Philadelphia’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 Philadelphia.
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 Philadelphia. Some neighborhoods aren’t as great as others.
So the question arises, which Philadelphia neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Philadelphia hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Philadelphia area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Manayunk ranks way above the rest.
We examined 56 of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Philadelphia’s reputation.
Here are the 10 worst neighborhoods in Philadelphia according to data:
- Hunting Park
- Strawberry Mansion
- Alleghany West
- Haddington-Carroll Park
- North Central
So what’s the worst neighborhood to live in Philadelphia for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Tioga-Nicetown looks to be the worst neighborhood in Philadelphia.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia.
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania
How we determined the worst Philadelphia hoods in 2019
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 Philadelphia:
- 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 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 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 Philadelphia.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Philadelphia to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 56 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.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $58,569 (5th worst)
Median Income: $24,935 (6th worst)
More on Tioga-Nicetown: Data
Nicetown-Tioga is a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of the city of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It comprises two smaller, older neighborhoods, Nicetown and Tioga, although the distinction between the two is rarely emphasized today. The name “Nicetown” is often simply used to refer to any part of Nicetown-Tioga.
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $57,200 (4th worst)
Median Income: $23,587 (3rd worst)
More on Hunting Park: Data
Hunting Park is a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of the United States city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 2005, the 19140 zip code, which roughly consists of Hunting Park and Nicetown-Tioga, had a median home sale price of $39,650.
The Clara Barton School, Alexander K. McClure School, and Bayard Taylor School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $71,938 (8th worst)
Median Income: $31,085 (13th worst)
More on Strawberry Mansion: Data
Strawberry Mansion is a neighborhood in the United States city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, located east of Fairmount Park in North Philadelphia. The neighborhood is bounded by 33rd Street to the west, 29th Street to the east, Lehigh Avenue to the north, and Oxford Street to the south. As of the 2000 census, the neighborhood had a population of 22,562. It is often associated with the historic house of the same name, Historic Strawberry Mansion, located adjacent to the neighborhood and generally thought to be the source of the community’s name.
In 2005, the 19121 zip code, which contains Strawberry Mansion, had a median home sale price of $47,900. This was an 85% increase, the largest of any zip code in Philadelphia, from the 2004 median sale price.
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $51,578 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $19,698 (1st worst)
More on Fairhill: Data
Fairhill is a neighborhood on the east side of the North Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Fairhill is bordered by Front Street to the east, Germantown Avenue to the west, Allegheny Avenue to the north, and Cumberland Street to the south. The neighborhood serves as the center of the Hispanic community of Philadelphia, and is known for its “El Centro de Oro” commercial strip along North 5th Street. The neighborhood is also the center of the Philadelphia Badlands. Fairhill is adjacent to Harrowgate and West Kensington to the east, Hartranft to the south, Glenwood to the west, and Hunting Park to the north.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $48,477 (1st worst)
Median Income: $25,196 (7th worst)
More on Alleghany West: Data
Allegheny West is a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of Philadelphia. It is named after an association formed by Pep Boys and Tasty Baking Company, among others, and the community bordering East Falls, Strawberry Mansion and Tioga-Nicetown. Its location in the vicinity of Allegheny Avenue on the western side of Broad Street.
Like many neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, Allegheny West is primarily a poor African-American enclave that has suffered post-industrial decline and disinvestment. It faced one of the largest population losses of any neighborhood in Philadelphia between the 1990 and 2000 census. Vacant industrial sites, such as those once used to build commuter rail trains by Budd Steel, have in recent years been used in film productions. The former Tasty Baking Co. food production facility is undergoing renovation as a mixed-use site; The former headquarters has been leveled to make way for a 75000 sq. ft grocery-anchored outlet mall.
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $48,963 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $23,871 (4th worst)
More on Harrowgate: Data
Harrowgate is a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States located immediately northeast of Kensington adjacent to Kensington Avenue. It is bordered by Feltonville, Juniata and Frankford to the north, Fairhill to the west, West Kensington and Kensington to the south, and Port Richmond and Bridesburg to the east.
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $68,396 (7th worst)
Median Income: $28,706 (10th worst)
More on Haddington-Carroll Park: Data
Carroll Park is a neighborhood in West Philadelphia. Its boundaries are Lansdowne Avenue to the north, West Girard Avenue to the south, North 63rd Street to the west, and North 52nd Street to the east. Along major streets of the neighborhood, the Carroll Park Community Council, Inc. has placed banners that say Carroll Park: Where our neighbors become friends. The 10 trolley runs along Lansdowne Avenue and the 15 trolley runs along Girard Avenue. There is a park by the name of Carroll Park between North 59th and North 58th Streets and West Thompson Street and West Girard Avenue. Carroll Parks residents are primarily working-class and lower-income African-Americans.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $90,648 (13th worst)
Median Income: $36,424 (20th worst)
More on Elmwood: Data
Elmwood Park, also known simply as Elmwood, is a neighborhood in the Southwest section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It borders the city line with Delaware County at Cobbs Creek, and extends to the Schuylkill River. The Eastwick neighborhood borders it to the southwest, and Kingsessing borders it on the northeast.
Poles and Irish Americans had long been the majority in the neighborhood, organized around Catholic parishes established throughout the early to mid 20th century.
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $94,038 (16th worst)
Median Income: $33,217 (15th worst)
More on Frankford: Data
Frankford is a neighborhood in the Northeast section of Philadelphia situated about six miles Northeast of Center City. Although its borders are vaguely defined, the neighborhood is bounded roughly by the original course of Frankford Creek, now roughly Adams to Aramingo Avenues, Roosevelt Boulevard, and Cheltenham Avenue. Adjacent neighborhoods are Bridesburg, Kensington, Juniata, Oxford Circle, Summerdale, and Wissinoming. Historically, Frankford had an unofficial division separating Frankford from East Frankford encompassing the area east of Frankford Avenue. The division divided the community first along racial lines, with African Americans on the east of Frankford Avenue and Caucasians to the west. As the community has become less homogeneous, the division is more of a vestige of the past.
In 2005, the 19124 ZIP code, which roughly contains Frankford and Juniata, had a median home sale price of $81,075, an increase of 22% over 2004.
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $87,376 (12th worst)
Median Income: $25,297 (8th worst)
More on North Central: Data
The ‘hoods around Philadelphia that are really hoods
Well there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Philadelphia with Tioga-Nicetown landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Philadelphia aren’t all bad. Manayunk takes the cake as the best place to live in Philadelphia.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Pennsylvania
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Pennsylvania
- 10 Safest Places In Pennsylvania
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Pennsylvania