The 10 Worst Oceanside Suburbs For 2023

We used data and Friday Night Science to identify the worst suburbs of Oceanside for 2023. The worst Oceanside suburbs are Lakeland and Wildomar.

The suburbs of Oceanside call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Oceanside to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

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 Saturday Night Science to determine which Oceanside ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Oceanside area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Oceanside proper, although Del Mar certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Oceanside are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones.

We examined the 16 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.

The 10 worst suburbs around Oceanside for 2023

  1. Lakeland
  2. Wildomar
  3. Escondido
  4. Vista
  5. San Diego
  6. Murrieta
  7. Temecula
  8. San Marcos
  9. San Juan Capistrano
  10. Poway

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Oceanside? Lakeland ranks as the worst suburb of Oceanside for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

For more California reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Oceanside Suburbs To Live For 2023

1. Lakeland

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 110,401
Median Income: $52,972 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $171,700 (lowest)
More on Lakeland:

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Lakeland beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Oceanside 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 Lakeland.

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: 36,511
Median Income: $81,622 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $413,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Wildomar:

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

This city is 27.3 miles to Oceanside. Income levels here are the 4th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $81,622 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Escondido, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 151,443
Median Income: $70,115 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $498,000 (5th lowest)
More on Escondido:

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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Oceanside suburbs.

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

Vista, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 98,651
Median Income: $79,196 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $534,100 (6th lowest)
More on Vista:

If you live in Vista, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Oceanside suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 8th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Oceanside. Remember, we looked at 16 cities for this study.

Vista is about 4.6 miles to downtown.

San Diego, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Tomcio77, User:Nehrams2020, Michael Seljos, Jackson, William Henry, User:SusanLesch | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,385,398
Median Income: $89,457 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $664,000 (8th lowest)
More on San Diego:

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

All snarkiness aside, San Diego has the 8th lowest home values in the metro Oceanside area, where the median price is $664,000. The median income is $157,708.

San Diego has an unemployment rate of 6.23% which ranks 4th worst.

Murrieta, CA

Source: Wikipedia User en:User:R Lee E | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 111,096
Median Income: $98,466 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (highest)
Median Home Value: $458,000 (3rd lowest)
More on Murrieta:

Murrieta has 111,096 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 6.089238845144358%.

Temecula, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 109,376
Median Income: $103,546 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $490,900 (4th lowest)
More on Temecula:

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

It’s the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the Oceanside metro area (6.11%).

San Marcos, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 94,313
Median Income: $90,620 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $616,600 (7th lowest)
More on San Marcos:

San Marcos is a city about 10.1 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 Marcos has the 5th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 13th highest unemployment rate (4.43%) in the entire Oceanside metro area.

Homes only cost $616,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for Oceanside standards.

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Billy Hathorn | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,319
Median Income: $111,875 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $770,000 (10th lowest)
More on San Juan Capistrano:

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

About 4.44% of residents are out of work.

Poway, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 49,005
Median Income: $119,847 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $766,700 (9th lowest)
More on Poway:

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

Located 23.2 miles outside the city, Poways is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 3rd highest unemployment rate (7.04%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Oceanside for 2023

To figure out how bad a Oceanside suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

It’s Saturday Night Science.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, 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 dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Oceanside.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 4,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 16 suburbs to evaluate around Oceanside.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 16 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 looking at you, Lakeland.

We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Oceanside.

Summary: The areas around Oceanside where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023

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

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

  • Del Mar
  • Solana Beach
  • San Clemente

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Oceanside Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lakeland 110,401 $52,972 $171,700
2 Wildomar 36,511 $81,622 $413,800
3 Escondido 151,443 $70,115 $498,000
4 Vista 98,651 $79,196 $534,100
5 San Diego 1,385,398 $89,457 $664,000
6 Murrieta 111,096 $98,466 $458,000
7 Temecula 109,376 $103,546 $490,900
8 San Marcos 94,313 $90,620 $616,600
9 San Juan Capistrano 35,319 $111,875 $770,000
10 Poway 49,005 $119,847 $766,700
11 Carlsbad 114,858 $119,302 $901,700
12 Encinitas 62,140 $132,276 $1,096,400
13 Dana Point 33,327 $111,132 $966,600
14 San Clemente 64,600 $123,090 $975,300
15 Solana Beach 13,025 $113,903 $1,431,600
16 Del Mar 4,008 $157,708 $2,000,001
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

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