Los Angeles’s neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You’ve got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.
It seems as if there’s a neighborhood for everyone in Los Angeles.
And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in Los Angeles. Some neighborhoods aren’t as great as others.
So the question arises, which Los Angeles neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Los Angeles hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Los Angeles area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Mar Vista ranks way above the rest.
We examined 83 of Los Angeles’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Los Angeles’s reputation.
Here are the 10 worst neighborhoods in Los Angeles according to data:
- Fashion District
- Wholesale District-Skid Row
- West Adams
- Central City East
- Southeast Los Angeles
- Hyde Park
- South Los Angeles
So what’s the worst neighborhood to live in Los Angeles for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Fashion District looks to be the worst neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Los Angeles that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best.
Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of Los Angeles.
For more California reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In California
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California
How we determined the worst Los Angeles hoods in 2019
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 Los Angeles:
- 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 Los Angeles, California 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 Los Angeles.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Los Angeles to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 83 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.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $89,350 (1st worst)
Median Income: $39,866 (14th worst)
More on Fashion District: Data
The Los Angeles Fashion District is a design, warehouse, and distribution nexus of the clothing, accessories and fabric industry in Downtown Los Angeles. The Fashion District spans 90 blocks and is the hub of the apparel industry on the West Coast of the United States.
Thousands of fast-fashion wholesale vendors line the streets of the Los Angeles Fashion District. Fast-fashion vendors stock the most recent fashion trends straight from the catwalk.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $218,186 (6th worst)
Median Income: $29,771 (3rd worst)
More on Wholesale District-Skid Row: Data
Skid Row is an area of Downtown Los Angeles. As of the 2000 census, the population of the district was 17,740. Skid Row was defined in a decision in Jones v. City of Los Angeles as the area east of Main Street, south of Third Street, west of Alameda Street, and north of Seventh Street. Skid Row contains one of the largest stable populations of homeless people in the United States.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $188,382 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $37,562 (10th worst)
More on Downtown: Data
Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, as well as a diverse residential neighborhood of some 58,000 people. A 2013 study found that the district is home to over 500,000 jobs. It is also part of Central Los Angeles.
A heritage of the city’s founding in 1781, Downtown Los Angeles today is composed of different areas ranging from a fashion district to a skid row, and it is the hub of the city’s Metro rapid transit system. Banks, department stores and movie palaces at one time drew residents and visitors into the area, but the district declined economically and suffered a downturn for decades until its recent renaissance starting in the early 2000s: old buildings are being modified for new uses, and skyscrapers have been built. Downtown Los Angeles is known for its government buildings, parks, theaters and other public places.
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 16)
Median Home Value: $331,433 (20th worst)
Median Income: $39,578 (13th worst)
More on West Adams: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $214,404 (5th worst)
Median Income: $29,288 (2nd worst)
More on Watts: Data
Watts is a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles, California. It is located within the South Los Angeles region, bordering the cities of Lynwood and South Gate, and the unincorporated community of Willowbrook, all in Los Angeles County.
Founded in the late nineteenth century as a ranching community, the arrival of the railroads and the construction of Watts Station saw the rapid development of Watts as an independent city, but in 1926 was consolidated with Los Angeles. By the 1940s, Watts transformed into a primarily working class African American neighborhood, but from the 1960s developed a reputation as a low-income, high-crime area, following the Watts riots and the increasing influence of street gangs. Today Watts is a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood with a significant African American minority, and remains one of the most impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles despite falling crime rates since the 1990s. Notable civic activities by residents of Watts include the “Toys for Watts” toy drive, the Watts Christmas parade, and the “Watts Summer Games” athletic tournament, as well as a local theatre and a dance company, in an effort to improve the neighborhood.
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $408,571 (38th worst)
Median Income: $44,386 (18th worst)
More on Central City East: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $263,781 (8th worst)
Median Income: $31,927 (5th worst)
More on Southeast Los Angeles: Data
South Los Angeles, formerly known as South Central, is a region in southern Los Angeles County, California. According to the Los Angeles Times, it comprises 51 square miles, consisting of 25 neighborhoods within the City of Los Angeles and also three unincorporated neighborhoods.
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $340,818 (21st worst)
Median Income: $41,074 (16th worst)
More on Hyde Park: Data
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $308,659 (12th worst)
Median Income: $33,551 (8th worst)
More on South Los Angeles: Data
Rank Last Year: 28 (Up 18)
Median Home Value: $317,506 (15th worst)
Median Income: $39,247 (12th worst)
More on Hollywood: Data
The ‘hoods around Los Angeles that are really hoods
Well there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Los Angeles with Fashion District landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Los Angeles aren’t all bad. Mar Vista takes the cake as the best place to live in Los Angeles.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more California reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In California
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In California
- 10 Safest Places In California
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In California