams Park
Median Income: $29,543
Median Home Value: $112,744
10. Sandtown-Southeastern Atlanta
Median Income: $36,651
Median Home Value: $114,843
The ‘hoods around Atlanta that are really hoods
Well there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Atlanta with Adamsville landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Atlanta aren’t all bad. Virginia-Highland takes the cake as the best place to live in Atlanta.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more Georgia reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Georgia
- These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Georgia
- 10 Safest Places In Georgia
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Georgia
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Georgia
Detailed List Of The Worst Atlanta Neighborhoods
|3||Lakewood Heights-Southeastern Atlanta||23,563|
|21||Old Fourth Ward||10,945|
|23||Ormewood Park-East Atlanta||11,846|