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. So without further ado…
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.
Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Modesto for 2018:
- Atwater (Photos)
- Newman (Photos)
- Patterson (Photos)
- Livingston (Photos)
- Stockton (Photos)
- Ceres (Photos)
- Turlock (Photos)
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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
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- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Modesto for 2018
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, 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, Waterford.
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.
We’ll get the ball rolling with Waterford, the absolute worst place to live around Modesto according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Waterford 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 4th 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 Waterford.
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 Gustine. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 26.4 miles to Modesto. Income levels here are the 1st lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $37,770 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 Atwater 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.
If you live in Newman, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 6th lowest Modesto suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Modesto. Remember, we looked at 17 cities for this study.
Newman is about 22.2 miles to downtown.
Patterson has the distinction of being a Modesto suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Patterson has the 8th lowest home values in the metro Modesto area, where the median price is $216,500. To put that into perspective, in Ripon, the median income is $81,022, which is the best in the area.
Patterson has an unemployment rate of 13.9% which ranks 5th worst.
Livingston has 13,703 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 18.7%.
Ah, Stockton. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Modesto.
It’s the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the Modesto metro area (13.8%).
Ceres is a city about 3.7 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. Ceres has the 9th most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 4th highest unemployment rate (14.6%) in the entire Modesto metro area.
Homes only cost $180,200 for a reason. That’s cheap for Modesto standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Modesto, then Lathrop might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Modesto suburb.
About 10.9% 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 13th highest unemployment rate (11.2%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around Modesto where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Modesto with Waterford 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.
For more California reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In California
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In California
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- 10 Worst Places To Live In California
Detailed List Of The Worst Modesto Suburbs