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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
You can sure expect that Hutchins is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 1st in our analysis. It is. In fact, Hutchins has the 29th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 13 violent crimes here in 2020, and residents have a 1 in 21.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Hutchins, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits -- the unemployment rate sits at 9.6% which is the 24th worst in Texas.
Here in Hempstead, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Texas. That's not a good combination.
Located in Waller County, you have a 1 in 36.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Hempstead city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (9.4%). That's good for the 29th highest unemployment rate in Texas.
The unemployment rate in Cleveland is a sky high 8.3%, which is the 46th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Cleveland is $39,706. That means 17.1% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn't horrible here, but you have a 1 in 23.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within city limits every year.
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.
Livingston is a really small, densely populated place in Texas.
The unemployment rate here is sky high at 6.2%, and income levels are the 48th lowest in Texas. Homes sell for an average of $96,700.
If you're trying to have some sort of professional career in Texas, this is one of the last places you would want to live.
Robstown doesn't have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 20.0%, and people average less than $29,218 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $52,900, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Texas.
And again, in terms of the overall 'enjoyment' factor, it's not easy to find fun on a Friday night.
Aransas Pass, TX needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 13th worst in the state, which is very high considering Aransas Pass is so far removed from the rest of Texas.
If you know anyone in Aransas Pass, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Texas, Center ranks 8th worst. Let's see why.
Here in Center, crime is the 3highest in the state, and 1 out of 22.7 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.
That's not the first place you think of making home, is it?
Additionally, you have a 1 in 231 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That's really high.
When you look at adult education in Texas, the folks in Center have the 34th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Center undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.
The unemployment rate is the 7th highest in Texas, at 13.6%. That's actually on par with the national average, which means Texas has some hard workers.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $83,200 (60th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (44th worst)
More on Palmview: Data
Palmview has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 24th-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 8.4%.
Additionally, 27.9% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Wharton is the 10th worst city in Texas for 2020. When you're comparing other cities to Wharton, things just don't look great, at least according to science.
Wharton is the 92nd most dangerous place in Texas, 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 9.1%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($90,200), and residents earn just $35,102 a year.
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?