These Are The 10 Worst Los Angeles Neighborhoods For 2018

We used science and data to determine which Los Angeles neighborhoods are the real pits.

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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 West Los Angeles ranks way above the rest.

We examined 83 of Los Angeles’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These ten places don’t quite measure up to Los Angeles’s reputation:

  1. Fashion District
  2. Wholesale District-Skid Row
  3. Pacoima
  4. Downtown
  5. Wilmington
  6. Westlake
  7. Southeast Los Angeles
  8. Watts
  9. South Park
  10. Boyle Heights

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 reading on California, check out:

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How we determined the worst Los Angeles hoods

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 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.

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1. Fashion District

Fashion District Los Angeles, CA

Population: 2,249
Median Income: $24,426
Median Home Value: $81,475

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.

2. Wholesale District-Skid Row

Wholesale District-Skid Row Los Angeles, CA

Population: 6,989
Median Income: $27,606
Median Home Value: $175,157

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.

3. Pacoima

Pacoima Los Angeles, CA

Population: 56,455
Median Income: $49,599
Median Home Value: $266,785

Pacoima is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the northern San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. It covers an area of 7.14 square miles and has a population of over 81,000 people, with a density of approximately 10,510 people per square mile. The vast majority of the population is Hispanic.

4. Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Population: 11,144
Median Income: $25,759
Median Home Value: $164,055

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.

5. Wilmington

Wilmington Los Angeles, CA

Population: 61,824
Median Income: $49,490
Median Home Value: $287,061

Wilmington is a neighborhood in the Los Angeles Harbor Region area of Los Angeles, California, covering 9.14 square miles.

Featuring a heavy concentration of industry and the third-largest oil field in the United States, it is considered sparsely populated in comparison with the city as a whole and within the city it is distinguished by its youthful population and high percentage of Latino and foreign-born residents.

It is the site of Los Angeles Harbor College, Banning High School and ten other primary and secondary schools. Wilmington has six parks, including one on the waterfront.

6. Westlake

Westlake Los Angeles, CA

Population: 121,082
Median Income: $29,993
Median Home Value: $160,583

Westlake is a residential and commercial neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California. It was developed in the 1920s, but many of its elegant mansions have been turned into apartments, and many new multiple-occupancy buildings have been constructed.

Westlake is a high-density area, with a young and heavily Latino population. It has a score of primary and secondary schools.

7. Southeast Los Angeles

Southeast Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA

Source: Public domain

Population: 184,962
Median Income: $30,649
Median Home Value: $241,422

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.

8. Watts

Watts Los Angeles, CA

Population: 39,127
Median Income: $28,389
Median Home Value: $173,231

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.

9. South Park

South Park Los Angeles, CA

Population: 5,981
Median Income: $38,886
Median Home Value: $161,600

The neighborhood took the name of a municipal park, named South Park, which opened in 1900.

The neighborhood’s only recreation facility, South Park is at 345 East 51st Street, was established on a 20-acre plot purchased from “the Boetcher estate” in 1900, and after its planting with orange, oak and walnut trees, it was said to “compare favorably with any of the city’s older beauty spots.” It fronted on South Park Avenue, now Avalon Boulevard. The water well and pump house developed at that time are still in existence.

10. Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights Los Angeles, CA

Source: Public domain

Population: 77,102
Median Income: $35,076
Median Home Value: $287,457

Boyle Heights was called Paredon Blanco when California was part of Mexico. The area is named after Andrew Boyle, an Irishman who purchased 22 acres on the bluffs overlooking the Los Angeles River after fighting in the Mexican-American War.

From 1889 through 1909 the city was divided into nine wards. In 1899 a motion was introduced at the Ninth Ward Development Association to use the name Boyle Heights to apply to all the highlands of the Ninth Ward, including Brooklyn Heights, Euclid Heights, and the aforementioned Boyle Heights.

In 2017, some residents were protesting gentrification of their neighborhood by the influx of new businesses.

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. West Los Angeles 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:

Detailed List Of The Worst Los Angeles Neighborhoods

Neighborhood Rank Population Median Income Median Home Values
Fashion District 1 2,249 $24,426 $81,475
Wholesale District-Skid Row 2 6,989 $27,606 $175,157
Pacoima 3 56,455 $49,599 $266,785
Downtown 4 11,144 $25,759 $164,055
Wilmington 5 61,824 $49,490 $287,061
Westlake 6 121,082 $29,993 $160,583
Southeast Los Angeles 7 184,962 $30,649 $241,422
Watts 8 39,127 $28,389 $173,231
South Park 9 5,981 $38,886 $161,600
Boyle Heights 10 77,102 $35,076 $287,457
Central City East 11 6,966 $38,956 $329,229
El Sereno 12 51,920 $47,824 $317,732
Harbor City 13 26,333 $53,429 $285,571
South Los Angeles 14 245,822 $32,350 $273,237
Hyde Park 15 34,260 $40,461 $307,553
Sun Valley 16 31,826 $53,500 $318,638
Arleta 17 45,194 $53,623 $290,645
Montecito Heights 18 33,258 $38,547 $338,275
Central City 19 51,828 $30,280 $217,008
West Adams 20 11,818 $36,998 $327,500
Lincoln Heights 21 2,822 $28,546 $315,550
Harbor Gateway 22 38,215 $47,621 $372,808
North Hills 23 96,130 $54,010 $293,781
Chinatown 24 21,711 $29,978 $302,185
Civic Center-Little Tokyo 25 2,982 $37,161 $269,667
Sylmar 26 77,236 $62,159 $293,890
Hollywood 27 89,603 $36,692 $304,989
Jefferson Park 28 8,252 $38,428 $331,400
Lakeview Terrace 29 14,450 $68,004 $291,720
North Hollywood 30 159,040 $47,212 $360,544
Panorama City 31 39,450 $61,573 $322,784
Crenshaw 32 26,306 $50,817 $310,683
Highland Park 33 22,593 $44,964 $392,012
Mid City 34 146,965 $37,651 $385,804
Sunland 35 19,370 $66,506 $360,415
New Downtown 36 5,703 $37,396 $217,475
Tujunga 37 21,553 $67,085 $365,047
Leiment Park 38 10,968 $45,056 $394,650
Van Nuys 39 125,177 $48,149 $375,278
Mission Hills 40 21,356 $69,729 $334,136
San Pedro 41 72,990 $61,868 $428,843
Mount Washington 42 9,325 $53,671 $493,133
Echo Park 43 32,030 $48,736 $501,004
Reseda 44 77,777 $55,972 $352,382
Cypress Park 45 16,289 $54,885 $441,019
Canoga Park 46 84,226 $66,332 $341,196
Eagle Rock 47 54,244 $61,416 $461,588
Winnetka 48 67,983 $68,071 $384,854
Shadow Hills 49 3,800 $76,054 $411,075
Mid Wilshire 50 186,261 $52,862 $436,797
Valley Village 51 45,435 $65,244 $545,789
Silver Lake 52 42,569 $61,303 $541,639
Granada Hills 53 43,642 $86,288 $465,219
Glassell Park 54 33,910 $57,282 $435,125
Northridge 55 106,005 $72,711 $437,789
Chatsworth 56 41,309 $86,291 $466,404
Atwater Village 57 7,027 $59,994 $557,500
Toluca Lake 58 3,636 $94,379 $844,650
Beverly Glen 59 51,045 $106,538 $747,954
Glendale 60 1,743 $107,034 $800,001
Westchester 61 40,620 $86,610 $576,133
West Hills 62 30,536 $97,919 $564,436
Hollywood Hills 63 36,753 $106,650 $857,275
Pico-Robertson 64 46,665 $60,612 $656,604
Palms 65 45,417 $59,014 $434,640
Studio City 66 47,294 $102,054 $733,092
Playa Vista 67 35,426 $75,051 $593,054
Los Feliz 68 32,234 $76,229 $611,569
Woodland Hills 69 44,603 $90,275 $620,536
Encino 70 55,236 $93,977 $650,222
Tarzana 71 20,057 $99,354 $682,992
Brentwood 72 23,972 $160,432 $889,205
Playa Del Ray 73 15,903 $101,084 $744,875
Pacific Palisades 74 22,617 $161,758 $979,168
Portar Ranch 75 22,326 $110,529 $644,350
Bel Air 76 8,422 $190,305 $993,018
Venice 77 33,042 $90,381 $908,586
Mar Vista 78 41,358 $76,312 $748,433
Mid City West 79 45,642 $76,484 $628,471
Sawtelle 80 43,955 $72,549 $683,431
Westwood 81 55,399 $82,822 $671,135
Century City 82 5,471 $100,775 $881,934
West Los Angeles 83 41,512 $108,120 $839,739

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17 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Los Angeles Neighborhoods For 2018

  1. I’m going to find the neighbor who put my house up here in El Sereno,I know it’s someone who don’t like us,well guess what we don’t like u

  2. The editor’s disclaimer and infotainment premise are both big jokes. The article? Let’s put it this way: if the article were a person earning its keep, it couldn’t survive in any but the cushiest LA neighborhoods.

  3. Why wasn’t a photo of Banning Blvd. north of L St. posted for Wilmington? Why Broad Ave.? Talk about bias. Roadsnacks? No, roadkill.

  4. I live in Wilmington, California the place you said was “the #1 worst neighborhood
    in Los Angeles, CA”. So you live in Durham NC ? Have you ever actually visited any
    of the neighborhoods in your inaccurate article. Well for one thing I would
    obviously disagree with you on your ranking Wilmington # 1 Worst in Los Angeles. I
    have lived here my whole life and I know the place inside and out.

    Many of the other places you named are in smoggy hot inland parts of LA, whereas
    Wilmington is on the coast and gets great cool weather all summer long. Downtown LA
    and other LA neighborhoods you named can be over 90/100 degrees in the summer at the
    same time Wilmington is in the 70s with a cool daily ocean breeze.

    Wilmington has several Parks including a brand new Wilmington Water Front Park, and
    plans for the LA Harbor Department for a further Harbor Water Front development with
    restaurants, picnic areas, boat rentals, etc.

    We are also within very short driving proximity to many beaches and things to do,
    including but not limited to, Long Beach, CA Beaches, Queen Mary and the world class
    Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, Shoreline Drive Village, the Long Beach Pike
    Amusement Zone, many restaurants, nightclubs, and Harbor Cruises, etc., which are a
    3 to 4 mile drive away (5 to 10 minutes).

    Wilmington itself is right on on the LA Harbor, and has several Private Yacht and
    Boat Marinas contained within Wilmington.

    Wilmington is also a 15 to 20 minute drive to three world famous beaches. Redondo
    beach, CA, Hermosa Beach, CA and Manhattan Beach CA where people come from all over
    the world to vacation. It is also adjacent to San Pedro, CA which has Cabrillo
    Beach and a number of Harbor locations including the Cabrillo Yacht Marina which
    rivals Marina Del Ray, Port’s ‘O Call all within a few minutes drive.

    Wilmington also is the locale of Los Angles Harbor Community College. Adjacent to
    the college is the Los Angeles County Ken Malloy Regional which Has a hugea nature
    preserve and also contains Machado Lake with covers many acres. Picnic places,
    hiking trails etc are contained within this Huge Park and Lake complex in
    Wilmington. Also the Regional Park is currently under a $150 million renovation
    project which will make it an even better place to go.

    Anyway …. my point is you did a huge disservice to my home town just showing again
    anyone can put anything in on the internet and be absolutely wrong about what they
    are saying.

    I’m sorry to say this Mr. Sparkes, but you are an ignorant libelous so called
    reporter who should check his facts before using certain statistics to be the sole
    judge of his story.

    1. I think this “study” is BS, too. If I were going to reply about Wilmington, it would be very close to what your wrote.

  5. Does anyone with their feelings hurt realize that this article is based off statistics!? The guy did is homework; if you dispute what he is saying based off opinion, that’s ok- but ask the guy for his sources because I can put money on it that he has sources! come on people read statistics. Its all averaged out from the population even if certain groups(cities) are bigger they average out.

    Thank you for the article.

    I have a cousin that lives on 106 & Vermont.

  6. Pacoima bad I don’t think so, I grew up there 20 years plus. And still would love to live there for the fact that that neighborhood is tight with family and friends. So the next you through city names into a list that you have an opinion maybe keep them to yourself thanks no really thanks.

  7. The list is absolutely spot on. The entire part of the city of Los Angeles that lies between south of the 10 and east of the 405 is in absolute shambles, a wasteland, worse than conditions in a third world country. There is absolutely no reason for a civilized human to be in this part of town unless he’s driving through trying to get to friendly territory in the South Bay. For example, the 90062 zip code has a shocking 35% of the population living below the poverty line. 40% of the population doesn’t have a high school education. A civilized person would feel awkward having poorly educated, rude, loud, buffoonish idiots as his neighbors. There are no jobs, no shopping, no entertainment, no amenities out there. Failed schools. There’s nothing to do there other than stop by at the liquor store. Crime, drugs, hookers, homeless, trash, graffiti everywhere.

    In central LA, I would steer clear of Westlake aka MacArthur Park. Alvarado/6th – you’d swear you were in a slum somewhere in El Salvador. Koreatown north of Wilshire is quite awful.

    The ghetto disease has spread to chunks of the 818 since the 1980s. Sylmar, San Fernando, Panorama City, Sun Valley, parts of North Hollywood, Canoga Park are sketchy and sleazy and should be avoided.

    East of the LA river – Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights are no-go zones. Unfriendly territory for civilized people.

    Basically almost the whole city of LA is a big fat disaster. The LAUSD and LAPD are national embarrassments. Traffic will take a toll on your mental health. Trash, graffiti, drugs, homeless everywhere. Perhaps half the residents do not have citizenship, legal residence, work permit or any kind of visa. Broken English will pollute your ear drums. I would strongly recommend anyone having to be in LA County to seek out a separate municipality: Burbank, Calabasas, Santa Monica, Glendale, South Pasadena, Torrance – the local governments there actually know to provide services, the schools are not churning out gang-bangers and baby mamas, traffic is tolerable, and the streets are clean.

    1. You truly are the scum of the earth. Thank god I can be rest assured I’ll never have the chance of bumping into you in my slumland of a neighborhood.

      1. What Tom says is nothing but the truth. Don’t believe him if you don’t want to but DO look with your eyes at areas like Boyle Heights. I presently live here and am doing my best to GET OUT. It’s got cracked sidewalks, filth all over the streets. The city officials obviously don’t care. It used to be a clean family town with the pretty Hollenbeck Park near the freeways. It’s now an unkept park. Last week a woman was gang-raped at the park. When I first moved here 2 years ago, one of my fellow tenants was shot and killed across the street. If only there were fines for not keeping up your homes and businesses, the way they do in Glendale. Glendale is beautifully kept…So is Beverly Hills. Cleanliness is King.

    2. …what a leap to correlate bad behavior with a poor education. I was raised in NYC, a wealthier and more educated population than LA overall and I can say I never experienced the kind of low class behavior I’ve experienced in supposed best place to live, Century City. As a woman of color, I’ve lived in Century City for the past 7 years and people don’t clean up after their dogs, leave their beer bottles in the grass, are unfriendly, have no sense of community and cross the street when they see me walking my menacing 15 lb cockapoo. (That last part was sarcasm); there’s nothing classy or high minded about people who behave that way. I’m one of the youngest people in my neighborhood and one of the few people who don’t need someone to share the rent with and yet, the first thing my neighbors routinely ask me (if they address me at all) is what do I do for a living because they want to know how we live in the same neighborhood. There are a lot of racist and ignorant comments here underscoring the fact that money doesn’t buy you class or good sense. PS- I’m no one’s baby mama or kept woman and though I don’t fall into the poor category, poor people tend to work more for less pay and pay more in taxes so they don’t get to see their kids either and they don’t have some creative/knowledgeable Accountant to save them money…that’s for you, you know who you are.

  8. LOL! Only the scum of the earth would ever say LA is a nice place to live. They all jumped the fence at TJ and cant afford to buy shoes to “jump back” to their mexsiken toilets! Illegal subhumans from the south and their illegal shit bred rats make this the worst city on west coast by far! GO TRUMP!!!!

  9. Whites are the 3rd largest ethnic group in CA. Asians have actually become the largest ethnic group as of a few years ago, with Hispanics the 2nd largest. Furthermore the White ethnic population has been decreasing rapidly since the year 2000. Asians also have the highest populations in many of the CA Universities. The term being used is “minority majority” which is a made up a word to describe something that doesn’t exist. So I guess the question is- what kind of privilege is it if Asians are the majority of the population and have the highest income and most jobs (which will be the future of CA within a few years)? Another question is do white people living in China say the Chinese people have Yellow privilege? To me that would sound pretty strange.

  10. I see some places ranked higher on the safety end than really should be. Please remember this is only a rough guide which uses paperwork, bar graphs, pie charts, with a fair amount of PC mixed into it all. For example, Venice Beach is OK if you stay on your high dollar hotel property. Don’t go barefoot lest you gouge your foot with a used syringe. (no needle exchange in county). Busted alcohol bottles, plenty of “street theater”. If you’re young and adventurous and looking for some goods, this is the area for you. Just watch yourself. Santa Monica is nice, but they’re taking the bad with the good. Daytime in SM is best. Downtown is expensive if you wish to do something upscale or do the Staples Center. The hotelery ranges from terrible to the finest. I may as well tell you the rougher parts of LA are the residential areas in which low income “people of color” live. Don’t be attempting to buy any drugs from anyone on the street, pot is legal in state stores, no pick ups as they can go bad. Just use your head, don’t get drunk and you should be fine.

  11. When you copy whole articles from Wikipedia, it would be nice to add somewhere so that people don’t think some of the article was original…

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