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 331 of the most populous cities, we came up with this list as the absolute worst 10 places in the state of Texas:
- Cleveland (Photos)
- Port Arthur (Photos)
- Hutchins (Photos)
- Robstown (Photos)
- Aransas Pass (Photos)
- Donna (Photos)
- Humble (Photos)
- Terrell (Photos)
- Progreso (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. And the worst place to live in Texas? That would be Cleveland.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more Texas reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Texas
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Texas
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Texas
How we determined the worst places to live in Texas for 2019
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 331 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 331 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 — Cleveland. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Texas.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Cleveland is the 1st worst place you can live in the state of Texas. Let’s see why.
Residents who live in Cleveland, located in Liberty County, have the 73rd most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level–per resident–and homes valued around $80,200, and you’ve got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Texas, that is.
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 $64,300 which is 16th lowest. Meaning…more open spaces. Unemployment here is 9.2%.
On the bright side, spending on students in Port Arthur is the second-highest in Texas at an astounding $16,494.
Hutchins places 3rd in our ranking of the worst places to live in Texas. Here, 28.3% of the adult population lack’s even a high school degree. That makes Hutchins have the 54th highest adult drop out rate in Texas.
Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $79,000 each — the 56th lowest in Texas.
As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of demand to live here.
Sure, it’s in a beautiful area, and there’s lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you’re measuring desirability, it’s the 4th worst in Texas.
Robstown residents had a 1 in 26.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Robstown is through the roof, as more than 15.2% of the population can’t get a job. At least their mortgages aren’t too high; at $54,300, Robstown has the 6th-lowest home prices in the state of Texas.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $84,600 (68th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (20th worst)
More on Palmview: Data
Palmview is the 23rd most dangerous place in the state of Texas. That’s part of the reason it’s the 5th worst place in Texas.
The fact remains, that when you’re within Palmview city limits, you have a 1 in 22.3 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Palmview also has the 20th highest unemployment rate in the state at 11.3%? Or that homes are only valued at $84,600?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s little demand to live in Palmview.
Say what you want about how beautiful Aransas Pass might be. The fact is that the economy here is one of the worst in the state.
The unemployment rate rankss 94th highest in the state at 7.1%. Homes are the 95th lowest priced ($89,900), and the median income per household is just a tad over $38,852.
The fact is most of the people who live here are having a hard time making ends meet, when you consider their earned incomes and lack of jobs.
Donna, located at the far southeastern tip of the state, is one of the more dangerous places in Texas. In fact, that entire region ranks very high on our most dangerous cities in Texas study.
Household incomes are very low here as well. Basically, Donna is a small town with a high unemployment rate where there’s not a lot to do in the general vicinity except listen to police sirens.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Texas, Humble came in 8th. Let’s see why.
The city has very bad crime (2nd worst) and an employment rate that’s nearly the highest for cities of its size 8.1%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.
Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Terrell ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 126th cheapest in the state here at $100,700. Say what you want about low cost of living. What the data says is that cheaper homes means less demand. And there isn’t a lot of demand to live in Terrell.
The median income levels here are the 108th lowest in the state of Texas, at $42,555. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And almost 11.3% of people in Terrell were without jobs according to the latest numbers.
you’re looking to live in Texas, Progreso might not be the best choice as it places 10th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.
Progreso doesn’t have the worst crime in the state, but it’s sure up there. And when you factor in one of the lowest household incomes in the state and a sky high unemployment rate, Progreso may not be your first choice for a vacation.
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, Cleveland ranks as the worst city to live in Texas for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Texas:
- Terrell Hills (Pop. 5,248)
- University Park (Pop. 24,692)
- West University Place (Pop. 15,477)
For more Texas reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Texas
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Texas
- 10 Safest Places In Texas
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Texas
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Texas