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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 334 of the most populous cities, we came up with this list as the absolute worst 10 places in the state of Texas:
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. And the worst place to live in Texas? That would be Hutchins.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Texas reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Texas For 2020
If you're looking to live in Texas, Hutchins might not be the best choice as it places 1st in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Lone Star State for 2020.
The average family earns $38,242 a year out here, and 28.8% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 9.6% of the population is out of work.
And when you consider the crime, it's just crazy to think of how dangerous it is to live way out here. When you're in Hutchins, every year, you have a 1 in 21.4 chance of being robbed. Can you imagine? Perhaps it's an economic factor, or the fact that the people out there are so isolated, but the fact remains, it's the 29th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.
Welcome to Hempstead, where criminals go to make a living. Hempstead has the 6highest crime rate in the state. When you're within Hempstead city limits, you have a 1 in 36.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime such as a car break in or home invasion robbery every year.
Plus, there were 87 violent crimes here in 2020. For a city of 7,397 people, that's absolutely off the charts high. You have a 1 in 85 chance of being raped, attacked or killed when you're in Hempstead every year as well.
If, by some reason, you were driving through Cleveland, after stopping to ask for directions, you may have noticed that things aren't so peachy keen here.
It's tough out there for people to stay afloat when their income levels are so low ($39,706) and they can't get good jobs (8.3% unemployment rate).
Cleveland ranks as the 3rd wost place in Texas.
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 $65,700 which is 17th lowest. Meaning...more open spaces. Unemployment here is 8.4%.
On the bright side, spending on students in Port Arthur is the second-highest in Texas at an astounding $16,494.
According to science, Livingston is the 5th worst place you can live in Texas.
Let's see why. Livingston has the 17th-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Livingston is certainly up there.
Factor in a very low housing cost ($96,700), and the 112th-highest unemployment rate in the state (6.2%), and across the board, Livingston doesn't sound like the best of the best.
Plus, there's simply not a lot to do here (unless you count having a Walmart and a Piggly Wiggly as fun). We're aware that people enjoy outdoor activities, but in terms of pure entertainment, you'd have to drive a ways away.
Would you believe that Robstown is the 9th most dangerous place in Texas? That's the case, as every year, you have a 1 in 14.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within Robstown city limits.
In addition, every year, you have a 1 in 270 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Robstown. That means raped, attacked or killed. Again, for Texas, that's just unacceptable.
Beyond the crime numbers, Robstown's unemployment rate is the highest in Texas (20.0%), and homes are the 5th cheapest in the state ($52,900). Say what you want about 'cheap living', the fact is homes are priced on demand, and there's not a lot of demand to live in Robstown.
While the median household income in Aransas Pass is higher than other towns on this list, causing it to be lower down on the list of "worst cities", Aransas Pass still has the 72nd worst unemployment rate in the state, as well as the 13th worst crime index.
Therefore, though the average Aransas Pass household brings in a higher income, there are fewer people working here than in other cities across the state. It doesn't help that everyone has to be constantly worried about crime, either.
Center needs some tough love as it ranks as the 8th worst city to live in Texas for 2020.
Crime in Center is the 3highest in the state, where 1 in 22.7 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 Texas.
If commute time is important, Center residents have the 333rd longest commute of any residents on our list.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $83,200 (60th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (44th worst)
More on Palmview: Data
When you're looking at science and data, Palmview is the 9th worst place you can live in the state of Texas. Let's see why.
First off, the crime here is really high, in comparison to the rest of Texas. Palmview is the 24th most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 21.9 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.
Homes here average $83,200, which is the 60th lowest in the state. You can defend 'cheap living' all you want, but the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's not a lot of demand to live in Palmview.
Income levels are just about $35,921, the 3lowest in Texas.
When you add it all up, Palmview really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.
Wharton has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 92nd-highest in the state of Texas. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 9.1%.
Additionally, 22.4% of the population lives below the poverty line.
How we determined the worst places to live in Texas for 2020
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
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 334 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 334 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 10 worst cities in Texas. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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 not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Hutchins ranks as the worst city to live in Texas for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Texas:
- Terrell Hills (Pop. 5,330)
- University Park (Pop. 24,954)
- West University Place (Pop. 15,619)
For more Texas reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Texas
- Richest Cities In Texas
- Safest Places In Texas
- Best Cities For Singles In Texas
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Texas?