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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 Greensboro.
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 Greensboro 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Greensboro area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Greensboro proper, although Oak Ridge certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Greensboro are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 31 biggest suburbs of Greensboro to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in North Carolina lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Greensboro in terms of quality of life.
What's the worst suburb of Greensboro? Liberty ranks as the worst suburb of Greensboro for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Greensboro that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Greensboro 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.
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In North Carolina
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The 10 Worst Greensboro Suburbs To Live For 2022
We'll get the ball rolling with Liberty, the absolute worst place to live around Greensboro according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Liberty beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 11th worst in the Greensboro area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 7th 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 Liberty.
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.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $43,018 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $116,300 (7th lowest)
More on Liberty: Data
Welcome to Mayodan. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 23.9 miles to Greensboro. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $28,984 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.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Income: $28,984 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.7% (highest)
Median Home Value: $82,700 (lowest)
More on Mayodan: Data
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Greensboro suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Reidsville 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 Greensboro suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
If you live in Asheboro, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 5th lowest Greensboro suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 10th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Greensboro. Remember, we looked at 31 cities for this study.
Asheboro is about 26.1 miles to downtown.
Eden has the distinction of being a Greensboro suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Eden has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro Greensboro area, where the median price is $87,700. To put that into perspective, in Oak Ridge, the median income is $124,342, which is the best in the area.
Eden has an unemployment rate of 7.93% which ranks 4th worst.
Ramseur has 2,048 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 42.755102040816325%.
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 5)
Median Income: $23,542 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $100,000 (5th lowest)
More on Ramseur: Data
Ah, Thomasville. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Greensboro.
It's the place with the 5th most out of work residents in the Greensboro metro area (7.39%).
Green Level is a city about 26.8 miles from Greensboro, but Greensboro 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. Green Level has the 4th most uninsured people, 3rd worst incomes, and has the 30th highest unemployment rate (1.41%) in the entire Greensboro metro area.
Homes only cost $93,600 for a reason. That's cheap for Greensboro standards.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $33,938 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.4% (30th highest)
Median Home Value: $93,600 (3rd lowest)
More on Green Level: Data
If you absolutely have to live near Greensboro, then Graham might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Greensboro suburb.
About 6.59% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Greensboro suburbs to call home is Wentworth.
Located 21.4 miles outside the city, Wentworths is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (6.77%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Greensboro 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 Greensboro.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 31 suburbs to evaluate around Greensboro.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 31 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 Greensboro." We're lookin' at you, Liberty. 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 Greensboro where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Greensboro with Liberty casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Greensboro aren't all bad. Oak Ridge takes the cake as the best place to live around Greensboro.
- Oak Ridge
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
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Detailed List Of The Worst Greensboro Suburbs