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Houston's homicide rate is on the rise, so you should take a look at RoadSnacks' list of the worst neighborhoods in Houston for 2022 so that you don't become a statistic.
But first, this is how we created our list. In order to determine Houston's worst neighborhoods, we had to give each neighborhood an actual concrete score: we'll call this a neighborhood's overall 'Snackability'. To get this score, we looked at the latest census data on income levels, unemployment rates, crime, and home prices for 26 Houston neighborhoods with over 6,000 residents.
As you can imagine, Houston's worst neighborhoods did not disappoint. Folks, the kind of neighborhoods we're talking about have carjackings happening in broad daylight, daily robberies, and a bunch of nothing good happens after dark crimes. There are currently 3,500 police officers that patrol Houston, but the city houses 2.3 million residents. Law enforcement is doing their best to clean up the city's worst neighborhoods, but they can't be everywhere. Sadly, Houston is one of the only major U.S. cities where crime is on the rise.
We're not saying that the Space City is all bad. Matter of fact, there's actually a lot of safe fun to be had in a lot of pretty awesome neighborhoods. For instance, Montrose really brings their A-game with their Montrose Morning Market every Sunday and you definitely shouldn't miss Greater Height's Crawfish Festival. But, we're here to talk about Houston's worst.
So, want to know what Houston neighborhoods you should avoid if you value your life? Keep reading.
HomeSnacks is not your just your average website. We've been researching and ranking states and cities based on all types of criteria for the last five years. We've had more than 50 million people read our published articles and we've been featured in hundreds of media outlets for our rankings, including this feature by Click 2 Houston. So, yes we know what we're talking about.
So, what's the worst neighborhood in Houston for 2022? That would be Far North.
To see what other Houston neighborhoods made this list, take a look below; and if you can't find what you're looking for there, head to the bottom.
For more Texas reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Houston For 2022
You can probably guess where you'll find Far North. It sits along the I-45 on the way out of town, just southwest of the airport. Oh, and it's in the far north of town.
Maybe you need to get even farther north. Far North just doesn't offer much economic opportunity. The unemployment rate comes in at a relatively healthy 5.5%. However, most of the local jobs pay very little. The median income hovers at a paltry $30,316.
There are some benefits to life in Far North. The area offers a significant amount of retail and commercial spots. At the same time, home prices are cheap, with a median home value of $52,586.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $52,586 (worst)
Median Income: $30,316 (worst)
More on Far North: Data
The people of Houston are a straight-shootin' bunch. They say what they mean and mean what they say. If you live in the northeast section of the city, well, by golly, the name of your neighborhood is "Northeast." No fussin'. No confusion.
What will you find in Northeast Houston? You've got nearby golf courses, such as the Brock Park Golf Course. Plus, it's easy to catch a ride out of the city and visit some nature. Lake Houston is just a half hour from the heart of the neighborhood.
The downside? Well, it's tough to afford those golf green fees with a median income of just $32,777. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate equals 32,777.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $66,156 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $32,777 (2nd worst)
More on Northeast: Data
Here's another neighborhood with a no-mystery name. Southeast Houston lies southeast of the center of town. It contains many of Houston's top educational draws. This includes the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Unfortunately, these amenities don't overcome a sluggish economy. That's why this neighborhood counts as the number 3 worst spot in Houston for 2022.
To be fair, the numbers here aren't atrocious...just not particularly impressive. You've got an elevated unemployment rate of 6.1% and a mediocre median income of $41,297. At least the median home value sits below the $100,000 mark, meaning its relatively easy for locals to purchase a house.
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $97,556 (6th worst)
Median Income: $41,297 (5th worst)
More on Southeast: Data
East End has a long history. You could say that the modern city of Houston grew up around this neighborhood. In the 19th century, Harrisburg served as the capital of Texas when it declared its independence from Mexico. Later on, this portion of the city became an industrial and economic hub.
It still has its share of commercial activity. There is no lack of activities in the East End, from food to shopping to golf at Gus Wortham Golf Course. Still, the area isn't the economic dynamo of the past. Things have slowed down in the 21st century, making it difficult for locals to find good-paying jobs.
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $102,414 (7th worst)
Median Income: $37,480 (4th worst)
More on East End: Data
This list also includes an area called "Far North." Not willing to travel that far? Well, you can compromise. You can only go as far as North Houston. Fair warning, though: do that and you'll only end up in the number 5 least appealing neighborhood in Houston of 2022.
By now, the problems here should be familiar. Like most of the areas on this list, a murky economy holds the neighborhood back.
In this case, finding a job isn't the main concern. The unemployment rate clocks in at a reasonable 4.5%. However, the positions available only offer limited wages. North Houston supports a median income of just $34,255.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $88,419 (5th worst)
Median Income: $34,255 (3rd worst)
More on North: Data
Like football? Rodeos? Then Southwest Houston is the place for you. This section of the city houses NRG Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans. But wait! There's more! The arena also hosts the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, among many other events.
What happens when you're not watching quarterbacks or bucking broncos? Should you stick around Southwest Houston? Maybe not. A shaky economy leaves this as the number 5 worst area of Houston for 2022.
The median income comes in at a respectable $48,850. However, you'll have trouble landing these jobs. The unemployment rate hovers at 7.2%.
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $102,760 (8th worst)
Median Income: $48,850 (7th worst)
More on Southwest: Data
Houston loves to name its neighborhoods after points on the compass. North. Northeast. Southeast. Even Far North. Finally, here's one with a little more creativity: Sugarland. But it's still not a sweet place to live.
Technically, a suburb located in the far southwestern section of Houston's urban sprawl, Sugarland has a number of interesting highlights. You'll find the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land and the Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center.
Great place to take your kids on a day trip. Maybe not an ideal location to raise them permanently. As we've seen many times on this list, a weak economy undermines the neighborhood. The median income equals $42,634 and the unemployment rate sits at 6.7%.
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $83,472 (4th worst)
Median Income: $42,634 (6th worst)
More on Sugarland: Data
Reading over the list of neighborhoods on this list, you'd probably get worried about the residents of Houston. Any direction you go, there's a bad neighborhood. Well, here's another area of the compass you should try to avoid.
Most of Northwest Houston sits in a triangle formed by I-10, Highway 290 and the Sam Houston Tollway. Meanwhile, Bear Creek Pioneers Park takes up a big chunk of the neighborhood. This gives residents a well-deserved respite from the daily grind.
Unlike some of the other spots on this list, the economy here shows some signs of life. However, it's not enough to let most of the locals relax. The median income hovers at $48,919 and the unemployment rate equals 5.2%.
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $132,124 (11th worst)
Median Income: $48,919 (8th worst)
More on Northwest: Data
Don't come here for the Rose Bowl. That's in Pasadena, California, about 1,500 miles to the west. But Pasadina, Texas, has its charms as well. Located southeast of central Houston, the community touches the bay. As part of this water access, it offers attractions like the Bay Area Museum and Armand Bayou Nature Center.
The economy isn't the main problem here. Locals can expect a median income of $64,381 and an unemployment rate of just 5.0%. However, the area is removed from the central part of town. Located about 20 minutes from downtown, commutes to other parts of the city can get tricky.
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $121,525 (9th worst)
Median Income: $64,381 (12th worst)
More on Pasadina: Data
Situated on the far northwest part of the city, Spring Branch borders Bear Creek Pioneers Park. The area is defined in part by the intersection of I-10 and the Sam Houston Tollway. These factors make the neighborhood a mix of asphalt and green space, part of Houston's outer rim.
Don't worry about the economy in Spring Branch. Unlike many of its peers on this list, most locals have a strong financial situation. They enjoy a $59,660 median income and a 4.6% unemployment rate.
However, affordability becomes a problem. The median home value sits at an elevated $215,498, out of the reach of many locals.
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $215,498 (15th worst)
Median Income: $59,660 (11th worst)
More on Spring Branch: Data
Methodology: How we determined the worst Houston neighborhoods in 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 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 Houston:
- 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 Houston, Texas 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 Houston.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Houston to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 26 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.
Summary: The Worst Neighborhoods Around Houston
Well there you have it -- the worst of the neighborhoods in Houston with Far North landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Houston aren't all bad. West University takes the cake as the best place to live in Houston.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more Texas reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Neighborhoods To Live In Houston For 2022?