The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Irvine For 2021


We used data and science to identify the neighborhoods in Irvine that are the real pits.

Join RoadSnacks
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 2021. This is our fifth time ranking the worst neighborhoods to live in Irvine.
Worst Neighborhoods In Irvine
Source: Public domain

Irvine'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 Irvine.

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 Irvine. Some neighborhoods aren't as great as others.

So the question arises, which Irvine neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Irvine hoods need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Irvine area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Shady Canyon ranks way above the rest.

We examined 21 of Irvine's neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don't quite measure up to Irvine's reputation.

So what's the worst neighborhood to live in Irvine for 2021? According to the most recent census data, Business District looks to be the worst neighborhood in Irvine.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Irvine 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 Irvine.

For more California reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Irvine For 2021

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,336
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $377,650 (4th worst)
Median Income: $82,278 (7th worst)
More on Business District:  Data

San Joaquin Marsh Irvine, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 1,298
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $515,450 (8th worst)
Median Income: $85,750 (8th worst)
More on San Joaquin Marsh:  Data

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is a 300 acres constructed wetland in Irvine, California, in the flood plain of San Diego Creek just above its outlet into the Upper Newport Bay.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,212
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $194,933 (worst)
Median Income: $61,141 (4th worst)
More on Rancho San Joaquin:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,367
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $552,375 (10th worst)
Median Income: $73,873 (5th worst)
More on Irvine Health And Science Complex:  Data

The UCI Medical Center is part of the UC Irvine Health Sciences system, which is composed of a number of patient care locations that serve Orange County.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 1,438
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $398,200 (5th worst)
Median Income: $46,429 (3rd worst)
More on Research Park:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,721
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $685,300 (17th worst)
Median Income: $79,476 (6th worst)
More on Spectrum:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,715
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $301,160 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $38,634 (worst)
More on University Town Center:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 3,764
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $449,500 (6th worst)
Median Income: $106,084 (13th worst)
More on Turtle Ridge:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,912
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $266,700 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $43,060 (2nd worst)
More on Uc Irvine:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 16,122
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $507,458 (7th worst)
Median Income: $97,893 (9th worst)
More on El Camino Real:  Data

How we determined the worst Irvine hoods in 2021

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 Irvine:

  • 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 Irvine, 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 Irvine.

Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Irvine to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 21 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.

The 'hoods around Irvine that are really hoods

Well there you have it -- the worst of the neighborhoods in Irvine with Business District landing at the bottom of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Irvine aren't all bad. Shady Canyon takes the cake as the best place to live in Irvine.

We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.

For more California reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Neighborhoods To Live In Irvine For 2021?

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Business District 7,336 $377,650 $82,278
2 San Joaquin Marsh 1,298 $515,450 $85,750
3 Rancho San Joaquin 4,212 $194,933 $61,141
4 Irvine Health And Science Complex 6,367 $552,375 $73,873
5 Research Park 1,438 $398,200 $46,429
6 Spectrum 3,721 $685,300 $79,476
7 University Town Center 6,715 $301,160 $38,634
8 Turtle Ridge 3,764 $449,500 $106,084
9 Uc Irvine 14,912 $266,700 $43,060
10 El Camino Real 16,122 $507,458 $97,893
11 Oak Creek 11,939 $610,700 $106,515
12 Quail Hill 648 $1,664,400 $120,536
13 Walnut Village 9,197 $640,100 $99,164
14 Lower Peters Canyon 22,899 $550,580 $106,423
15 University Park 8,436 $582,867 $101,097
16 Northwood Point 4,857 $1,030,700 $167,331
17 Northwood 24,509 $634,894 $107,068
18 Woodbridge 25,315 $633,965 $100,560
19 Turtle Rock 10,223 $1,168,567 $134,619
20 West Park 23,037 $597,469 $108,066
21 Shady Canyon 864 $1,255,000 $117,143