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.
Cleveland, part of Liberty County, is the 1st worst place to live in Texas for 2019.
Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $38,644, and crime 73rd worst in Texas.
Additionally, the poverty level is 24.4% in Cleveland.
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 is the 65th most dangerous place in the state of Texas. That’s part of the reason it’s the 3rd worst place in Texas.
The fact remains, that when you’re within Hutchins city limits, you have a 1 in 25.9 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Hutchins also has the 33rd highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.7%? Or that homes are only valued at $79,000?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s little demand to live in Hutchins.
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
The city of Palmview is the 5th worst place you can live in the state of Texas in 2019.
It’s unlucky for Palmview, which has the 20th highest unemployment rate (11.3%), the 20th lowest household incomes ($33,313) and the 68th lowest home prices in the state ($84,600).
Basically, a lot of people in Palmview are out of work. And crime is certainly a factor here as well. Although it’s not one of the most dangerous places we’ll look at, it’s in the top 20%.
Add it all up, and this is truly one of the worst places you could live in Texas.
You can sure expect that Aransas Pass is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 6th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Aransas Pass has the 16th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 53 violent crimes here in 2019, and residents have a 1 in 19.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Aransas Pass, 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 7.1% which is the 94th worst in Texas.
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.
Things are starting to get progressively more ‘modern’ and in line with what you expect in a great state such as Texas when we get to Humble. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 8.1% (which is really high), and the median income is $38,961. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Texas, Terrell came in 9th. Let’s see why.
When you’re comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Texas residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Texas, you can see some really big differences. In Terrell, the number of people out of work is 11.3%
In Texas, that’s the 20th highest in the state.
The residents in Terrell have the 108th lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Terrell average $42,555 a year. Which isn’t too shabby in comparison to the other ‘lowest’ income cities in most other states.
Additionally, the homes are valued at $100,700 on average. That’s the 126th lowest in the state.
Progreso ranks as the 10th worst city in Texas. Located in Hidalgo County, Progreso has the 110th lowest income levels in the state of Texas ($43,036), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 5.9%.
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