The 10 Worst Oceanside Suburbs For 2021


We used science and data to determine which Oceanside suburbs 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 seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Oceanside.

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 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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Oceanside for 2021:

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

What's the worst suburb of Oceanside? Lakeland ranks as the worst suburb of Oceanside for 2021 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.

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:

The 10 Worst Oceanside Suburbs To Live For 2021

1. Lakeland

Lakeland Location In Florida

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 107,922
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,511 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $149,500 (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

8
/10

Population: 36,445
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $74,991 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (highest)
Median Home Value: $356,700 (2nd lowest)
More on Wildomar:  Data

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 $74,991 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.

Escondido, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 151,300
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $64,038 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $450,200 (5th lowest)
More on Escondido:  Data | Photos

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.

Vista, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 100,686
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $72,125 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $480,900 (6th lowest)
More on Vista:  Data | Photos

If you live in Vista, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Oceanside suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 9th 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.

Murrieta, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 112,941
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $90,535 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $414,100 (3rd lowest)
More on Murrieta:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Murrieta has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Oceanside area, where the median price is $414,100. To put that into perspective, in Del Mar, the median income is $129,063, which is the best in the area.

Murrieta has an unemployment rate of 7.61% which ranks 2nd worst.

San Diego, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 1,409,573
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $79,673 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $602,600 (8th lowest)
More on San Diego:  Data | Photos

San Diego has 1,409,573 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 12.837661243952446%.

San Marcos, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 95,355
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $78,797 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $538,200 (7th lowest)
More on San Marcos:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 11th most out of work residents in the Oceanside metro area (3.88%).

Temecula, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 113,381
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $96,183 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $444,800 (4th lowest)
More on Temecula:  Data | Photos

Temecula is a city about 21.1 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. Temecula has the 9th most uninsured people, 9th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (5.81%) in the entire Oceanside metro area.

Homes only cost $444,800 for a reason. That's cheap for Oceanside standards.

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 35,922
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $91,600 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $720,200 (10th lowest)
More on San Juan Capistrano:  Data | Photos

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 3.12% of residents are out of work.

Poway, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 49,701
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $107,902 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $686,400 (9th lowest)
More on Poway:  Data | Photos

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 6th highest unemployment rate (5.64%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Oceanside for 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 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 from 2015-2019, 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 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 lookin' at you, Lakeland. You can download the data here.

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.

The areas around Oceanside where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

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
  • Dana Point

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Oceanside Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lakeland 107,922 $47,511 $149,500
2 Wildomar 36,445 $74,991 $356,700
3 Escondido 151,300 $64,038 $450,200
4 Vista 100,686 $72,125 $480,900
5 Murrieta 112,941 $90,535 $414,100
6 San Diego 1,409,573 $79,673 $602,600
7 San Marcos 95,355 $78,797 $538,200
8 Temecula 113,381 $96,183 $444,800
9 San Juan Capistrano 35,922 $91,600 $720,200
10 Poway 49,701 $107,902 $686,400
11 Carlsbad 114,253 $110,478 $814,700
12 Encinitas 62,780 $116,022 $947,700
13 San Clemente 64,878 $110,434 $906,100
14 Dana Point 33,769 $99,409 $878,300
15 Solana Beach 13,356 $108,118 $1,192,600
16 Del Mar 4,331 $129,063 $2,000,001

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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