The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Memphis For 2021

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

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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 Memphis.
Worst Neighborhoods In Memphis

Memphis'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 Memphis.

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

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

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

We examined 13 of Memphis's neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don't quite measure up to Memphis's reputation.

So what's the worst neighborhood to live in Memphis for 2021? According to the most recent census data, Shelby Forest-Frayser looks to be the worst neighborhood in Memphis.

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

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

The 5 Worst Neighborhoods In Memphis For 2021

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,652
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $52,119 (worst)
Median Income: $24,694 (worst)
More on Shelby Forest-Frayser:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,441
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $56,744 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $25,786 (2nd worst)
More on Downtown:  Data

Downtown Memphis, Tennessee is the central business district of Memphis, Tennessee and is located along the Mississippi River between Interstate 40 to the north, Interstate 55 to the south and I-240 to the east, where it abuts Midtown Memphis.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 39,436
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $61,991 (4th worst)
Median Income: $34,723 (6th worst)
More on Parkway Village-Oakhaven:  Data

Parkway Village is a predominantly African-American community in southeast Memphis, Tennessee. Parkway Village is bounded by Getwell Road and Lamar Avenue on the West, Winchester Road on the South, I-240 on the North, and Mendenhall Road on the East. The former Mall of Memphis was in the Parkway Village community.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 88,153
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $69,690 (6th worst)
Median Income: $34,319 (4th worst)
More on White Haven-Coro Lake:  Data

Whitehaven is a predominantly African-American community in Memphis, Tennessee, first organized in the late 19th century as a neighborhood for upper-class families. Its current population is about 50,000.

Berclair-Highland Heights Memphis, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,880
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $54,679 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $29,979 (3rd worst)
More on Berclair-Highland Heights:  Data

Berclair is a district of Memphis, Tennessee. It is named after a major street in this district.

How we determined the worst Memphis 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 Memphis:

  • 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 Memphis, Tennessee 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 Memphis.

Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Memphis to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 13 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 Memphis that are really hoods

Well there you have it -- the worst of the neighborhoods in Memphis with Shelby Forest-Frayser landing at the bottom of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Memphis aren't all bad. Windyke-Southwind takes the cake as the best place to live in Memphis.

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

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

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

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Shelby Forest-Frayser 34,652 $52,119 $24,694
2 Downtown 48,441 $56,744 $25,786
3 Parkway Village-Oakhaven 39,436 $61,991 $34,723
4 White Haven-Coro Lake 88,153 $69,690 $34,319
5 Berclair-Highland Heights 33,880 $54,679 $29,979
6 Midtown 62,752 $96,608 $34,572
7 Raleigh 54,460 $68,098 $37,105
8 Hickory Ridge-South Riverdale 92,024 $90,668 $45,212
9 East Memphis-Colonial-Yorkshire 107,753 $133,731 $47,789
10 River Oaks-Kirby-Balmoral 42,038 $169,116 $64,831
11 Eads-Fisherville 14,121 $197,233 $77,857
12 Cordova-Appling 83,223 $143,825 $65,003
13 Windyke-Southwind 10,884 $275,875 $85,767