Detroit’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 Detroit.
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 Detroit. Some neighborhoods aren’t as great as others.
So the question arises, which Detroit neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Detroit hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Detroit area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Indian Village ranks way above the rest.
We examined 88 of Detroit’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Detroit’s reputation.
Here are the 10 worst neighborhoods in Detroit according to data:
- Forest Park
- Chaldean Town
- Poletown East
- Milwaukee Junction
- Gold Coast
- Herman Gardens
- Nw Goldberg
So what’s the worst neighborhood to live in Detroit for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Forest Park looks to be the worst neighborhood in Detroit.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Detroit 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 Detroit.
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Michigan
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
- 10 Most Dangerous Places in Michigan
How we determined the worst Detroit hoods in 2019
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 Detroit:
- 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 Detroit, Michigan 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 Detroit.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Detroit to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 88 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.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $14,000 (4th worst)
Median Income: $14,872 (3rd worst)
More on Forest Park: Data
Forest Park houses the St Albertus Roman Catholic Church and the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. It is a highly desirable neighborhood valued for the fact that demolition of blighted properties, beginning in 2008, started here first. As such, many tracts of land remain sparsely populated with a low density of residents.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $5,200 (1st worst)
Median Income: $16,172 (5th worst)
More on Chaldean Town: Data
Chaldean Town is an historic Chaldean neighborhood in Detroit located along West Seven Mile Road in a segment in between Woodward Avenue to the west and John R St. to the east. Circa 2007 the population of the district was mainly low income elderly people and recent immigrants, who were mostly made up of Chaldeans. The neighborhood was usually just a stop point for newly arrived immigrants, who then typically preferred to move to the suburbs of Detroit once they gain financial well-being.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $13,280 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $16,286 (6th worst)
More on Poletown East: Data
Poletown East is a neighborhood area of Detroit, Michigan bordering the enclave city of Hamtramck. The area was named after the Polish immigrants who originally lived in the area. A portion of residential area known as Poletown became the General Motors Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant in 1981 with those residents relocated by General Motors and the cities of Detroit and Hamtramck which claimed eminent domain in order to make way for a new automobile plant.
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $10,300 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $22,039 (16th worst)
More on Milwaukee Junction: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $23,667 (15th worst)
Median Income: $18,799 (10th worst)
More on Petosky-Otsego: Data
Rank Last Year: 52 (Up 46)
Median Home Value: $24,900 (16th worst)
Median Income: $27,832 (36th worst)
More on Gold Coast: Data
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 6)
Median Home Value: $31,400 (31st worst)
Median Income: $16,440 (7th worst)
More on Herman Gardens: Data
Built in 1943, Herman Gardens, known locally as “the Gardens”, had 2,144 units primarily within two-story multi-family buildings. The 129-unit Gardenview Senior building was on the Herman Gardens site.
The Gardens was located on the west side of Detroit at the southeast corner of the Joy Road and Southfield Freeway intersection close to what was then termed “some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the City of Detroit.” The Gardens were home to some notable individuals. Automobile giant John De Lorean, TV judge Greg Mathis, and classic Motown group The Spinners all called Herman Gardens home.
After problems had occurred in the buildings from the illegal drug trade in the early 1980s, the Detroit Housing Commission applied for HOPE VI funds under the 1996 NOFA, it intended to reduce the number of public housing units from 1,573 to 672. By August 1996, HUD had approved the demolition of 685 units using other funds, and the HOPE VI application proposed demolishing another 538 units. The application proposed renovating 274 of those existing units and building 222 new houses, along with 92 single-family houses and 84 duplexes, for a total of 672 units at the revitalized site.
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $39,375 (42nd worst)
Median Income: $17,793 (8th worst)
More on Nw Goldberg: Data
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $20,100 (11th worst)
Median Income: $21,728 (15th worst)
More on Mcdougall-Hunt: Data
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 7)
Median Home Value: $29,900 (25th worst)
Median Income: $15,460 (4th worst)
More on Briggs: Data
North Corktown is a neighborhood in the city of Detroit. It is bounded roughly by I-75 on the south, Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard on the north, I-96 on the west, and the John C. Lodge Freeway on the east.
North Corktown was originally part of the Corktown neighborhood. This changed with the construction of I-75, which severed Corktown into two separate neighborhoods.
The ‘hoods around Detroit that are really hoods
Well there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Detroit with Forest Park landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Detroit aren’t all bad. Indian Village takes the cake as the best place to live in Detroit.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more Michigan reading, check out:
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