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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Gilbert.
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 Gilbert 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Gilbert area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Gilbert proper, although Paradise Valley certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Gilbert are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 17 biggest suburbs of Gilbert to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Arizona lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Gilbert in terms of quality of life.
What's the worst suburb of Gilbert? Coolidge ranks as the worst suburb of Gilbert for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Gilbert that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Gilbert 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.
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The 10 Worst Gilbert Suburbs To Live For 2022
We'll get the ball rolling with Coolidge, the absolute worst place to live around Gilbert according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Coolidge beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the Gilbert 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 Coolidge.
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.
Welcome to Guadalupe. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 13.3 miles to Gilbert. Income levels here are the lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $42,833 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.
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Gilbert suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Casa Grande 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 Gilbert suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
If you live in Apache Junction, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 2nd lowest Gilbert suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 2nd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Gilbert. Remember, we looked at 17 cities for this study.
Apache Junction is about 13.4 miles to downtown.
Florence has the distinction of being a Gilbert suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Florence has the 5th lowest home values in the metro Gilbert area, where the median price is $188,000. To put that into perspective, in Paradise Valley, the median income is $212,773, which is the best in the area.
Florence has an unemployment rate of 7.36% which ranks 3rd worst.
Glendale has 250,290 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 17.222014834531677%.
Ah, Phoenix. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Gilbert.
It's the place with the 11th most out of work residents in the Gilbert metro area (5.35%).
Tempe is a city about 12.1 miles from Gilbert, but Gilbert 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. Tempe has the 5th most uninsured people, 8th worst incomes, and has the 9th highest unemployment rate (6.06%) in the entire Gilbert metro area.
Homes only cost $287,600 for a reason. That's cheap for Gilbert standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Gilbert, then Maricopa might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Gilbert suburb.
About 5.17% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Gilbert suburbs to call home is Mesa.
Located 6.5 miles outside the city, Mesas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 13th highest unemployment rate (5.13%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Gilbert for 2022
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 from 2016-2020, 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 Gilbert.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 6,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 17 suburbs to evaluate around Gilbert.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 17 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 Gilbert." We're lookin' at you, Coolidge. You can download the data here.
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.
Summary: The areas around Gilbert where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Gilbert with Coolidge casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Gilbert aren't all bad. Paradise Valley takes the cake as the best place to live around Gilbert.
- Paradise Valley
- Fountain Hills
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Detailed List Of The Worst Gilbert Suburbs