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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 335 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 2021.
For more Texas reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Texas For 2021
Welcome to Hutchins, which might be one of the poorest areas in Texas. Residents average $36,087 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 36.0% of Hutchins residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $68,800 and the unemployment rate hovers near 7.5%.
If you're looking to live in Texas, Diboll might not be the best choice as it places 2nd in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Lone Star State for 2021.
The average family earns $39,750 a year out here, and 28.1% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 14.8% 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 Diboll, every year, you have a 1 in 22.8 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 34th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.
Cleveland is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Cleveland is the 11th most dangerous place you can live in Texas.
Residents in Cleveland have a 1 in 16.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.
When you're considering home prices, you can't do much lower than in Cleveland, where average homes are valued at only$91,100. That's the 77th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.
Progreso ranks as the 4th worst city in Texas. Located in Hidalgo County, Progreso has the 16lowest income levels in the state of Texas ($52,500), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 10.1%.
Rank Last Year: 40 (Up 35)
Median Home Value: $73,900 (29th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.0% (6th worst)
More on Alton: Data
Alton's situation is very similar to others on the list; bottom of the barrel scores in unemployment, income, and crime, with decent education statistics keeping it from the very top of this list.
Alton has the 16th worst crime index of any place in Texas, and has the 14th lowest income.
Livingston, part of Polk County, is the 6th worst place to live in Texas for 2021.
Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $43,217, and crime 12th worst in Texas.
Additionally, the poverty level is 17.1% in Livingston.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $89,900 (72nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (39th worst)
More on Palmview: Data
While the median household income in Palmview is higher than other towns on this list, causing it to be lower down on the list of "worst cities", Palmview still has the 39th worst unemployment rate in the state, as well as the 16th worst crime index.
Therefore, though the average Palmview 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.
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 $65,800 which is 14th lowest. Meaning...more open spaces. Unemployment here is 7.3%.
On the bright side, spending on students in Port Arthur is the second-highest in Texas at an astounding $16,494.
Robstown is in a bad place. Again, the household incomes here are really, really low, and the average home value is $64,000. That means it ranks as the 11th lowest in Texas.
You can make a case that based on the fact that Robstown has no real indoor entertainment, and crime is the 24th worst in the state, it's one of the worst places you can live in Texas.
Humble places 10th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Texas. Here, 18.0% of the adult population lack's even a high school degree. That makes Humble have the 146th highest adult drop out rate in Texas.
Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $122,900 each -- the 144th lowest in Texas.
As you can imagine, there's not a lot of demand to live here.
How we determined the worst places to live in Texas for 2021
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 335 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 335 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 2021.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Texas:
- Alamo Heights (Pop. 8,374)
- University Park (Pop. 25,036)
- West University Place (Pop. 15,603)
For more Texas reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Texas?