These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In California For 2018


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 2018.

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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.

After analyzing all 410 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. Clearlake (Photos)
  3. Adelanto (Photos)
  4. Wasco (Photos)
  5. Hemet (Photos)
  6. Dos Palos
  7. Mendota (Photos)
  8. Arvin (Photos)
  9. San Bernardino (Photos)
  10. Victorville (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 2018.

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

For more California reading, check out:

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How we determined the worst places to live in California for 2018

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 410 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 410 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

Population: 28,092
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $143,300 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.7% (79th 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.

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.

Think we got the list wrong? Let us know.

2. Clearlake

Clearlake, California

Public domain

Population: 15,070
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Home Values: $84,200 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.5% (7th 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.

3. Adelanto

Adelanto, California

Population: 32,311
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $129,900 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.0% (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. Wasco

Wasco, California

Population: 26,061
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Values: $152,300 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.8% (14th worst)
Wasco is the 4th worst city in California for 2015. When you’re comparing other cities to Wasco, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.

Wasco is the 12th 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 17.8%, worse than the state average.

Home values are really low ($152,300), and residents earn just $39,559 a year.

5. Hemet

Hemet, California

Population: 82,748
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Values: $139,400 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.0% (8th 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.

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.

Think we got the list wrong? Let us know.

6. Dos Palos


Population: 5,103
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Values: $100,100 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.9% (4th worst)
Dos Palos doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 20.9%, and people average less than $36,509 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $100,100, 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.

7. Mendota

Mendota, California

Population: 11,394
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Home Values: $114,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 26.8% (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.

8. Arvin

Arvin, California

Population: 20,562
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Home Values: $116,900 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (51st worst)

Population: 20,562
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Home Values: $116,900 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (51st worst)
Located on your way to somewhere else you’d want to be, Arvin has few options for some sort of entertainment.

The main issues here are economic and education. The unemployment rate is also sky high here (13.3%) and homes are the 7th cheapest in the state ($116,900).

Say what you want about ‘cheap living’, the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s absolutely no demand to live in Arvin.

9. San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California

Population: 214,581
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Values: $176,800 (64th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.1% (35th 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.

10. Victorville

Victorville, California

Population: 121,320
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Values: $158,900 (41st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.5% (23rd worst)
Victorville, part of San Bernardino County, is the 10th worst place to live in California for 2015.

Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $45,895, and crime 108th worst in California.

Additionally, the poverty level is 25.0% in Victorville.

Think we got the list wrong? Let us know.

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 2018.

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

  1. Los Altos (Pop. 30,238)
  2. Los Altos Hills (Pop. 8,376)
  3. Aliso Viejo (Pop. 50,219)

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In California

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Desert Hot Springs 1 1 28,092 11.7% $143,300
Clearlake 2 6 15,070 19.5% $84,200
Wasco 3 2 26,061 17.8% $152,300
Adelanto 4 3 32,311 22.0% $129,900
Hemet 5 7 82,748 19.0% $139,400
Dos Palos 6 5 5,103 20.9% $100,100
Mendota 7 4 11,394 26.8% $114,500
Arvin 8 10 20,562 13.3% $116,900
San Bernardino 9 8 214,581 14.1% $176,800
Victorville 10 9 121,320 15.5% $158,900
Barstow 11 19 23,438 15.1% $96,000
Avenal 12 14 13,590 13.9% $120,400
Coachella 13 12 43,826 17.2% $161,400
Perris 14 17 73,718 14.2% $211,400
Commerce 15 18 12,997 11.4% $343,200
Calipatria 16 19 7,511 17.4% $93,200
San Jacinto 17 11 46,375 13.2% $159,700
Los Banos 18 13 37,012 14.5% $179,500
Dinuba 19 16 23,465 15.2% $157,000
Shafter 20 15 17,801 13.3% $153,600
Hesperia 21 22 92,664 13.6% $172,800
Red Bluff 22 42 14,065 12.8% $139,800
Lathrop 23 21 20,331 10.9% $250,400
Huntington Park 24 25 58,921 11.1% $322,300
Huron 25 33 6,821 9.6% $119,100
Selma 26 27 24,228 11.6% $164,500
Blythe 27 24 19,675 13.0% $126,300
San Pablo 28 26 29,991 10.1% $221,400
Delano 29 44 52,538 14.8% $160,700
Calexico 30 23 39,750 18.9% $165,300
Lindsay 31 47 13,052 10.3% $122,300
Chowchilla 32 82 18,195 8.9% $152,900
Stockton 33 29 301,443 13.8% $191,000
Compton 34 46 97,740 13.9% $264,300
Parlier 35 34 14,953 14.5% $123,300
Orange Cove 36 65 9,566 17.9% $118,800
Oroville 37 51 18,884 11.7% $152,900
South Gate 38 48 95,219 11.7% $329,000
Palmdale 39 31 156,823 11.6% $207,400
Brawley 40 45 25,776 20.6% $150,100
Gustine 41 35 5,684 18.9% $151,900
Jurupa Valley 42 58 100,737 12.7% $270,700
Merced 43 38 81,461 17.2% $170,500
Corning 44 32 7,548 21.8% $155,300
Banning 45 56 30,643 14.0% $177,000
Marysville 46 29 12,176 13.2% $145,200
Yreka 47 49 7,598 15.4% $149,800
Lancaster 48 52 159,651 9.6% $186,000
Moreno Valley 49 57 202,061 12.3% $231,400
Anderson 50 40 10,156 10.1% $158,000
El Centro 51 53 43,699 15.2% $164,900
Willows 52 66 6,080 9.6% $190,600
Woodlake 53 39 7,567 15.8% $121,300
Gridley 54 55 6,558 12.4% $158,000
Bell 55 59 35,927 11.4% $322,900
Atwater 56 37 28,906 13.7% $160,200
Fresno 57 61 513,807 12.7% $187,500
Taft 58 50 9,128 5.9% $150,700
Corcoran 59 53 22,917 16.3% $111,700
Lynwood 60 73 71,233 10.2% $312,100
Richmond 61 94 108,303 9.3% $330,200
Reedley 62 80 25,273 15.5% $170,300
Madera 63 75 63,398 7.5% $165,600
Shasta Lake 64 62 10,151 10.2% $157,300
Pomona 65 67 151,807 11.0% $310,100
Colton 66 43 53,856 9.8% $189,500
Firebaugh 67 36 8,176 14.6% $122,400
Montclair 68 92 38,294 9.3% $281,100
Porterville 69 64 58,472 11.6% $157,900
Calimesa 70 80 8,379 13.4% $168,700
Apple Valley 71 82 71,455 12.9% $194,100
Lake Elsinore 72 63 60,230 12.8% $259,700
Eureka 73 99 27,002 9.4% $241,700
Vallejo 74 68 119,644 13.0% $254,100
Sanger 75 90 24,741 13.0% $168,000
Palm Springs 76 78 46,714 10.8% $303,100
Patterson 77 88 21,205 13.9% $216,500
Yucca Valley 78 28 21,362 13.2% $151,300
Paramount 79 74 54,941 9.1% $283,400
Farmersville 80 69 10,699 13.4% $124,400
Rialto 81 60 102,418 13.8% $236,100
Arcata 82 103 17,775 16.4% $322,700
Riverside 83 101 318,678 11.0% $286,600
Grass Valley 84 76 12,861 11.5% $254,400
Bell Gardens 85 106 42,805 10.6% $318,700
Orland 86 110 7,504 13.0% $196,200
Indio 87 72 85,401 11.8% $230,300
Mcfarland 88 40 13,391 17.5% $136,700
Inglewood 89 84 111,012 13.3% $355,300
Modesto 90 70 208,512 13.6% $208,000
Ukiah 91 95 15,884 15.9% $281,400
Newman 92 107 10,808 18.6% $159,600
South El Monte 93 89 20,566 7.0% $363,100
Ontario 94 79 169,389 9.3% $293,000
Hawaiian Gardens 95 97 14,468 10.5% $288,200
Big Bear Lake 96 91 5,149 9.4% $384,100
Cudahy 97 86 24,106 11.9% $285,900
Maywood 98 133 27,672 9.5% $325,600
Tulare 99 71 61,664 9.1% $163,100
Bakersfield 100 102 367,555 10.2% $214,600

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85 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In California For 2018

  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

  46. Many of the people commenting need to read the introduction (before the list.) The writer did not ask people on the streets, to determin this list, nor did the writer go to each city. The list is scientifically determined, using records such as the United States Census. Really, before commenting & sounding illiterate, uneducated or too lazy to read, READ THE ARTICLE, not just the list!

  47. “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.” Proofread much? What does a tumbleweed smell like? Science would suggest that it has little to no smell in light of its aromatic VOCs (* science) being cooked off. And then to choose Mexican food as the other predominant scent, alongside comments having to do with the homeless. Science would suggest that you’re not of hispanic descent. Science would also point out your ride on top kayak and infer that your a self-important causasian whose comfort zones are behind a computer monitor, on top of a plastic water craft and nowhere near “Mexicans.” Further, incomes are relative to one’s mortgage/rent and the subsequent, local cost of living. You took two low numbers and suggested that they were piss poor versus ex. Los Angeles(?) LA is dense (* which, among many things, leads to near homicidal traffic conditions) and yes, a DHS income wouldn’t get you a parking spot much less a home in LA, but is dense, loud and ‘aggressive’ the environment we should all aspire to? Where would we possibly store all of our plastic watercraft? DHS has its problems and this city a stones throw from the art, culture and abundant resources of Palm Springs (* including an International Airport and myriad live music and theater venues) is by no means a winner on all counts, but you’d do well to look within before you draw up your next deeply biased list and consider that a night spent beneath a nearly infinite blanket of glistening stars, while warm winds pass over you with only the faint sound of coyotes in the nearby national park might, just might, be as valuable to some as penning an inane and suspiciously myopic list atop a plastic boat somewhere in North Carolina. Hint: When drawing up your next list, I’d suggest you look into a) DHS municipal water quality (+ the value of thermal springs – for body, mind and the local tourist economy) b) the influx of cannabis grow faclities etc investment dollars (* several million and growing – pun intended), c) lowering solar technology cost and the ability to offset half or more of your energy bills, including feeding into the grid, d) access to 9 casinos and the national/international performers they attract, e) the Salton Sea is 45 mins away… you can launch your boat and reflect on a place that might truly be deserving of a low ranking and our collective, truly humble sympathies.

  48. I’ve done a lot of traveling for work and have truly stayed in the worst areas of California, born Moreno valley Riverside county, raised nor*Cal Solano county currently living East bay Antioch.

    Who the does this writer think they are most of these places like clear lake are Indian reservation (native land) so of course it may not seem like there’s jobs or its rundown but believe me places like Richmond, Stockton, Tracy, Vallejo, San Berna-ghetto East LA THESE should definitely be the top 10 dumbass!

  49. I agree, in part, with most of the list as undesirable cities to live in. With Calif being one of the more desirable states in which to live, even the least desirable city here may be better than a most desirable city in another state with terrible humidity and extreme freezing most of the year. I live in Hemet and, though it has it issues, I feel much safer walking these streets than I would those of Los Angeles or even Santa Ana. One of the things that tends to bring values and desirability down is a large homeless population, as it tends to add the element of property crimes or even personal crime, however, the homeless tend to gather in places with a more temperate climate and plenty of resources to beg for or get money and to be safe enough to live on the street and not be murdered or assaulted. Being that I was homeless for about two years here due to unforeseen circumstances, I can say the majority of this population watch out for one another, though you can count on having your things stolen if not bolted down, especially if easily cashed in (bicycles and cell phones are subject to thievery more often than not). One man’s trash is another’s treasure, as we know, so I don’t take it personally, it is what it is folks!

  50. Having lived in Clearlake I can say I agree with this list. It says the data doesn’t take into account friendliness of the people but I can attest that Clearlake us full of the most god awful self centered people that literally live in their own filth. It’s a disgusting place with dead cats literally everywhere, not one single quite moment since everyone’s to stupid to train a dog, gun shots in town all the time, numerous people break the law to own roosters(like could you find a stupider law to break), unpaved roads so you can’t get mail at your own house, 3 week long tweaker parties, only crap food and the joke of a health food store is run by the most negative, obese woman on the planet. I just can’t even count the number of ways this is a garbage town. It is no surprise this county is always on fire, the universe is trying to cleanse the area and start fresh. Maybe if all the garbage people scatter elsewhere this beautiful area can repopulate with decent people. The number one issue with this area is these people lack the intelligence, self respect and good work ethic needed to be a happy and productive member of society. I’ve lived in 9 towns in California and traveled all over the west coast and never experienced anything like this town and I won’t even stop here for gas after I escape.

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