The 10 Worst Oceanside Suburbs For 2022

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

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 2022:

  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 2022 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 2022

1. 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: 110,335
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $50,136 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $160,400 (lowest)
More on Lakeland:

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 $76,791 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 36,091
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $76,791 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (highest)
Median Home Value: $378,100 (2nd lowest)
More on Wildomar:  Data

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 150,396
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $65,326 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $473,700 (5th lowest)
More on Escondido:  Data | Photos

Escondido, CA

Source: Public domain

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 10th 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 100,659
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $73,163 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $503,500 (6th lowest)
More on Vista:  Data | Photos

Vista, CA

Source: Public domain

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 $435,700. To put that into perspective, in Del Mar, the median income is $161,705, which is the best in the area.

Murrieta has an unemployment rate of 7.01% which ranks 2nd worst.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 114,066
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $91,654 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $435,700 (3rd lowest)
More on Murrieta:  Data | Photos

Murrieta, CA

San Diego has 1,414,545 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 11.809454310632534%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,414,545
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $83,454 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $629,500 (8th lowest)
More on San Diego:  Data | Photos

San Diego, CA

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

It's the place with the 13th most out of work residents in the Oceanside metro area (4.06%).

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 96,219
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $86,408 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $584,600 (7th lowest)
More on San Marcos:  Data | Photos

San Marcos, CA

Source: Public domain

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 7th most uninsured people, 8th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (6.01%) in the entire Oceanside metro area.

Homes only cost $464,900 for a reason. That's cheap for Oceanside standards.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 113,117
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $98,631 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $464,900 (4th lowest)
More on Temecula:  Data | Photos

Temecula, CA

Source: Public domain

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 3.33% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,976
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $103,922 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $760,400 (10th lowest)
More on San Juan Capistrano:  Data | Photos

San Juan Capistrano, CA

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 (6.48%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 49,780
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $115,332 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $716,300 (9th lowest)
More on Poway:  Data | Photos

Poway, CA

Source: Public domain

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Oceanside for 2022

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 2016-2020, 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.

Summary: The areas around Oceanside where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

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 110,335 $50,136 $160,400
2 Wildomar 36,091 $76,791 $378,100
3 Escondido 150,396 $65,326 $473,700
4 Vista 100,659 $73,163 $503,500
5 Murrieta 114,066 $91,654 $435,700
6 San Diego 1,414,545 $83,454 $629,500
7 San Marcos 96,219 $86,408 $584,600
8 Temecula 113,117 $98,631 $464,900
9 San Juan Capistrano 35,976 $103,922 $760,400
10 Poway 49,780 $115,332 $716,300
11 Carlsbad 114,411 $112,933 $857,300
12 San Clemente 64,929 $108,183 $931,400
13 Encinitas 62,967 $120,488 $992,100
14 Dana Point 33,782 $105,250 $923,100
15 Solana Beach 13,301 $106,904 $1,333,200
16 Del Mar 4,331 $161,705 $2,000,001

How Is Your Town In ?

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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around Oceanside.
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.