The 10 Worst Modesto Suburbs For 2022

We used science and data to determine which Modesto suburbs are the real pits.

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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Modesto for 2022:

  1. Livingston
  2. Atwater
  3. Waterford
  4. Gustine
  5. Stockton
  6. Ceres
  7. Newman
  8. Oakdale
  9. Patterson
  10. Turlock

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.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in California check out the best places in California overall or the worst.

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:

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,392
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $58,884 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $231,100 (lowest)
More on Livingston:  Data | Photos

Livingston, CA

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,336
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $57,052 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $251,100 (2nd lowest)
More on Atwater:  Data | Photos

Atwater, CA

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,884
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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,748
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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 311,103
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $58,393 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $298,200 (7th lowest)
More on Stockton:  Data | Photos

Stockton, CA

Source: Public domain

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%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,355
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $59,247 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $284,300 (6th lowest)
More on Ceres:  Data | Photos

Ceres, CA

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%).

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,498
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Income: $65,156 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (highest)
Median Home Value: $280,500 (5th lowest)
More on Newman:  Data | Photos

Newman, CA

Source: Public domain

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,932
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $67,459 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $333,100 (11th lowest)
More on Oakdale:  Data | Photos

Oakdale, CA

Source: Public domain

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,309
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $69,947 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $327,600 (9th lowest)
More on Patterson:  Data | Photos

Patterson, CA

Source: Public domain

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 72,715
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $60,799 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $329,900 (10th lowest)
More on Turlock:  Data | Photos

Turlock, CA

Source: Public domain

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.

  • Ripon
  • Hughson
  • Tracy

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Modesto Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Livingston 14,392 $58,884 $231,100
2 Atwater 30,336 $57,052 $251,100
3 Waterford 8,884 $59,938 $271,700
4 Gustine 5,748 $49,984 $273,500
5 Stockton 311,103 $58,393 $298,200
6 Ceres 48,355 $59,247 $284,300
7 Newman 11,498 $65,156 $280,500
8 Oakdale 22,932 $67,459 $333,100
9 Patterson 22,309 $69,947 $327,600
10 Turlock 72,715 $60,799 $329,900
11 Lathrop 23,863 $90,179 $385,900
12 Riverbank 24,623 $70,163 $318,800
13 Escalon 7,553 $64,844 $400,400
14 Manteca 81,078 $76,846 $407,600
15 Tracy 91,462 $95,741 $470,400
16 Hughson 7,545 $83,231 $340,200
17 Ripon 16,049 $89,110 $472,100

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor's Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don't freak out we updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around Modesto.
About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.