Worst Irvine Suburbs For 2020


We used science and data to determine which Irvine suburbs are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst suburbs around Irvine.

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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 Irvine.

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 Irvine 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Irvine area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Irvine proper, although Newport Beach certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Irvine are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

We examined the 73 biggest suburbs of Irvine to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in california lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Irvine in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Irvine for 2020:

  1. Jurupa Valley
  2. Pomona (Photos)
  3. Ontario (Photos)
  4. Montclair (Photos)
  5. Lynwood (Photos)
  6. Bell Gardens (Photos)
  7. Lake Elsinore (Photos)
  8. Hawaiian Gardens (Photos)
  9. Lakeland
  10. Riverside (Photos)

What's the worst suburb of Irvine? Jurupa Valley ranks as the worst suburb of Irvine for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Irvine that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in california check out the best places in california overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Irvine 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 California reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Irvine Suburbs To Live For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 103,784
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $67,002 (23rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $339,400 (8th lowest)
More on Jurupa Valley:  Data

We'll get the ball rolling with Jurupa Valley, the absolute worst place to live around Irvine according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Jurupa Valley beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 23rd worst in the Irvine area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 8th 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 Jurupa Valley.

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.

Pomona, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 152,494
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $55,115 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $367,400 (14th lowest)
More on Pomona:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Pomona. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 26.3 miles to Irvine. Income levels here are the 8th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $55,115 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.

Ontario, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 173,580
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $61,602 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $348,200 (11th lowest)
More on Ontario:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Irvine suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Ontario 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 Irvine suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

Montclair, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 38,865
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $58,012 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $334,500 (7th lowest)
More on Montclair:  Data | Photos

If you live in Montclair, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 11th lowest Irvine suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 5th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Irvine. Remember, we looked at 73 cities for this study.

Montclair is about 27.5 miles to downtown.

Lynwood, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 71,022
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $49,684 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $371,800 (15th lowest)
More on Lynwood:  Data | Photos

Lynwood has the distinction of being a Irvine suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Lynwood has the 15th lowest home values in the metro Irvine area, where the median price is $371,800. To put that into perspective, in Newport Beach, the median income is $145,250, which is the best in the area.

Lynwood has an unemployment rate of 9.0% which ranks 3rd worst.

Bell Gardens, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 42,641
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $41,355 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $380,100 (16th lowest)
More on Bell Gardens:  Data | Photos

Bell Gardens has 42,641 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 29.888704712289844%.

Lake Elsinore, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 64,037
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $67,668 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $333,600 (6th lowest)
More on Lake Elsinore:  Data | Photos

Ah, Lake Elsinore. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Irvine.

It's the place with the 1st most out of work residents in the Irvine metro area (9.9%).

Hawaiian Gardens, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,411
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Income: $44,792 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $339,700 (9th lowest)
More on Hawaiian Gardens:  Data | Photos

Hawaiian Gardens is a city about 20.3 miles from Irvine, but Irvine 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. Hawaiian Gardens has the 4th most uninsured people, 4th worst incomes, and has the 12th highest unemployment rate (7.19%) in the entire Irvine metro area.

Homes only cost $339,700 for a reason. That's cheap for Irvine standards.

9. Lakeland

Lakeland Location In Florida

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 105,958
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $44,313 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (23rd highest)
Median Home Value: $132,100 (1st lowest)
More on Lakeland:

If you absolutely have to live near Irvine, then Lakeland might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Irvine suburb.

About 6.4% of residents are out of work.

Riverside, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 323,935
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $65,313 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $344,700 (10th lowest)
More on Riverside:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Irvine suburbs to call home is Riverside.

Located 28.1 miles outside the city, Riversides is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 7th highest unemployment rate (8.07%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Irvine for 2020

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 2014-2018, 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 Irvine.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 73 suburbs to evaluate around Irvine.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 73 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 Irvine." We're lookin' at you, Jurupa Valley. 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.

The areas around Irvine where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2020

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Irvine with Jurupa Valley casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Irvine aren't all bad. Newport Beach takes the cake as the best place to live around Irvine.

  • Newport Beach
  • Yorba Linda
  • Aliso Viejo

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Irvine Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Jurupa Valley 103,784 $67,002 $339,400
2 Pomona 152,494 $55,115 $367,400
3 Ontario 173,580 $61,602 $348,200
4 Montclair 38,865 $58,012 $334,500
5 Lynwood 71,022 $49,684 $371,800
6 Bell Gardens 42,641 $41,355 $380,100
7 Lake Elsinore 64,037 $67,668 $333,600
8 Hawaiian Gardens 14,411 $44,792 $339,700
9 Lakeland 105,958 $44,313 $132,100
10 Riverside 323,935 $65,313 $344,700
11 Paramount 54,776 $53,031 $323,600
12 Wildomar 36,162 $73,282 $331,100
13 La Puente 40,268 $61,054 $391,200
14 Midway 3,301 $54,526 $137,600
15 Stanton 38,509 $56,506 $360,800
16 Santa Ana 333,499 $61,774 $455,300
17 Chino 87,735 $79,477 $433,700
18 Bellflower 77,529 $55,729 $436,200
19 Long Beach 468,883 $60,551 $519,300
20 Anaheim 349,668 $69,443 $538,700
21 Norwalk 105,886 $66,453 $410,400
22 Carson 92,517 $78,580 $434,000
23 Pico Rivera 63,432 $65,666 $415,100
24 Signal Hill 11,538 $75,684 $487,000
25 Santa Fe Springs 17,791 $65,518 $430,800
26 La Habra 61,910 $76,452 $505,800
27 Artesia 16,817 $63,708 $505,300
28 Corona 165,355 $79,081 $444,200
29 Garden Grove 174,010 $65,591 $519,600
30 Downey 112,901 $71,948 $525,500
31 Fullerton 139,866 $73,360 $625,800
32 Westminster 91,417 $61,834 $581,900
33 West Covina 107,242 $79,140 $490,000
34 Covina 48,403 $69,449 $467,400
35 Buena Park 82,781 $72,814 $540,200
36 Norco 26,569 $95,441 $495,200
37 Costa Mesa 113,198 $79,207 $707,600
38 Orange 139,873 $86,027 $635,500
39 Tustin 80,140 $79,339 $618,500
40 Whittier 86,523 $73,517 $528,400
41 Laguna Woods 16,228 $41,928 $278,300
42 San Juan Capistrano 35,952 $87,353 $678,200
43 La Mirada 48,974 $87,778 $516,500
44 Los Alamitos 11,628 $84,068 $755,000
45 Seal Beach 24,364 $67,917 $358,700
46 Diamond Bar 56,434 $96,628 $640,600
47 Placentia 52,049 $89,690 $609,400
48 Chino Hills 79,298 $104,590 $597,400
49 Lakewood 80,771 $89,469 $524,600
50 Eastvale 61,337 $114,230 $547,800
51 Lake Forest 82,911 $104,449 $621,000
52 Laguna Hills 31,185 $98,168 $688,200
53 San Dimas 34,239 $84,749 $547,500
54 Brea 42,330 $93,703 $635,400
55 Fountain Valley 56,372 $85,423 $688,000
56 Canyon Lake 11,106 $97,237 $441,200
57 Cerritos 50,172 $99,528 $660,800
58 Walnut 30,008 $104,096 $739,100
59 Laguna Beach 23,147 $121,474 $1,700,400
60 Dana Point 33,913 $97,519 $861,600
61 Huntington Beach 200,606 $91,318 $728,200
62 La Habra Heights 5,383 $111,551 $960,500
63 El Cerrito 25,203 $100,422 $744,600
64 La Palma 15,733 $98,788 $634,900
65 Cypress 48,955 $92,098 $605,600
66 San Clemente 65,045 $105,812 $881,000
67 Villa Park 5,912 $145,250 $1,156,600
68 Laguna Niguel 65,652 $103,910 $795,300
69 Mission Viejo 96,124 $114,688 $668,800
70 Rancho Santa Margarita 48,792 $115,073 $652,400
71 Aliso Viejo 50,925 $108,558 $610,600
72 Yorba Linda 67,815 $129,391 $829,700
73 Newport Beach 86,280 $122,709 $1,787,300

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