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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 Lakewood.
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 Lakewood 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Lakewood area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Lakewood proper, although Castle Pines certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Lakewood are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 37 biggest suburbs of Lakewood to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Colorado lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Lakewood in terms of quality of life.
What's the worst suburb of Lakewood? Commerce ranks as the worst suburb of Lakewood for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Lakewood that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Lakewood 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 Lakewood Suburbs To Live For 2022
We'll get the ball rolling with Commerce, the absolute worst place to live around Lakewood according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Commerce beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Lakewood 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 Commerce.
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: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $45,034 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $140,900 (2nd lowest)
More on Commerce:
Welcome to Sheridan. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 6.4 miles to Lakewood. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $46,202 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 Lakewood suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Aurora 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 Lakewood suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
If you live in Federal Heights, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Lakewood suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 29th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Lakewood. Remember, we looked at 37 cities for this study.
Federal Heights is about 12.6 miles to downtown.
Lochbuie has the distinction of being a Lakewood suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Lochbuie has the 7th lowest home values in the metro Lakewood area, where the median price is $275,200. To put that into perspective, in Castle Pines, the median income is $178,036, which is the best in the area.
Lochbuie has an unemployment rate of 3.54% which ranks 20th worst.
Dacono has 6,167 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 6.5672125831036166%.
Ah, Brighton. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Lakewood.
It's the place with the 10th most out of work residents in the Lakewood metro area (4.29%).
Wheat Ridge is a city about 5.1 miles from Lakewood, but Lakewood 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. Wheat Ridge has the 16th most uninsured people, 7th worst incomes, and has the 6th highest unemployment rate (4.71%) in the entire Lakewood metro area.
Homes only cost $426,500 for a reason. That's cheap for Lakewood standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Lakewood, then Denver might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Lakewood suburb.
About 4.34% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Lakewood suburbs to call home is Thornton.
Located 17.8 miles outside the city, Thorntons is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 13th highest unemployment rate (4.0%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Lakewood 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 Lakewood.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 37 suburbs to evaluate around Lakewood.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 37 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 Lakewood." We're lookin' at you, Commerce. 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 Lakewood where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Lakewood with Commerce casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Lakewood aren't all bad. Castle Pines takes the cake as the best place to live around Lakewood.
- Castle Pines
- Castle Pines
- Castle Pines
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Detailed List Of The Worst Lakewood Suburbs