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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 Modesto.
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 Modesto 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Modesto area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Modesto proper, although Ripon certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Modesto are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 17 biggest suburbs of Modesto 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 Modesto in terms of quality of life.
What's the worst suburb of Modesto? Livingston ranks as the worst suburb of Modesto for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Modesto that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Modesto 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:
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The 10 Worst Modesto Suburbs To Live For 2022
We'll get the ball rolling with Livingston, the absolute worst place to live around Modesto according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Livingston beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th worst in the Modesto area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 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 Livingston.
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.
Welcome to Atwater. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 29.6 miles to Modesto. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $57,052 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 Modesto suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Waterford 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 Modesto suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $59,938 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $271,700 (3rd lowest)
More on Waterford: Data
If you live in Gustine, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the lowest Modesto suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 11th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Modesto. Remember, we looked at 17 cities for this study.
Gustine is about 26.4 miles to downtown.
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Income: $49,984 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $273,500 (4th lowest)
More on Gustine: Data
Stockton has the distinction of being a Modesto suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Stockton has the 7th lowest home values in the metro Modesto area, where the median price is $298,200. To put that into perspective, in Ripon, the median income is $95,741, which is the best in the area.
Stockton has an unemployment rate of 8.12% which ranks 7th worst.
Ceres has 48,355 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 14.50508710214227%.
Ah, Newman. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Modesto.
It's the place with the most out of work residents in the Modesto metro area (11.62%).
Oakdale is a city about 12.1 miles from Modesto, but Modesto 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. Oakdale has the 12th most uninsured people, 10th worst incomes, and has the 3rd highest unemployment rate (11.42%) in the entire Modesto metro area.
Homes only cost $333,100 for a reason. That's cheap for Modesto standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Modesto, then Patterson might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Modesto suburb.
About 9.02% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Modesto suburbs to call home is Turlock.
Located 12.1 miles outside the city, Turlocks is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (7.59%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Modesto 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 Modesto.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 17 suburbs to evaluate around Modesto.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 17 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 Modesto." We're lookin' at you, Livingston. 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 Modesto where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Modesto with Livingston casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Modesto aren't all bad. Ripon takes the cake as the best place to live around Modesto.
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Detailed List Of The Worst Modesto Suburbs