These Are The 10 Worst Cities In California For 2017


We used science to determine which places in The Golden State are the real pits.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2017.

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California. The American dream. The state where you can get the sun, surf, mountains and deserts. Where dreams are made and movie stars bask in the glory of their own self worth.

Where you have to ration your water. Sit in traffic. Pay too much for your house.

While California is overall, a glorious state, it has some serious, glaring issues, just like most other states. But most of the people reading this live there, and are already aware of this fact, so we won’t dwell on it.

Instead, let’s have some fun and look at only certain areas where things are the absolute worst. Turns out, the big guys like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and even Oakland aren’t even in the 100 worst places in California.

After analyzing all 409 cities with a population over 5,000, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in California:

  1. Desert Hot Springs (Photos)
  2. Wasco (Photos)
  3. Adelanto (Photos)
  4. Mendota (Photos)
  5. Dos Palos (Photos)
  6. Hemet (Photos)
  7. Clearlake (Photos)
  8. San Bernardino (Photos)
  9. Victorville (Photos)
  10. Arvin (Photos)

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2017.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

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How we determined the worst places to live in California for 2017

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 don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 409 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 409 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in California — Desert Hot Springs. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in California.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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1. Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,912
Home Values: $125,500 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.4% (39th worst)
According to science, Desert Hot Springs is by far, the worst place in the state of California. For those who are familiar with this desert city in Riverside County, is might not be much of a surprise, considering it’s a hot, empty place with nothing to do.

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For those who live there, consider these facts: The crime rate in DHS is almost the highest in California, per capita. Nearly 1 in 4 homes is vacant. And residents earn a paltry 32 grand a year. Which goes nowhere on a California budget. Plus, summers are miserable.

While other cities in the greater Palm Springs area might be considered ‘posh’ such as Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs remains one of many sore spots in the region. And now that there are water rations in place, residents who live here can’t afford to water their cactus and succulent landscaping.

Seriously, this place is filled with homeless people and smells like a combination of Mexican food and tumbleweeds.

2. Wasco

Wasco, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,973
Home Values: $135,400 (25th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.3% (19th worst)
What the heck is going on in little Wasco? The crime is the 6th highest in the state of California. Here, residents have a 1 in 12.3 chance of being robbed. That means if you live here, and didn’t have something stolen from you, there’s a good chance your neighbor did.

That ratio is one of the highest we’ve seen in the nation. Perhaps the high unemployment rate has something to do with it. More than 17.3% of Wasco residents were without jobs in the latest numbers we collected, which is the 19th highest in the state.

3. Adelanto

Adelanto, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,059
Home Values: $102,500 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 23.7% (2nd worst)
Adelanto has the exact same problems that Lucerne Valley has, and it’s located only a half hour away. Except, the crime in Adelanto is far worse than it is in Lucerne Valley. Its residents most likely work in nearby Victorville or make the trek through the Cajon Pass to shlep into San Bernardino or Riverside.

Most people have only been to Adelanto while driving on 395 on their way up north, or because they got talked into attending a baseball game at Maverick Stadium.

Or, they were desperate because Apple Valley’s Del Taco was closed.

4. Mendota

Mendota, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,402
Home Values: $108,100 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 26.5% (1st worst)
Mendota is a tiny place wedged between the 5 Freeway and Fresno in Central California. This region of California, to put it nicely, is pretty isolated, hot, and sprinkled with farms and all other sorts of agriculture. It’s an important place, economically speaking, since a lot of the nation relies on California grown crops.

However, when you consider how hard central California has been hit with water-related issues, it isn’t surprising that at least one city in this region topped this list. Crime in the area is way above normal, and residents are underemployed and way underpaid. Simply speaking, there really isn’t anything charming about Mendota.

5. Dos Palos

Dos Palos, California

Source: Flickr

Population: 5,068
Home Values: $96,300 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.1% (6th worst)
Dos Palos is the 5th worst city in California for 2015. When you’re comparing other cities to Dos Palos, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.

Dos Palos is the 116th most dangerous place in California, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 21.1%, worse than the state average.

Home values are really low ($96,300), and residents earn just $33,608 a year.

6. Hemet

Hemet, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 82,118
Home Values: $124,800 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.5% (11th worst)
Another Riverside County desert city cracks the top 10. For those in the know, Hemet is a really?challenged city to put it lightly. It has a high crime rate, residents earn far less than they should to live comfortably, and 1 in 10 doesn’t have a job at all.

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Moreover, 1 in 10 homes sits vacant, and there’s not a lot to do for fun. If you live in Hemet, this ranking might be a slight to your pride. Because, deep down, you know it’s bad there, but you always felt like you had it better than the people next door in San Jacinto. Well, you are wrong. Barely. See number 5.

7. Clearlake

Clearlake, California

Source: Flickr

Population: 15,097
Home Values: $85,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.6% (5th worst)
Most people have never heard of Clearlake. A Google map search determined it’s on the banks of Clear Lake, in the middle of nowhere north of Sacramento. Apparently, things aren’t too fabulous there, as the incomes here are almost on the poverty level, and 1 in 10 people are unemployed. While it could be considered a bit of a weekend getaway for city slickers (maybe?), almost half of the city’s roads are unpaved. Not a good sign.

And the nearest Del Taco is an hour and a half away.

8. San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 214,112
Home Values: $159,800 (54th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.6% (26th worst)
Perhaps the only thing surprising about San Bernardino being 9th is that it wasn’t higher. Crime here is horrible, more than 1 in 10 residents are without jobs (and that’s conservative), and well?we could go on and on about San Bernardino’s issues.

You’ve heard it all before. When considering the data, the only reason San Bernardino is only 9th is that there are some areas of the city in which residents earn professional salaries, and, frankly, there’s a lot more to do in the San Bernardino region than there is in the desert. And no, dodging bullets isn’t one of them.

But as professionals continue to flee into the nearby enclaves of East Highlands, Yucaipa and Redlands, the city of San Bernardino, which saw its glory days spike in the late 1970s, will continue to head down the drain and unfortunately, become an area only for those who have no aspirations to exceed in life.

9. Victorville

Victorville, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 120,703
Home Values: $143,800 (32nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.0% (44th worst)
Victorville needs some tough love as it ranks as the 9th worst city to live in California for 2015.

Crime in Victorville is the 82nd highest in the state, where 1 in 30.1 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.

. Additionally, the income is almost dead last in California.

If commute time is important, Victorville residents have the 36th longest commute of any residents on our list.

10. Arvin

Arvin, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,328
Home Values: $107,200 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (56th worst)
Arvin doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 14.4%, and people average less than $35,609 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $107,200, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in California.

And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

Wrapping Up The Worst In California

If you’re looking at areas in California with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Desert Hot Springs ranks as the worst city to live in California for 2017.

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If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in California:

  1. Los Altos (Pop. 30,075)
  2. Piedmont (Pop. 11,099)
  3. Los Altos Hills (Pop. 8,314)

For more California reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In California

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Desert Hot Springs 27,912 15.4% $125,500
2 Wasco 25,973 17.3% $135,400
3 Adelanto 32,059 23.7% $102,500
4 Mendota 11,402 26.5% $108,100
5 Dos Palos 5,068 21.1% $96,300
6 Hemet 82,118 19.5% $124,800
7 Clearlake 15,097 21.6% $85,100
8 San Bernardino 214,112 16.6% $159,800
9 Victorville 120,703 15.0% $143,800
10 Arvin 20,328 14.4% $107,200
11 San Jacinto 45,977 16.7% $146,100
12 Coachella 43,308 17.9% $151,700
13 Los Banos 36,847 14.3% $164,400
14 Avenal 14,154 18.1% $116,600
15 Shafter 17,513 14.5% $142,800
16 Dinuba 23,243 16.5% $149,900
17 Perris 72,547 17.0% $178,900
18 Commerce 13,017 14.3% $332,800
19 Calipatria 7,557 21.7% $93,200
20 Barstow 23,281 14.5% $92,600
21 Lathrop 19,678 12.0% $208,300
22 Hesperia 92,309 16.1% $158,700
23 Calexico 39,601 19.4% $161,400
24 Blythe 19,839 15.3% $122,200
25 Huntington Park 59,003 12.6% $298,500
26 San Pablo 29,777 11.6% $196,000
27 Selma 24,017 12.4% $164,100
28 Yucca Valley 21,258 14.7% $131,700
29 Marysville 12,161 15.6% $130,200
30 Stockton 299,722 15.2% $172,500
31 Palmdale 156,672 13.6% $188,300
32 Corning 7,586 20.6% $144,300
33 Huron 6,792 10.3% $122,900
34 Parlier 14,870 17.1% $113,300
35 Firebaugh 8,084 12.4% $121,600
36 Gustine 5,656 20.1% $136,900
37 Atwater 28,858 16.6% $147,500
38 Merced 81,120 17.1% $158,100
39 Woodlake 7,525 16.2% $118,300
40 Mcfarland 13,028 17.3% $120,200
41 Anderson 10,122 10.7% $157,700
42 Red Bluff 14,065 11.3% $137,200
43 Colton 53,566 13.3% $167,300
44 Delano 52,807 15.6% $147,700
45 Brawley 25,656 19.9% $143,600
46 Compton 97,955 15.7% $243,500
47 Lindsay 12,980 13.6% $124,800
48 South Gate 95,350 13.4% $312,200
49 Yreka 7,635 14.7% $154,300
50 Taft 9,130 8.1% $139,000
51 Oroville 16,060 13.2% $158,200
52 Lancaster 159,774 11.3% $170,600
53 Corcoran 23,216 15.5% $107,000
54 El Centro 43,570 15.9% $154,500
55 Gridley 6,579 14.6% $154,700
56 Banning 30,515 14.7% $165,700
57 Moreno Valley 200,788 14.1% $208,300
58 Jurupa Valley 98,231 15.1% $243,900
59 Bell 35,998 12.0% $290,100
60 Rialto 102,018 15.6% $208,100
61 Fresno 510,451 14.3% $177,500
62 Shasta Lake 10,146 10.8% $154,500
63 Lake Elsinore 58,003 13.5% $230,400
64 Porterville 55,218 12.6% $149,400
65 Orange Cove 9,565 20.0% $116,300
66 Willows 6,111 13.5% $171,100
67 Pomona 151,753 12.1% $281,300
68 Vallejo 118,995 14.4% $231,700
69 Farmersville 10,704 16.3% $114,500
70 Indio 84,094 13.7% $212,300
71 Modesto 207,482 14.8% $184,600
72 Tulare 61,204 10.1% $156,500
73 Lynwood 71,191 12.1% $289,500
74 Madera 63,053 6.5% $153,800
75 Paramount 55,023 10.7% $262,300
76 Grass Valley 12,855 12.0% $243,000
77 Palm Springs 46,305 11.3% $280,500
78 Livingston 13,611 14.1% $167,400
79 Ontario 168,218 11.2% $268,500
80 Reedley 25,092 14.4% $164,200
81 Calimesa 8,269 14.2% $161,600
82 Inglewood 111,411 14.1% $335,000
83 Chowchilla 18,384 8.8% $146,600
84 Apple Valley 71,083 13.7% $179,600
85 Waterford 8,649 23.2% $139,200
86 Cudahy 24,138 13.3% $248,000
87 Lompoc 43,428 13.1% $230,500
88 Patterson 20,967 14.0% $174,800
89 South El Monte 20,483 6.1% $347,000
90 Sanger 24,700 13.9% $161,800
91 Big Bear Lake 5,145 9.8% $368,200
92 Montclair 38,025 8.5% $264,100
93 Richmond 107,597 10.6% $296,600
94 Pittsburg 66,947 12.4% $245,600
95 Ukiah 15,936 17.3% $277,100
96 Holtville 6,172 13.9% $126,700
97 Hawaiian Gardens 14,475 10.1% $254,200
98 Ceres 46,952 16.2% $161,200
99 Eureka 26,985 10.0% $238,100
100 Fowler 6,006 11.2% $204,500

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77 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Cities In California For 2017

  1. 1.5 million visitors to Joshua Tree National Park every year….but “nobody takes vacations to the desert”
    FYI, Palm Springs is the desert, too….
    (and I wouldn’t live in Foster City if you paid me.)

  2. What a crock of spoiled granola. Joshua Tree is centre of the universe, has Joshua tree National Park with over 1.6 million visitors alone in 2014, 400 climbing formations and 8,000 climbing routes,an extensive network of trails. Some of the best artists and musicians in the world, Saturday farmers market that’s number one, restaurants, architecture , caring laid back people, good water, Mild winters, tolerable summers, spring and fall like weather 9 months of the year.
    100’s of vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and many many second homes for those escaping the larger cities.
    How about spending some time in thought on places you know nothing about?

  3. I can tell the writer is very critical of social. He/she is evidently from nocal. As for weather, social beats nocal. What the writer fails to mention is most of the places mentioned are only minutes from mountains, ocean, desert, amusement parks of all sorts. The temps in the desert does get very warm but not like the 85-90 degrees in nocal with 90% humidity. I was raised in social. San Diego to be exact. Temps were 74 degrees as an average. I lived in northern Calif ( San Jose and Sunnyvale) it was nice there but crime was also high. The ocean temperature is to cold to enjoy. It is hours away from mountains and the unemployment rate and cost of living are both high.
    Something I do agree with the writer on was the rating of Adelanto. It was to generous. I owned a home there. I believe it is corrupt. Dateline or 20-20 did a story some years back and it was described as the crookedist little city in the U.S. Sorry Adelanto, they have come a long way since then but has a long way to go. As for Lucern Valley, it is a rural town. Most folks live there to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Most are very polite. Unlike a lot of cities. Neighbors help each other.
    So writer, if you are going to make a list, do it impartially.

    1. Ted,

      Agreed on the writer having a NorCal bias. I was born in SoCal, and raised in NorCal. I love both areas, but for now, I call NorCal home. Just to set the record straight though, if you lived in SJ and Sunnyvale, in what way were the mountains hours away? Just the name “Silicon VALLEY” suggests that we are surrounded by mountains. But even if you travel away from the SV, the Santa Cruz Mountains are less than an hour away. Once you get there, if you continue going up north on the 1, (or PCH for you SoCal people) it is practically nothing but beaches on your left, and mountains on your right, all the way up to Daly City.

    2. This writer is definitely not from “No Cal”, because otherwise, he’d realize that it’s “NorCal”. “No Cal” sounds like he’s talking about food. This guy doesn’t sound like he has much experience with California in general.

  4. This list is bogus beyond belief.
    “There’s a good chance you’ve never been to Joshua Tree, unless 1) you were a marine stationed at Twentynine Palms or 2) you took a family day trip to the far corners of the desert. Who are we kidding? No one takes vacations to the desert. No one takes vacations at all in California”
    Who are you kidding, California has Sequoias, Red Woods, the Sierras, Rivers, Lakes, Mountains, Oceans, national parks and so on. Millions of people take a vacation in California. What a moron.

    1. I couldn’t tell if she big list to the 600s went from 1 to best or best to worst. It makes no sense. NO SENSE!

    2. I couldn’t tell if the big list to the 600s went from 1 to best or best to worst. It makes no sense. NO SENSE!

  5. I can’t take seriously any list that would say Menifee is a worse place to live than Barstow. I am well acquainted with both places, and I would take Menifee ANY day over Barstow!

  6. Tell me, that the person who wrote this really lives and the desert and just dummied the data to keep people away. This is by far the lamest article of this type I have ever read.

  7. Opinions mean little. Every place you live has its good and bad characteristics. Who you are is much more important than where you live. I have lived in Yucca Valley, West Modesto, Fresno, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Aptos, and Hayward. Right now I am living in Clovis. Every place has nice people and jerks. I could once again live in all of the places I lived before and do fine. Maybe West Modesto would be the hardest place. I really like the desert. I think this person who put this list together is on the very young side. There are a lot of wonderful places in California. One that did not make the list is Visalia. I love that place. I really loved Yucca Valley because of the weather, the clean air, the small town feel, the music, the proximity to the lower desert for work, and some of the stores. Another town that did not show up was Banning, which is a real sleeper. It’s a little windy at times and can get real cold, but it is up and coming. I think Riverside is also a very interesting city. In my opinion, Dana Point was way, way, way underrated. That place, and nearby San Juan Capistrano, are really very nice. I am very much enjoying living in Clovis. The crime is low, the shopping is close, the people are very friendly. I love the neighborhood where I live. We had a big neighborhood potluck in May and it was really very, very fun. I am new to the neighborhood (since December) If you can visit there and think about moving there, there are many nice things about it. The school district is extremely good. Another town that I really like is LaVerne. I think Pasadena is also a really fun place. Finally, I think that the best place to live (if you can afford it) is in, near, or around Thousand Oaks. I would have to say that Santa Barbera is in the top 5. Look at Felton, also. Watsonville is probably a possibility as is any place between San Diego and Dana Point. You have to also put Cambria high on the list. Have fun exploring!

  8. WTH?????????
    BARSTOW being # 56
    Vs.
    HESPERIA being # 10
    Seriously, that’s bull!!!!!
    I’m not saying that all the people in Barstow are bad. …., And that all the people in Hesperia are good…., But seriously everyone knows that Hesperia is WAY BETTER THAN BARSTOW. …. Just saying the list is COMPLETELY WRONG.!!!!!# …

  9. Funny that you should mention the Apple Valley Del Taco multiple times – everyone who has ever eaten here knows that the best Del Tacos are located in Barstow and still owned and operated by the original family – much better food than any of the corporately owned stores.

  10. How is Temecula a worse place to live than McFarland? Really? Calimesa being No. 15 not fair, either. Surprised to see San Bernardino so high on the list when the ballpark there was so good to him….

  11. What a joke this list is… Ever been to Joshua Tree? Well I actually live there. And 1.6 m!million visitors, artist and a lot of film and music stars call Joshua Tree home… When I have been to areas that ranked higher on your so called scientific list that are actual hell holes you may need to visit and write facts not fiction…

    1. I agree Kris! I lived there for 11 years and still own property there for a vacation home! Beautiful and unique place. Not to mention the National Park that is basically at everyone’s back door.

  12. I have to agree Brea is a much better place to live than La Habra, Pico Rivera, and many other cities rated higher. I question the “science” used to make this list!!!

  13. Let me tell you 1st Watsonville is only low on crime rate because Tualre county is full of BS laws and they don’t tell all. Watsonville as well as Teviston, Pixley, Tipton, Dinuba, Woodlake, Farmersville, Ivanhoe, Poplar and a lot of Porterville are full of illegal immigrants, manufactured drugs and drug addicts who neglect and abandon their children, families and responsibilities
    These are just a few of the areas that are listed that fail to meet their expectations. I would hunt the dumbass who made this list if I moved to those areas that are the worst of worst.

    1. Sounds like Hemet. I just read the new website on Hemet about crime, property value, and sex offenders. It states there has only been one sex offender since 2017. Are you kidding me? In my zip code alone there are close to 500! Lies and city council here are a joke.

  14. Brawley is #148?????…..I guess “science” doesn’t include the fact you live next to a stinkhole.

  15. Population Density (The lower the worse – meaning there isn’t a lot to do)
    So they think more people in less space is better??
    They can have their cities, I’ll take the mountains any day.

  16. I’m not sticking up for Lucerne Valley, but I live there, and your listings are a little flawed.

    1. Lucerne Valley isn’t a city. It’s unincorporated, there is no central government, no police, state-based fire stations, and the school district has less than 1,000 kids.
    2. Skip Lucerne Valley’s Del Taco to eat at Apple Valley? You’ve clearly never lived here: Lucerne Valley HAS NO FRANCHISE RESTAURANTS.
    3. Lucerne Valley has no real estate market (where do you want to live? A valley or on the side of a cliff face?) No one buys a home here from other towns and cities because of the amenities. They do it because that’s what HUD and Welfare offices said they can afford.

    I think your list is a bit flawed. Especially in the case of another hamlet called Trona: the village’s pH is so messed up that grass does not grow there. Outsiders eating from their Mom & Pop restaurants or drinking their water get sick from the ground toxicity. It bad enough that it was the inspiration for the movie Toxic Crusaders. That is because it is next to a salt crystal lake that is dredged for a chemical plant. It’s even more historically significant: Trona is the closest establishment to the Panamint Range where Charlie Manson lived. Lucerne Valley is known for being the site where Native Americans fought the US Cavalry. That’s about it.

    Like I said, I’m not here to defend Lucerne Valley. I am going to say something, however: if you’re going to base your findings on “science”, it should be a comprehensive list of every Zip Code Tabulation Area that exists, and not just a list of towns you spidered off of Wikipedia.

    Also… if this is using “science”, what are your data sources? For all I know you just populated a list of random number generator results just to see what would happen.

    But I doubt you’ll try it again. Based on the clickbait article count of the “worst” places in INSERT STATE HERE, you’re just trying to sell your own ads.

    1. Completely agree! A lot of these places look pretty nice and fancy compared to Trona, CA. I had to play them in football when I was in high school, and damn, that place is awful. I would rather be in jail for one year, than live in Trona, CA for two.

    2. I am rewriting this whole thing and going to use ACTUAL facts and information. I would not write a blog just to sell ads and i look down on anyone who would. I really think you made your point in that last paragraph, ha! Im surprised I’ve yet to find anything that seems based on any real facts or information at all regarding cities pros and cons. Jeez! Where can you get some real information anymore?!

  17. hemet folks should make it their goal in life to move up in the world, and buy a house in san ja, less crime and higher paying jobs.

    1. Really? San Jacinto is Hemets neighbor. Same as Murrieta being Temecula’s neighbor. Same places with different names! Too funny

  18. I am so glad you clowns never leave your computers. You can print out random lists to insult swaths of humanity from the distant safety of Durham, NC. If you consider “something to do” going to the Taco Bell, well then I guess I like places with fewer chains. You also don’t account for anything in the proximity of the towns you assess. Desert hot springs is less than ten miles from Palm Springs.
    Casual inspection suggests that you haven’t been to California. Have you done a list like this for North Carolina?

  19. Clearlake is a great place to live, and if you don’t think so, please don’t come, or if you live here please move. I moved here because of the friendly people, and the dirt roads. I wanted country living for my family, and I still do. Don’t buy on a dirt road if you don’t want to drive down one. If you want paved roads and cement then please move to the city where you can have it all. Don’t move here and then complain about how our city is. I have lived all over the United States, and I have always come back to Clearlake. I love this city and the people. Everywhere has problems such as addiction, dirt road, private roads. Check your city living out, you will most like find that almost all cities have private roads. It is common in Cities to not take on roads that they know they can not maintain. If the people of Clearlake want paved roads, then they should have past the tax that wanted to do just that, pave the roads. Or even better, make Clearlake a special district and bond out and get all the roads done and pay your fair share on your property taxes every year. You have chooses to fix this. Remember, you the people are the City, so when you complain about how your city is, IT’S ON YOU!!! We the people are the government. You elect people to represent you only. If you don’t show up to Council meeting, State meetings or call your State and Federal representatives, then it is on you. Don’t expect someone else to do things for you, because they happen to represent you. YOU STILL HAVE TO STEP UP AND PAY THE PRICE TO GET THINGS DONE.

    1. Seriously, why do people think we hate paved roads? We specifically looked for homes on an unpaved road. And the entire Clear Lake area (including Clearlake) IS beautiful. We got married there and have visited a million times.

  20. I just read this article and found most of what you said regarding the city of San Bernardino pretty accurate. I actually wrote a highy relevant article about the inland empire area here: http://www.inlandempireinjurylaw.com/blog/the-inland-empire-defined-where-population-geography

    It’s a shame such a large city has been on such a long downward spiral. The city government is corrupt, it’s bankrupt, and it’s completely bogged down by CalPERs city retirement pension fund obligations. What’s even worse is that there is no end in sight, and our glorious Governor, Jerry Brown, has announced that he has no intention of helping this city to recover. Very sad indeed.

  21. To The Editor,
    I invite you to come and stay at our Ranch just minutes from the Joshua Tree Park, to spend time in Joshua Tree so you can provide a better review of our beloved desert home, this is a home to many and a resort for many more. This is a stop to get out of the hustle of the city and enjoy true mother nature in a different form. Check us out on FB , airbnb & vrbo.

  22. How can you say Perris is worst than Moreno Valley? Not even Superman would go to Moreno Valley to deal with their problems.

  23. This is a joke……Where do they get their information???? #38 Valle Vista and #69 East Hemet are not seperate towns, they are all part of the area of Hemet!!!! Then they show Hemet #4……..Get your facts right, the only crime is this article giving bogus info!!!

    1. I so agree! And I’m laughing because some are saying San Jacinto is so much better than Hemet? What is diffetence? The name and that is it.

  24. Santa Monica is no longer the prestige place it once was.It has become too much like Long Beach the Home of the Homeless.

  25. Complete BULL SHIT. Try walking the streets of San Bernardino, Compton, or South Central LA for just 10 min and you will see.

  26. I don’t know where you found your information but it is so far off course it is unreal. Just a few example, to say Banning and Beaumont are safer than Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage,. To say Coachella is safer then those 4, is unreal. Where ever made this stupid article needs to do more research.

  27. I don’t see Temecula anywhere on this list. I saw Temescal, but not Temecula, which now has over 100,000 residents, very low crime, great schools, great climate, wine country of SoCal, affordable housing, and about 1-1.5 hours to the beach, the desert or the big SoCal cities. I can’t believe this list. 🙂 🙂 I’ve lived in California almost my entire life (Baby Boomer) and, like so many others here, am just in amazement at the inaccuracies! Have been a real estate broker and lived in Northern, Central and Southern California. wowzers…..

  28. Clearlake in the middle of nowhere??? I don’t think so!
    It is a very nice place to both visit and live. It is closer to the Napa Valley, where I live, than Sacramento.
    Lots of nice areas in and around CL.
    Has this author ever spent any time in the areas he maligns ? I think not.

  29. We recently moved from Los Gatos to Joshua Tree and could not be happier with our decision (although, in no way would I say that Joshua Tree should be ranked higher than Los Gatos on a list like this). Strangely enough, we have jobs and more than enough to do. But to place Thousand Palms and Twentynine Palms over 100 spots higher than Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Palm Springs is total nonsense. Really, I just don’t understand why unincorporated parts of California are even on this list.

  30. You want to make love to the CEO of Del Taco. We get it.

    Call their corporate office and make it happen.

  31. Why is Pomona, CA not on the list? Why the good folks of Pomona moved to Hemet, Moreno Valley, Victorville and Temecula, CA?

  32. Wrong about Foster City (which is in San Mateo County) along with San Carlos, Belmont, San Mateo, all in San Mateo County. These are old little towns that have been taken over by folks from Mexico. Mass immigration of wealthy white people out and mass immigration of poor people from Mexico in. No. California is much prettier than So. Cal. I was shocked when I went to So. Cal. to see no trees, dried up hills with scrub brush out in Agoura Hills and Calabasas. Soooo ugly compared to San Francisco, Santa Cruz. Most beautiful place on earth is the redwood forests. So. Cal. IS ugly.

    1. I live in the redwoods, but I miss SoCal. If you can’t find beauty in SoCal you have not looked in the right place, which are plentiful, and you are REALLY missing out. (Not Cali, no such place in the US).

  33. This is pure bullshit. This list is random as hell and has no meaning at all.

    (and no I’m not some city loyalist pissed about a ranking. I don’t care about that stuff. I just can tell the list is totally random)

  34. How Lame. Lucerne Valley is where I go to relax and find something good to eat at a non corporate eatery. It also has one of the most beautiful parks I have yet to behold. Certainly not worth such a dis by amateurs. Pfft. We live in rural Apple Valley in a newer 1800 sq ft home on 2 acres for under 150k and it is beautiful with all of the amenities we could want no more than 15 minutes away. This coming from a long time resident of snotty La Verne and our house payment with taxes and ins included is HALF of what we paid for rent in La Verne!

  35. You obviously have never been to Joshua Tree because it is a big tourist destination for people. So when you say no one visits the desert you are quite wrong. And there is a very low crime rate there. This may be right for people wanting to live here but get your facts straight.

  36. The town I live with in wasn’t even listed, and Bakersfield was ranked above 100!?!?!? WTF mate? There’s literally a shooting there almost every day! I kid you not.
    There are pros and cons in both Socal and NorCal. Super biased and snobby post.

    1. Lol! He mentioned Mendota but the smart guy leaves out all the surrounding towns which are basically no better. I’m from Dos Palos, California! That town is literally the worst town in California to live, but as a kid I swear I would not have wanted to grow up anywhere else in this world! We had a blast. But sadly as an adult, you either move to the Fresno area or you do meth. I chose to move to Fresno. West side til I die! Lol. I’m white but still; West side til I die!

      Ps: and who eats at del taco? Are they still in business? Lol

  37. The elitist douche, that is the writer of this travesty, takes in the butt then licks the chocolaty goodness off the shaft. Kudos, f’tard.

  38. I happened to find this article while waiting to pick someone up in Hemet and take them back to Twentynine Palms, where I live. I am a native San Diegan. I happen to agree with everyone else about Joshua Tree it’s a pretty awesome desert town. Side note: Hemet is sketchy as hell. People just pop up from behind and through buildings.

  39. Living in California since 1985;fife years in Anaheim apartment complex,bikes left outside stolen,home invasion,SS card stolen,car battery stolen(lost job).
    Another five years in San Fernando valley,car parked on street vandalized,car tires punched (during LA riots),homeless found dead in dumpster,store gun and robbery,and finally ’94 January earthquake.
    Another five years in LAGUNA NIGUEL (gated apartment complex):car burglary,gate remote stolen,car
    Impounded (permit tag was on floor),shattered windows on cars parked over night on streets ,moved to
    Condominium,gated community,finally safe place,ASSOC.penalty was $145(1998),retired 2014 ,today 2026 ass.$400 1/2 of my SOC.SEC.benefits,start searching for p/t job,if I can find at 75 y.old.GOD BLESS
    GOOD PEOPLE OF THIS LAND ,wich I’ve been told by Latino coworkers was stolen and hopefully will be back to them…WATCH “CALEXIT” 2018 referendum.

    1. Mike, I really feel for you and wish you all the best finding a job. If there’s anything that frightens me, it’s the thought of growing old on a fixed income and not being able to control for my cost of living because I am still beholden to “rent creep”, steep HOA fees and the like. And then, of course, there’s the fact that living in an apartment tends to mean a lot more hassles with thefts, pests, landlords who routinely refuse to return deposits no matter how well you keep the place up, noise issues associated with common walls and mold issues due to the complexity and age of the plumbing in multi-family units. In short, being a life-long renter is my nightmare for the reasons you described. Unfortunately, it’s the people who can least afford to rent who are often told by society that renting is the financially responsible thing to do.

      There is a long-running belief, especially among wealthy homeowners who have no recent experience as a renter, that endeavoring to buy a home is only appropriate for married couples with kids (who need the space) or those who have a lot of money. The assumption has been for so many years that singles, childless couples and those who have mid- to low incomes don’t really need to aspire to home ownership. But that attitude fails to account for the fact that the gap between paying rent on an apartment and a mortgage on a similar-size home is narrowing due to the affordable housing shortage in California. The belief that it’s more appropriate to rent vs. own also fails to account for the reality that there may not be a significant cost savings for a family that rents, say, a three bedroom apartment vs. owning a three-bedroom home.

      I once read that the average net worth of a renter is only about $5K vs. $200K for a homeowner. Those who understand this are willing to go the distance — to the lesser-expensive outlying communities — for a chance to own vs. rent. As an example, I know a gal who bought a home in Yucca Valley in 2003 for $85K and that home is worth almost double now even though it is still considered “cheap” by LA/OC standards. She moved out to the “boonies” when her friends were still busy renting in the overpriced LA/OC suburbs and paid off a small home before she hit retirement age. When she retires she won’t have to worry about HOAs or rents so high that she’s forced to pack up and leave every couple years for increasingly undesirable locations. Because she is a homeowner, she can put down roots in her community and keep her new friends nearby. Years-long renters often move so many times that they are no longer in close proximity to friends/family who are more centrally located to jobs, beaches or other desirable locations.

      For the contingent of people who insist that it is more “responsible” to rent because one is moderate or low income, I would say it’s just the opposite. If rental inflation doesn’t get the better of you while you’re still working, it most definitely will once you retire and rely on a fixed income. So while it is initially cheaper to rent, in the long run it’s cheaper to own. Why some people, ironically those who are homeowners, tend to think that the “grass is greener” renting is rather an odd phenomena. Yes, you don’t have the home maintenance. But if/when your landlord gets around to upgrading your kitchen or fixing your broken plumbing, he/she will renew your lease at a higher rate. So yes, you DID pay for that maintenance. There’s no free lunch!

      In my view, long-term renting is a lose-lose scenario, with HOAs/condos not far behind. This helps explain why so many people are willing to relocate to outlying regions in search of housing they can own even if it means hours-long commutes into work on California’s over-congested highways.

  40. you should delete this article as you clearly can’t differentiate vacation towns from urban environments and expect vacancy and employment to equate to quality.

  41. It’s a huge oversight to put places like Desert Hot Springs ahead of Palmdale and Lancaster, which by some oddball oversight don’t even make the list. Desert Hot Springs doesn’t make sense ranking ahead of places like Mentone, Yucca Valley, etc. Places like San Jacinto and Hemet, as well as other parts of the Inland Empire, were originally developed as a retirement communities and snowbird destinations. Beyond that, some people like rural areas with less population density so the fact that an area has fewer amenities — which in the suburban sprawl that is SoCal usually means wall-to-wall strip malls and miles of asphalt — doesn’t mean it’s not a desirable place to live (people who live there may prefer to own horses, raise chickens or just enjoy the wildlife and rural surroundings). In addition, some of the locations mentioned are very close to the mountains and nature preserves, such as Joshua Tree, that are destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, birders and vacationers. To use low population density to determine that a place is undesirable doesn’t really add up.

  42. to the John Reinhardt and fillmore. cbs anchor woman Cindy Hsu recently got involved in dirty coraption business with infamous cbs anchor Otis Livingston to steal money from fillmore’s employees bank accounts never trust Cindy Hsu and Otis Livingston they nothing but problems makers and need to be arrested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. I have lived in wasco for 80 years and though it might not be the best place in the u.s.i seemed to have always made it here. My dad built a new house here in Wasco in 1928 and it is still there. It never feel down in the 52 earth quake. I have lived in the same house for 56 years and it is paid off. I block from out beautiful high school. Which has one of the nicest auditoriums in all of calif.

  44. As others have commented, this list is very flawed if Trona isn’t on it, let alone at the top of the list. I suggest the writer, in the interest of balanced journalism, go there for just a day, rather than just looking at spreadsheets, and see if they don’t agree.

  45. here is the big problem with your stats… in citys like wasco calipatria taft avenal adelanto shafter, you are getting data from people in those citys that are in big jails and prisons…so the number of people living there without jobs and living in that city show a higher percapita percentage than what is actually going on…your data should be re-evaulated

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