These Are The 10 Worst Oceanside Suburbs For 2018


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

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Oceanside.

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 Oceanside ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Oceanside area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Oceanside proper, although Solana Beach certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Oceanside are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

We examined the 15 biggest suburbs of Oceanside 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 Oceanside in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Oceanside for 2018:

  1. Wildomar
  2. Lakeland
  3. Escondido (Photos)
  4. San Juan Capistrano (Photos)
  5. Vista (Photos)
  6. Murrieta (Photos)
  7. San Marcos (Photos)
  8. San Diego (Photos)
  9. Temecula (Photos)
  10. Dana Point (Photos)

Read on to see how we determined the places around Oceanside 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 Oceanside 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:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Oceanside 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 Oceanside.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 13,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 15 suburbs to evaluate around Oceanside.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 15 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 Oceanside.” We’re lookin’ at you, Wildomar.

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.

1. Wildomar


Population: 34,775
Unemployment Rate: 12.1%
Median Home Price: $266,900
Median Income: $62,976
More on Wildomar: Data | Jobs

We’ll get the ball rolling with Wildomar, the absolute worst place to live around Oceanside according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Wildomar beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th worst in the Oceanside area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd 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 Wildomar.

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.

2. Lakeland


Population: 102,714
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Median Home Price: $109,300
Median Income: $40,918
More on Lakeland: Data | Jobs

Welcome to Lakeland. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 29.5 miles to Oceanside. Income levels here are the 1st lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $40,918 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.

3. Escondido

Escondido, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 149,912
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
Median Home Price: $368,500
Median Income: $54,268
More on Escondido: Data | Jobs

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Oceanside suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Escondido 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 Oceanside suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano, California

Population: 36,006
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
Median Home Price: $590,500
Median Income: $79,393
More on San Juan Capistrano: Data | Jobs

If you live in San Juan Capistrano, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 8th lowest Oceanside suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 7th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Oceanside. Remember, we looked at 15 cities for this study.

San Juan Capistrano is about 27.7 miles to downtown.

5. Vista

Vista, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 98,560
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Median Home Price: $392,700
Median Income: $54,203
More on Vista: Data | Jobs

Vista has the distinction of being a Oceanside suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Vista has the 6th lowest home values in the metro Oceanside area, where the median price is $392,700. To put that into perspective, in Solana Beach, the median income is $100,698, which is the best in the area.

Vista has an unemployment rate of 5.4% which ranks 13th worst.

6. Murrieta

Murrieta, California

Population: 108,583
Unemployment Rate: 10.9%
Median Home Price: $339,800
Median Income: $76,149
More on Murrieta: Data | Jobs

Murrieta has 108,583 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 9.3%.

7. San Marcos

San Marcos, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 91,479
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $418,200
Median Income: $63,960
More on San Marcos: Data | Jobs

Ah, San Marcos. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Oceanside.

It’s the place with the 8th most out of work residents in the Oceanside metro area (6.4%).

8. San Diego

San Diego, California

Population: 1,374,812
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Median Home Price: $488,600
Median Income: $68,117
More on San Diego: Data | Jobs

San Diego is a city about 29.9 miles from Oceanside, but Oceanside 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. San Diego has the 7th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (7.7%) in the entire Oceanside metro area.

Homes only cost $488,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for Oceanside standards.

9. Temecula

Temecula, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 108,965
Unemployment Rate: 8.2%
Median Home Price: $360,500
Median Income: $83,840
More on Temecula: Data | Jobs

If you absolutely have to live near Oceanside, then Temecula might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Oceanside suburb.

About 8.2% of residents are out of work.

10. Dana Point

Dana Point, California

Population: 34,009
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Median Home Price: $780,300
Median Income: $83,913
More on Dana Point: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst Oceanside suburbs to call home is Dana Point.

Located 28.7 miles outside the city, Dana Points is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 9th highest unemployment rate (6.1%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Oceanside where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Oceanside with Wildomar casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Oceanside aren’t all bad. Solana Beach takes the cake as the best place to live around Oceanside.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Oceanside Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Wildomar 34,775 12.1% $266,900 $62,976
2 Lakeland 102,714 9.5% $109,300 $40,918
3 Escondido 149,912 7.2% $368,500 $54,268
4 San Juan Capistrano 36,006 7.1% $590,500 $79,393
5 Vista 98,560 5.4% $392,700 $54,203
6 Murrieta 108,583 10.9% $339,800 $76,149
7 San Marcos 91,479 6.4% $418,200 $63,960
8 San Diego 1,374,812 7.7% $488,600 $68,117
9 Temecula 108,965 8.2% $360,500 $83,840
10 Dana Point 34,009 6.1% $780,300 $83,913
11 Carlsbad 112,008 6.1% $674,400 $97,145
12 Poway 49,675 5.4% $583,100 $98,859
13 San Clemente 65,082 5.5% $801,100 $97,210
14 Encinitas 62,160 6.0% $820,400 $100,698
15 Solana Beach 13,312 3.3% $1,045,900 $100,352

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