These Are The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Washington DC For 2018


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

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Worst Neighborhoods In Washington
Source: Public domain

Washington’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 Washington.

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 Washington. Some neighborhoods aren’t as great as others.

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

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

We examined 34 of Washington’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Washington’s reputation.

Here are the 10 worst neighborhoods in Washington according to data:

  1. Brentwood
  2. Deanwood
  3. Anacostia
  4. Stadium-Armory
  5. Fort Totten-Upper Northeast
  6. Catholic University-Brookland
  7. South West
  8. Brightwood
  9. Downtown
  10. Petworth

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

For more reading on District Of Columbia, check out:

How we determined the worst Washington hoods

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 Washington:

  • 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 Washington 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 Washington.

Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Washington to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 34 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.

1. Brentwood

Brentwood Washington, DC

Population: 27,501
Median Income: $49,237
Median Home Value: $319,182

Brentwood is a neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C. and is named after the Brentwood Mansion built at Florida Avenue and 6th Street NE in 1817 by Robert Brent, the first mayor of Washington City. He built it as a wedding present for his daughter Eleanor on her marriage as second wife to Congressman Joseph Pearson, and it stood for a hundred years before burning down in 1917.

2. Deanwood

Deanwood Washington, DC

Source: Public domain

Population: 27,514
Median Income: $38,948
Median Home Value: $200,508

Deanwood is a neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C., bounded by Eastern Avenue to the northeast, Kenilworth Avenue to the northwest, Division Avenue to the southeast, and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue to the south.

One of Northeast’s oldest neighborhoods, Deanwood’s relatively low-density, small wood-frame and brick homes, and dense tree cover give it a small-town character that is unique in the District of Columbia.

3. Anacostia

Anacostia Washington, DC

Population: 110,610
Median Income: $39,289
Median Home Value: $203,680

Anacostia is a historic neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Its downtown is located at the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue. It is located east of the Anacostia River, after which the neighborhood is named. Like the other quadrants of Washington, D.C., Southeast encompasses a large number of named neighborhoods, of which Anacostia is the most well known. Anacostia includes all of the Anacostia Historic District that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Often the name Anacostia is incorrectly used to refer to the entire portion of the city that is southeast of the Anacostia River.

4. Stadium-Armory

Stadium-Armory Washington, DC

Population: 20,783
Median Income: $60,146
Median Home Value: $365,474

Stadium-Armory is an island-platformed Washington Metro station in the Kingman Park neighborhood of Southeast Washington, D.C., United States. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Stadium-Armory serves the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines. It is a transfer station for the Blue/Silver and Orange lines, as this is the last station shared by the three lines before the lines diverge going east. The station has entrances on 19th Street at C Street and Independence Avenue.

5. Fort Totten-Upper Northeast

Fort Totten-Upper Northeast Washington, DC

Source: Public domain

Population: 23,924
Median Income: $63,623
Median Home Value: $373,632

Fort Totten is a neighborhood located in Ward 5 of Northeast Washington, D.C. Fort Totten is contained between Riggs Rd NE to the north, Bates Rd NE, Allison Street NE, and the southern end of Fort Totten Park to the south, the Washington Metropolitan Area Red Line train tracks to the east, and North Capitol Street NW to the west. The Washington Metropolitan Green Line train tracks also goes through the Fort Totten neighborhood through an underground tunnel that goes through Fort Totten Park when traveling between the Fort Totten and Georgia Avenue – Petworth Metro Stations. Fort Totten borders the adjacent neighborhoods of Riggs Park, Brightwood Park, North Michigan Park and Michigan Park, Pleasant Hill, and Petworth.

6. Catholic University-Brookland

Catholic University-Brookland Washington, DC

Population: 54,553
Median Income: $65,144
Median Home Value: $381,053

Brookland is a neighborhood in the Northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C., historically centered along 12th Street NE. Brookland is bounded by Michigan Avenue to the north, Rhode Island Avenue NE to the south, South Dakota Avenue to the east, and the tracks for the Red Line of the Washington Metro to the west. The western boundary originates with the establishment of the former Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1873, creating the physical barrier which continues to separate Brookland from Edgewood to the west today.

Brookland is served by the Brookland-CUA station on the Red Line of the Washington Metro.

7. South West

South West Washington, DC

Population: 10,350
Median Income: $74,074
Median Home Value: $326,680

Southwest is the southwestern quadrant of Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, and is located south of the National Mall and west of South Capitol Street. It is the smallest quadrant of the city. Southwest is small enough that it is frequently referred to as a neighborhood in and of itself. However, it actually contains five separate neighborhoods.

8. Brightwood

Brightwood Washington, DC

Population: 15,553
Median Income: $74,288
Median Home Value: $532,508

Brightwood is a neighborhood located in the northwestern quadrant of Washington, D.C. Brightwood is part of Ward 4.

9. Downtown

Downtown Washington, DC

Population: 8,177
Median Income: $91,559
Median Home Value: $354,550

Downtown is a neighborhood of Washington, D.C., as well as a colloquial name for the central business district in the northwest quadrant of the city. Geographically, the area extends roughly five to six blocks west, northwest, north, northeast, and east of the White House. Several important museums, theaters, and a major sports venue are located in the area. A portion of this area is known as the Downtown Historic District and was listed on the NRHP in 2001.

10. Petworth

Petworth Washington, DC

Population: 11,791
Median Income: $85,678
Median Home Value: $618,292

Petworth is a residential neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C.. It is bounded to the east by the Armed Forces Retirement Home and Rock Creek Cemetery, to the west by Arkansas Avenue NW, to the south by Rock Creek Church Road NW and Spring Road NW, and to the north by Emerson Street NW.

The neighborhood is primarily residential with a mix of terraced houses and single-family homes. It is accessible via the Georgia Ave-Petworth station on the Green Line and Yellow Line of the Washington Metro. Petworth borders to two expanses of historic greenspace, Rock Creek Cemetery and President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home.

The ‘hoods around Washington that are really hoods

Well there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Washington with Brentwood landing at the bottom of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Washington aren’t all bad. Kalorama takes the cake as the best place to live in Washington.

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

For more District Of Columbia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Washington Neighborhoods

Rank Neighborhood Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Brentwood 27,501 $49,237 $319,182
2 Deanwood 27,514 $38,948 $200,508
3 Anacostia 110,610 $39,289 $203,680
4 Stadium-Armory 20,783 $60,146 $365,474
5 Fort Totten-Upper Northeast 23,924 $63,623 $373,632
6 Catholic University-Brookland 54,553 $65,144 $381,053
7 South West 10,350 $74,074 $326,680
8 Brightwood 15,553 $74,288 $532,508
9 Downtown 8,177 $91,559 $354,550
10 Petworth 11,791 $85,678 $618,292
11 Ledroit Park 11,055 $84,403 $513,970
12 Columbia Heights 35,739 $71,515 $507,721
13 Mount Vernon Square 5,264 $81,294 $459,833
14 Capitol Hill 52,181 $94,105 $530,582
15 Foggy Bottom 15,970 $67,353 $341,890
16 Shaw 12,508 $79,725 $552,608
17 Adams Morgan 16,510 $94,042 $538,406
18 Mount Pleasant 11,933 $97,471 $579,373
19 Takoma Park 5,041 $139,977 $708,300
20 Logan Circle 13,360 $97,738 $514,130
21 Glover Park 13,001 $118,556 $567,400
22 U Street Corridor 9,799 $105,616 $592,983
23 Foxhall Village 909 $105,833 $836,850
24 Friendship Heights 2,904 $127,658 $799,800
25 Berkley 2,319 $160,093 $928,740
26 Dupont Circle 13,972 $95,580 $540,207
27 Chevy Chase 18,413 $128,985 $810,458
28 Georgetown 14,156 $138,516 $775,019
29 Cleveland Park 11,602 $114,072 $652,437
30 Woodley Park 7,406 $125,072 $844,801
31 Au-Tenleytown 18,846 $175,213 $835,779
32 The Palisades 3,475 $161,776 $953,917
33 Barnaby Woods 9,171 $179,210 $906,950
34 Kalorama 2,459 $122,740 $858,126