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:
- Perris (Photos)
- San Bernardino (Photos)
- Banning (Photos)
- Hemet (Photos)
- San Jacinto (Photos)
- Jurupa Valley
- Colton (Photos)
- Rialto (Photos)
- Calimesa (Photos)
Read on to see how we determined the places around Riverside that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In California
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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
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%.
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%).
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.
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.
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:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In California
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In California
- 10 Safest Places In California
- 10 Worst Places To Live In California
Detailed List Of The Worst Riverside Suburbs
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