These Are The 10 Worst Riverside Suburbs For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Riverside suburbs are the real pits.

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Riverside.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Riverside ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Riverside area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Riverside proper, although Mission Viejo certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Riverside are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

We examined the 54 biggest suburbs of Riverside to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in California lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Riverside in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Riverside for 2018:

  1. Perris (Photos)
  2. San Bernardino (Photos)
  3. Banning (Photos)
  4. Hemet (Photos)
  5. San Jacinto (Photos)
  6. Jurupa Valley
  7. Colton (Photos)
  8. Rialto (Photos)
  9. Calimesa (Photos)
  10. Lakeland

Read on to see how we determined the places around Riverside that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in California check out the best places in California overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Riverside too.

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more California reading, check out:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Riverside for 2018

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 threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Riverside.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 54 suburbs to evaluate around Riverside.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 54 in each category, where 1 was the “worst”.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the “Worst Suburb near Riverside.” We’re lookin’ at you, Perris.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

1. Perris

Perris, California

Population: 73,718
Unemployment Rate: 14.2%
Median Home Price: $211,400
Median Income: $51,315
More on Perris: Data | Jobs

We’ll get the ball rolling with Perris, the absolute worst place to live around Riverside according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Perris beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 11th worst in the Riverside area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 8th worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Perris.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

2. San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California

Population: 214,581
Unemployment Rate: 14.1%
Median Home Price: $176,800
Median Income: $38,456
More on San Bernardino: Data | Jobs

Welcome to San Bernardino. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 15.2 miles to Riverside. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $38,456 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

3. Banning

Banning, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 30,643
Unemployment Rate: 14.0%
Median Home Price: $177,000
Median Income: $40,627
More on Banning: Data | Jobs

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Riverside suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Banning on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Riverside suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Hemet

Hemet, California

Population: 82,748
Unemployment Rate: 19.0%
Median Home Price: $139,400
Median Income: $35,609
More on Hemet: Data | Jobs

If you live in Hemet, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 1st lowest Riverside suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 1st worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Riverside. Remember, we looked at 54 cities for this study.

Hemet is about 26.8 miles to downtown.

5. San Jacinto

San Jacinto, California

Population: 46,375
Unemployment Rate: 13.2%
Median Home Price: $159,700
Median Income: $48,382
More on San Jacinto: Data | Jobs

San Jacinto has the distinction of being a Riverside suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, San Jacinto has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Riverside area, where the median price is $159,700. To put that into perspective, in Mission Viejo, the median income is $131,386, which is the best in the area.

San Jacinto has an unemployment rate of 13.2% which ranks 7th worst.

6. Jurupa Valley


Population: 100,737
Unemployment Rate: 12.7%
Median Home Price: $270,700
Median Income: $58,849
More on Jurupa Valley: Data | Jobs

Jurupa Valley has 100,737 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 17.8%.

7. Colton

Colton, California

Population: 53,856
Unemployment Rate: 9.8%
Median Home Price: $189,500
Median Income: $43,966
More on Colton: Data | Jobs

Ah, Colton. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Riverside.

It’s the place with the 18th most out of work residents in the Riverside metro area (9.8%).

8. Rialto

Rialto, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 102,418
Unemployment Rate: 13.8%
Median Home Price: $236,100
Median Income: $52,347
More on Rialto: Data | Jobs

Rialto is a city about 12.0 miles from Riverside, but Riverside probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You’d be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Rialto has the 7th most uninsured people, 13th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (13.8%) in the entire Riverside metro area.

Homes only cost $236,100 for a reason. That’s cheap for Riverside standards.

9. Calimesa

Calimesa, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,379
Unemployment Rate: 13.4%
Median Home Price: $168,700
Median Income: $46,070
More on Calimesa: Data | Jobs

If you absolutely have to live near Riverside, then Calimesa might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Riverside suburb.

About 13.4% of residents are out of work.

10. Lakeland


Population: 102,714
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Median Home Price: $109,300
Median Income: $40,918
More on Lakeland: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst Riverside suburbs to call home is Lakeland.

Located 20.0 miles outside the city, Lakelands is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 22nd highest unemployment rate (9.5%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Riverside where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Riverside with Perris casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Riverside aren’t all bad. Mission Viejo takes the cake as the best place to live around Riverside.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Riverside Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Perris 73,718 14.2% $211,400 $51,315
2 San Bernardino 214,581 14.1% $176,800 $38,456
3 Banning 30,643 14.0% $177,000 $40,627
4 Hemet 82,748 19.0% $139,400 $35,609
5 San Jacinto 46,375 13.2% $159,700 $48,382
6 Jurupa Valley 100,737 12.7% $270,700 $58,849
7 Colton 53,856 9.8% $189,500 $43,966
8 Rialto 102,418 13.8% $236,100 $52,347
9 Calimesa 8,379 13.4% $168,700 $46,070
10 Lakeland 102,714 9.5% $109,300 $40,918
11 Moreno Valley 202,061 12.3% $231,400 $56,456
12 Highland 54,490 11.4% $269,000 $53,504
13 Pomona 151,807 11.0% $310,100 $50,360
14 Lake Elsinore 60,230 12.8% $259,700 $63,306
15 Wildomar 34,775 12.1% $266,900 $62,976
16 Ontario 169,389 9.3% $293,000 $54,896
17 Yucaipa 52,886 9.2% $241,700 $55,700
18 Montclair 38,294 9.3% $281,100 $50,374
19 Menifee 84,978 11.3% $244,700 $57,598
20 Fontana 205,228 10.2% $289,400 $65,995
21 Loma Linda 23,859 6.8% $291,600 $51,390
22 Chino 83,670 9.0% $365,500 $72,832
23 Anaheim 346,776 8.1% $457,600 $61,826
24 Beaumont 42,191 6.7% $250,500 $68,369
25 Corona 161,614 7.8% $378,500 $72,309
26 Grand Terrace 12,393 9.6% $249,700 $64,188
27 Redlands 70,442 7.1% $326,800 $66,514
28 Murrieta 108,583 10.9% $339,800 $76,149
29 Covina 48,539 9.7% $415,300 $65,451
30 Norco 26,809 8.5% $445,700 $87,067
31 Glendora 51,285 10.1% $481,800 $78,448
32 Orange 139,919 7.3% $565,800 $79,192
33 Upland 75,851 5.9% $444,200 $62,369
34 Tustin 79,396 6.8% $543,200 $70,822
35 Rancho Cucamonga 173,309 8.9% $414,200 $79,973
36 Laguna Woods 16,347 5.1% $228,700 $39,201
37 San Dimas 34,109 7.0% $481,000 $79,081
38 Placentia 52,168 6.8% $554,500 $80,668
39 Eastvale 58,217 9.6% $460,100 $104,940
40 Chino Hills 77,266 7.0% $537,800 $97,222
41 La Verne 32,078 7.0% $500,300 $78,385
42 Canyon Lake 10,985 7.4% $379,400 $84,015
43 Claremont 35,827 6.8% $581,100 $94,005
44 Diamond Bar 56,456 7.3% $593,100 $89,845
45 Brea 41,351 6.4% $579,600 $85,555
46 Laguna Hills 31,127 6.2% $628,800 $92,690
47 Lake Forest 80,658 5.2% $550,600 $92,415
48 Walnut 30,026 6.6% $679,700 $97,345
49 Irvine 246,992 6.2% $718,800 $93,823
50 El Cerrito 24,646 6.6% $636,600 $92,670
51 Villa Park 5,922 8.7% $1,030,800 $131,386
52 Rancho Santa Margarita 49,038 3.6% $584,000 $104,556
53 Yorba Linda 67,362 6.5% $728,300 $119,697
54 Mission Viejo 96,178 6.0% $608,100 $104,886

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