10 Worst Places To Live In Texas For 2019


These are the places in the Lone Star State that are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Texas.

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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 331 of the most populous cities, we came up with this list as the absolute worst 10 places in the state of Texas:

Here are the 10 worst places to live in Texas for 2019:

  1. Cleveland (Photos)
  2. Port Arthur (Photos)
  3. Hutchins (Photos)
  4. Robstown (Photos)
  5. Palmview
  6. Aransas Pass (Photos)
  7. Donna (Photos)
  8. Humble (Photos)
  9. Terrell (Photos)
  10. 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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Texas reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Texas For 2019

Cleveland, TX

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 7,904
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $80,200 (58th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (28th worst)
More on Cleveland:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Cleveland, which might be one of the poorest areas in Texas. Residents average $38,644 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 24.4% of Cleveland residents live below the poverty level.

Homes here go for an average of $80,200 and the unemployment rate hovers near 10.0%.

Review Of Cleveland by HomeSnacks User

Staying in a hotel while working in Cleveland. Went for a jog in the surrounding neighborhood. I have a habit of smiling and nodding/waving at people I run buy and nobody returned the gesture. In fact, numerous people “mad-dogged” me and 1 guy standing on a corner actually made me fear for my safety because of the intense glare he gave me for perhaps 200 yards. I have met friendly wait staff at the restaurants and hotels here but for the most part, this is not a friendly place.

And yes, I am very familiar with small town Texas. There is no charm here.

Good: most restaurants I have been to here have been decent with friendly wait staff.

Bad: Just about everyone I came across to out and about in town.

Port Arthur, TX

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 55,177
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $64,300 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (41st worst)
More on Port Arthur:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Port Arthur by HomeSnacks User

crime,murder & drug infested s**t hole,with terrible schools and worst city government politicians

bleed city dr do nothing to solve problems dirt cops,city official and a dirty town!!!!!!!!!!!

drug dealers and prostitutes

Hutchins, TX

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,691
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $79,000 (56th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (33rd worst)
More on Hutchins:  Data | Photos

The unemployment rate in Hutchins is a sky high 9.7%, which is the 33rd highest in the state. Ouch.

The median income in Hutchins is $37,582. That means 27.7% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn’t horrible here, but you have a 1 in 25.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within city limits every year.

Robstown, TX

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 11,546
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $54,300 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.2% (8th worst)
More on Robstown:  Data | Photos

Located on your way to somewhere else you’d want to be, Robstown has few options for some sort of entertainment.

The main issues here are economic and education. The unemployment rate is also sky high here (15.2%) and homes are the 6th cheapest in the state ($54,300).

Say what you want about ‘cheap living’, the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s absolutely no demand to live in Robstown.

Review Of Robstown by HomeSnacks User

I like this place a whole lot.

It has more going on than one would expect looking in.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,693
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 a really small, densely populated place in Texas.

The unemployment rate here is sky high at 11.3%, and income levels are the 20th lowest in Texas. Homes sell for an average of $84,600.

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.

Aransas Pass, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 8,343
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $89,900 (95th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (94th worst)
More on Aransas Pass:  Data | Photos

Aransas Pass ranks as the 6th-worst place in Texas due to a variety of factors, placing in the bottom third for unemployment, median income, and crime.

On top of that, residents have the 127th-worst commute of any place in the state.

Donna, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 16,507
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $55,800 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (72nd worst)
More on Donna:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Donna by HomeSnacks User

It’s horrible and scary violent.

Good reasons to leave make a long list.

Humble, TX

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 15,736
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $113,000 (152nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (62nd worst)
More on Humble:  Data | Photos

Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Humble ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 152nd cheapest in the state here at $113,000. 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 Humble.

The median income levels here are the 69th lowest in the state of Texas, at $38,961. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And almost 8.1% of people in Humble were without jobs according to the latest numbers.

Review Of Humble by HomeSnacks User

I live about 10 miles from Humble and I’ve|| been going there for years. I haven’t had a problem of any kind. The world is not safe as it use to be anywhere…

Just be careful wherever you do go.

Terrell, TX

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 16,997
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $100,700 (126th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (20th worst)
More on Terrell:  Data | Photos

you’re looking to live in Texas, Terrell might not be the best choice as it places 9th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.

Terrell 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, Terrell may not be your first choice for a vacation.

Progreso, TX

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,867
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $50,700 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (154th worst)
More on Progreso:  Data | Photos

According to science, Progreso is the 10th worst place you can live in Texas.

Let’s see why. Progreso has the 10th-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Progreso is certainly up there.

Factor in a very low housing cost ($50,700), and the 154th-highest unemployment rate in the state (5.9%), and across the board, Progreso 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.

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

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

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.

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:

  1. Terrell Hills (Pop. 5,248)
  2. University Park (Pop. 24,692)
  3. West University Place (Pop. 15,477)

For more Texas reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Texas?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Cleveland 7,904 10.0% $80,200
2 Port Arthur 55,177 9.2% $64,300
3 Hutchins 5,691 9.7% $79,000
4 Robstown 11,546 15.2% $54,300
5 Palmview 5,693 11.3% $84,600
6 Aransas Pass 8,343 7.1% $89,900
7 Donna 16,507 7.8% $55,800
8 Humble 15,736 8.1% $113,000
9 Terrell 16,997 11.3% $100,700
10 Progreso 5,867 5.9% $50,700

31 thoughts on “10 Worst Places To Live In Texas For 2019

    1. Is it… I mean… I lived in Cleveland, who the F would live there as a choice. So glad I get to choose where I want to live.

  1. I lived in Freeport 20 years, never saw the view you pictured. What is the large building, can’t read name. Didn’t love it there, but wasn’t as bad as you claim.

    1. GUEST COLUMN

      DANNY MASSEY: Inaccurate, unreliable website all wrong about Freeport

      DANNY MASSEY | 0 comments

      Recently, an online article ranking cities throughout Texas being shared on social media listed Freeport as one of the top 10 worst places to live. I usually do not respond to articles on social media, but Mr. (Facts Managing Editor) Michael Morris wrote an editorial defending Freeport and I, too, would like to add my support of the city of Freeport.

      First, let me address where the article came from. It is my understanding that the online piece was written by a for-profit group out of Durham, North Carolina. Apparently, the site creates disparaging stories to share on social media, and as more people click on them, the increased traffic on their website can generate more money from their advertisers. They are not a news outlet, and they are not a research think-tank scientifically seeking truth. No, they don’t have to worry about the accuracy of their data or even appropriately citing their sources.

      Secondly, I want to address the school funding and teacher ratios that were represented as being two of the criteria for the city’s low rating. As a public school district, BISD is funded by the state, based on their funding formulas that uses student enrollment numbers. Students in BISD are funded the same way whether they live in Freeport, Clute, Lake Jackson or any other of the municipalities BISD serves. We receive approximately $7,600 per student in BISD. With that said, it is important to note the state of Texas does fund students in each school district differently.

      BISD, along with other school districts, recently won a lawsuit against the state over inequities in funding formulas. The state has appealed the ruling to the State Supreme Court, and we are all waiting for the court’s decision. It is also important to note the state does have “weighted” funding for students in programs that may cost more. Special Education students and students enrolled in Career and Technical programs, for example, receive more funding. There are also “supplemental” funds that campuses may receive from the federal government based on the number of economically disadvantaged students enrolled.

      Another listed criterion for Freeport’s unfavorable ranking was the supposedly high student-to-teacher ratio in our schools. I cannot see where they could have gotten such inaccurate information. According to the most current published data, the 2013-14 Texas Academic Performance Report, the district’s student-to-teacher ratio was 16.3. Apparently, the online group that came up with these rankings does not have to worry about reliable and accurate data.

      Lastly, how can a company from North Carolina rate the city of Freeport if they have never had the opportunity to experience Freeport? They have never tasted the fresh vegetables from the Velasco School’s community garden, seen a Club Belay teen leadership lesson taught at Brazosport High School, witnessed the impact a high school Anchor Brother-mentor has had on a younger elementary student, shook the hands of students graduating high school with a college associate’s degree, danced at a concert in the park, fished in the Fishin’ Fiesta, jogged on the trail around the Old River and beautiful marina, felt goosebumps from hearing the Exporter Band play the “Salute to the Armed Forces” at the BHS graduation, or experienced many more great things that happen in this wonderful city and in our schools.

      I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Morris that what was written does not reflect what people see with their own eyes. However, I would also like to add that what is stated online is not necessarily even accurate, and it certainly does not reflect what we know and feel in our hearts about our city of Freeport.

      Anchor Down!

      Danny Massey, a Lake Jackson resident, is the superintendent of Brazosport ISD.

      1. Yeah I worked at Port Freeport & no housing except for total slumlords that payoff local judges. Fired cop/convicted rapist was best thievin’ landlord ever. He hurts families livin’ with snakes, filth, broken trailers, etc. by evictions instead of repairs. Laurencia Cano is one name he uses in court. Victoria PD fired his ass. Slumlordship is heavy in Freeport.

  2. Pretty silly article, with a pretty silly way of “calculating” the best and worst cities. The article did what it was supposed to do, though, and make you click on it. We all saw a few ads thrown up, and the website got a little traffic. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters to the author.

  3. Your criteria sux. Commute time is a fact of life in a state the size of Texas and people that live in out there areas do it by choice. Some of the places you named have some amazing scenery and open spaces and really friendly people. Using Dallas for comparison shows how off you are. Dallas is stuck up and only for the “upper cut” and has the worst drivers and atmosphere on the planet. You simply don’t know what you are talking about and this article is pathetic

  4. Population density is a really stupid factor for judging a city. Shavano Park is far less population dense than the city of San Antonio surrounding it, but it’s leagues better as a place to live than San Antonio in general, with a hell of a lot fewer problems, thanks to the far higher median incomes.

  5. BTW, what makes Vidor especially bad isn’t the things you list, but that it’s ground zero of the KKK in Texas. That means it has the most toxic mix of hate, violence and stupidity in the state.

  6. Have lived in an area close in proximity to Vidor for 30+ yrs. Being only 6.5 miles from “town”, I can tell you that there’s a lot to be desired in this very small area….however, it WAS, keyword being WAS, a cesspool for the KKK many, MANY yrs ago but unless you’d care to come and take a head count, you’ll find this is not the “general consensus” any longer. People come and go from lots of different places and if you want to get the facts straight, you’re more than welcome to “come on down!!” and spend some time in this very small town. Don’t misunderstand, there are those who feel that they are ENTITLED in this small place just the same as in the largest towns/cities~~and they have to be dealt with the same as any other place. The breakdown of families and lack of supervision due to single parents working multiple jobs so therefore there is a lack of boundaries and guidelines so kids do things they shouldn’t and wind up in trouble.

  7. I just think it’s funny they pulled little ole Jacksonville out of their asses to be at number 1. I live in Jacksonville. Now most of what they say is true crappy school high unemployment. High crime because of lazy inept law enforcement. But I can still think of worse places to live. The county seat of Rusk for example you couldn’t pay me to live in that shithole. I don’t even like going there. There are others but they are too many. As for me I guess I’ll just enjoy the fact that my town is number 1 at something,even if it is a crappy internet list.LOL

  8. I mistakenly spent the first 2 years out of college, ’82-’83 in Freeport. A unionized area of stinking chemical plants. Generations of union workers who, at that time, made a point to drive away outsiders, especially young engineers like myself. At Dow Chemical USA, the lowest paid union worker at that time made about $0.50 per hour than a starting college degreed engineer. The stupid beach at this place kept the local redneck (I’m from West TX too BTW) sheriff and his deputies employed. They’d stand at the flashing red light and wait for beach goers to not come to a complete stop. Motion them over and write up the $25 or whatever ticket. If ever a place existed to keep the local redneck dumbass generations of union idiots employed, this is it. Everyone else stay away. I quit and left this dump with no future plans at the end of 1983..Best decision I ever made.

    I appreciate this post about Texas hell-holes, and there are plenty of them. As we are looking to move closer to my elderly parents in Midland…

    1. This place also has year-around mosquitoes. They will stay on the side of a building where the wind isn’t blowing. As in a white colored building will be solid black on the out-of-wind side with mosquitoes. Then they literally attack you when you walk by. This is the only place in the world, and we’ve worked and lived all over the world, where the mosquitoes actually kill cattle. When I said the lowest paid union worker made $0.50 more per hour than a starting degreed engineer, I was referring to the UNION JANITORS. I visited this place again in 1997 after returning from my 1st of 5 times living in Japan. Nothing about Freeport has changed at all..Want to pay for your sins in this and future lives? Move and live in Freeport..hopefully you’ll be single like I was at the time.

    2. Freeport has no housing except for ex(fired)cops & convicted tenant rapists. Evictions instead of repairs for snake infestations, mold, filthy broken trailers, etc. Local judges paid off by kickbacks.

    1. We lived in Aviano, Italy for 2 years. Saw plenty of Gypsies everywhere. Odessa’s where you raise hell. Midland 20 miles away is where you raise your family. Despite all that, both just got over their 2nd oil boom in the last 40+ years. Which always brings both cities to the top of the chart with the US highest per capita income. I grew up in Hobbs, NM, Lea County which used to be the highest crude oil producing county in the lower 48 states. Course fracking has changed that. Spent 4 years in Midland before moving back to Hobbs to graduate high school in ’76. Like anywhere else, a great economy always attracts a certain element of folks. Ex-cons, drug dealers, Yankees with I Heart-sign New York tee-shirts, etc. Being oil-field trash isn’t/wasn’t so bad. It’s all the other trash the good money attracts..

  9. I’ve lived in vidor for a long time, and I can see why you put it down for sixth. ONLY because the crime. besides there is plenty of things to do in vidor, and the whole kkk thing, I mean really do you know how long ago that was? 50s and 60s. Vidor is a beautiful town it may not be the biggest but it’s big enough for me.

  10. I live in Tomball and I went to college in Huntsville….I guess that makes me some type of glutton for punishment. It must just be me, though, I love both of these places. Tomball is a lovely town full of German heritage and great people. I’m also a realtor and our housing market is very good. I’m not sure where you got your statistics but there is also no shortage of sunny days, here (insert laugh / crying emoji, here!) I don’t agree with this article at all….I’ve lived in Texas all of my life and there are far worse cities than the ones you listed, here.

    1. You are correct about MARLIN and ALL of Falls County. My mother is from Lorena and my daddy from Calvert. For GENERATIONS Marlin has been a CORRUPT PIG STY. I had a cousin MURDERED there in 1970, he was MURDERED by Law enforcement for dating a Law Mans daughter.

  11. How are Odessa and Midland left off the list? They’re pure garbage. If it wasn’t for all the Oil in the ground I’d advocate fencing off all of west texas and making it a welfare state. Anyone in the U.S. who wants to live off the government should have to move to west texas. Texans are always talking like they’re above everyone because their infrastructure doesn’t depend on federal money. Well yall might want to take some of the fed money because your roads are the worst in the nation. And come on over to Florida and drive like a jackass like you do out here texas, someone will put a bullet in you real quick. I thought in a state where everyone is armed people would show a little more respect for one another but nope.

    1. If you’re from Florida, that instantly takes away any of your credibility to speak about Texas. Stay where you belong. You may have experienced disrespectful drivers because our tolerance for ignorance is low here. The entire state does not have terrible roads. West Texas probably does..if you noticed, most of our population is not in West Texas. Texas is a proud state because it has earned the right to be proud. When we have a disaster, we band together to help each other pick up the pieces. You want to live here and enjoy yourself, fall in line. You know the way out if you don’t like it.

  12. I lived in Cleveland for a few years and did not find it a bad place to live. I did not make a lot of money but I lived comfortably. To be sure there are a lot of poor people and no goodnicks there but my neighborhood was nice, quiet, and safe. We stayed in our areas and did not go into the bad parts of town (every city has these areas) and they were encouraged to do the same. I left because of a job transfer and have many good memories from there.

  13. You are right about Marlin there are no jobs there at all a lot of people work at the prison others are living in poverty looks very rundown

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