Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Glendale.
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 Glendale ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Glendale area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Glendale proper, although Paradise Valley certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Glendale are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…
We examined the 20 biggest suburbs of Glendale 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 Glendale in terms of quality of life.
Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Glendale for 2018:
- Guadalupe (Photos)
- Phoenix (Photos)
- El Mirage (Photos)
- Avondale (Photos)
- Mesa (Photos)
- Tempe (Photos)
- Surprise (Photos)
- Peoria (Photos)
- Santa Cruz
Read on to see how we determined the places around Glendale that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Glendale 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.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Glendale for 2018
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, 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 Glendale.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 20 suburbs to evaluate around Glendale.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 20 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 Glendale.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Tolleson.
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.
Population: 6,985Unemployment Rate: 7.0%
Median Home Price: $154,500
Median Income: $39,714
We’ll get the ball rolling with Tolleson, the absolute worst place to live around Glendale according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Tolleson beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Glendale area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd 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 Tolleson.
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.
Population: 6,172Unemployment Rate: 15.4%
Median Home Price: $82,200
Median Income: $30,326
Welcome to Guadalupe. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 17.4 miles to Glendale. Income levels here are the 1st lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $30,326 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.
Population: 1,555,324Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Median Home Price: $178,200
Median Income: $49,328
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Glendale suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Phoenix 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 Glendale suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
4. El Mirage
Population: 33,937Unemployment Rate: 7.6%
Median Home Price: $124,800
Median Income: $49,504
If you live in El Mirage, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Glendale suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 6th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Glendale. Remember, we looked at 20 cities for this study.
El Mirage is about 8.8 miles to downtown.
Population: 80,631Unemployment Rate: 6.9%
Median Home Price: $160,600
Median Income: $56,120
Avondale has the distinction of being a Glendale suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Avondale has the 4th lowest home values in the metro Glendale area, where the median price is $160,600. To put that into perspective, in Paradise Valley, the median income is $173,487, which is the best in the area.
Avondale has an unemployment rate of 6.9% which ranks 8th worst.
Population: 470,456Unemployment Rate: 6.9%
Median Home Price: $168,500
Median Income: $50,615
Mesa has 470,456 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 16.2%.
Population: 174,708Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Median Home Price: $219,900
Median Income: $50,474
Ah, Tempe. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Glendale.
It’s the place with the 11th most out of work residents in the Glendale metro area (6.0%).
Population: 127,492Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median Home Price: $197,600
Median Income: $61,035
Surprise is a city about 17.8 miles from Glendale, but Glendale 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. Surprise has the 14th most uninsured people, 8th worst incomes, and has the 4th highest unemployment rate (7.8%) in the entire Glendale metro area.
Homes only cost $197,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for Glendale standards.
Population: 158,677Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $208,200
Median Income: $66,163
If you absolutely have to live near Glendale, then Peoria might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Glendale suburb.
About 6.4% of residents are out of work.
10. Santa Cruz
Population: 63,310 Unemployment Rate: 8.5%
Median Home Price: $707,600
Median Income: $62,471
Rounding out the ten worst Glendale suburbs to call home is Santa Cruz.
Located 20.8 miles outside the city, Santa Cruzs is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 3rd highest unemployment rate (8.5%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around Glendale where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Glendale with Tolleson casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Glendale aren’t all bad. Paradise Valley takes the cake as the best place to live around Glendale.
For more Arizona reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Arizona
- These Are The 10 Safest Places In Arizona
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona
Detailed List Of The Worst Glendale Suburbs