Ah, Texas. The Lone Star State. The state where secession is talked about on a daily basis. A place for rebels, pick-up trucks, sexy cheerleaders, and the hardest-working Americans of all time.
But, is it all roses in Texas? Of course not. For every good, there has to be a bad. And that’s where this post aims to investigate. Even in one of the best states in the union, there have to be bad spots. The dead zones. The bruises on the apple, if you will.
After analyzing almost 337 of the most populous cities, we came up with this list as the absolute worst 10 places in the state of Texas:
Where are these places, you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small towns in Texas, that’s not the case.
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in Texas is Bellaire.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), the state has far better options for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Texas? The worst place to live in Texas is Hutchins.
Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2023.
For more Texas reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Texas For 2023
Hutchins stands on the outer rim of suburbs surrounding Dallas, about 20 minutes from the city center. Theoretically, this should provide an excellent base for commuters. Not quite. In reality, the community is mired in an economic wasteland, a place where more than 1 in 3 of its residents make due with sub-poverty circumstances.
Beyond the economic problems, Hutchins is haunted by other problems. For instance, the crime rate hovers more than 60% above the national average. At the same time, most locals make due with subpar education and housing as well.
Enjoy a nice game of poker? Well, if you’ve dragged a few pots in Texas Hold ‘Em, you have Robstown to thank for it. At least officially. See, the Texas State Legislature has formally designated the town as the birthplace of Texas hold ’em poker.
With an economy like this, you can see why the people of Robstown turned to gambling. The area only supports a median income of $38,497 and the unemployment rate reaches 11.8%. Almost 2 out of every 5 residents struggles below the poverty line.
There are other benefits to life in Robstown, besides its card-playing past. This suburb of Corpus Christi sits close to Gulf Coast, with access to gorgeous locations like Padre Island National Seashore.
Livingston stands in the southeastern section of Texas, about an hour outside of Houston. Lake Livingston provides the main feature of the surrounding landscape. The lake, home of the Camp Cho-Yeh summer camp, offers a peaceful haven for the folks in town, a place where residents can get away and enjoy the calm of nature.
They could use the respite. Daily life in town can be a grind, what with a 8.4% unemployment rate and a 17.5% poverty rate. Locals also endure inadequate housing and education. Meanwhile, safety presents a significant issue as well, with a crime rate nearly 150% above the national average.
Cleveland lies along I-69, about 45 minutes outside of Houston. High crime and a lack of jobs make this one of the worst places in Texas to call home.
A quick review of the statistics will show you what we mean. The unemployment rate stands at 5.3%, while the poverty rate hovers at 8.4%. Looking at the town’s safety issues, the crime rate tracks at more than 150% above the U.S. standard.
Life in Cleveland might be difficult, but at least it takes place in a beautiful setting. The town sits near the entrance to the Sam Houston National Forest.
Port Arthur has 702 people per square mile. In comparison, Dallas has a population density of 3,500 per square mile. That means there’s a lot of open space here. Say what you want about ‘open spaces’, but in terms of feeling like you’re part of a community, it’s hard to do when everyone is spread out.
In addition, homes in Port Arthur only cost $80,200 which is 26th lowest. Meaning…more open spaces. Unemployment here is 8.5%.
On the bright side, spending on students in Port Arthur is the second-highest in Texas at an astounding $16,494.
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 13)
Median Home Value: $80,500
Unemployment Rate: 10.7%
More on Sinton: Data
Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in Texas for 2023
To figure out the worst places to live in Texas, 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
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 337 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 337 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 Texas — Hutchins. Read on for a detailed look at the ten worst cities in Texas.
Summary: Wrapping Up The Worst In Texas
If you’re looking at areas in Texas with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime and little to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Hutchins ranks as the worst city to live in Texas for 2023.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Texas:
- West University Place (Pop. 14,975)
- University Park (Pop. 25,029)
- Bellaire (Pop. 17,262)
For more Texas reading, check out:
Worst Places To Live In Texas?