These Are The 10 Worst San Bernardino Suburbs For 2018

We used science and data to determine which San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino.

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 San Bernardino ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the San Bernardino area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to San Bernardino proper, although El Cerrito certainly tries.

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

We examined the 34 biggest suburbs of San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around San Bernardino for 2018:

  1. Perris (Photos)
  2. Hesperia
  3. Victorville (Photos)
  4. Banning (Photos)
  5. San Jacinto (Photos)
  6. Colton (Photos)
  7. Jurupa Valley
  8. Rialto (Photos)
  9. Calimesa (Photos)
  10. Apple Valley

Read on to see how we determined the places around San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 34 suburbs to evaluate around San Bernardino.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 34 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 San Bernardino.” 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 San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino 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. Hesperia

Population: 92,664
Unemployment Rate: 13.6%
Median Home Price: $172,800
Median Income: $46,446
More on Hesperia: Data | Jobs

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

This city is 17.7 miles to San Bernardino. Income levels here are the 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $46,446 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. Victorville

Victorville, California

Population: 121,320
Unemployment Rate: 15.5%
Median Home Price: $158,900
Median Income: $45,895
More on Victorville: Data | Jobs

Back up the highway we go for the third worst San Bernardino suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Victorville 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 San Bernardino suburbs.

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

4. 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

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

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Bernardino. Remember, we looked at 34 cities for this study.

Banning is about 26.3 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 San Bernardino suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, San Jacinto has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro San Bernardino area, where the median price is $159,700. To put that into perspective, in El Cerrito, the median income is $104,940, which is the best in the area.

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

6. Colton

Colton, California

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

Colton has 53,856 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 20.5%.

7. Jurupa Valley

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

Ah, Jurupa Valley. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around San Bernardino.

It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the San Bernardino metro area (12.7%).

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 5.8 miles from San Bernardino, but San Bernardino 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 6th most uninsured people, 13th worst incomes, and has the 4th highest unemployment rate (13.8%) in the entire San Bernardino metro area.

Homes only cost $236,100 for a reason. That’s cheap for San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino, then Calimesa might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst San Bernardino suburb.

About 13.4% of residents are out of work.

10. Apple Valley

Population: 71,455
Unemployment Rate: 12.9%
Median Home Price: $194,100
Median Income: $47,433
More on Apple Valley: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst San Bernardino suburbs to call home is Apple Valley.

Located 27.5 miles outside the city, Apple Valleys is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (12.9%), and poverty is far above the area average.

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

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

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around San Bernardino aren’t all bad. El Cerrito takes the cake as the best place to live around San Bernardino.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst San Bernardino Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Perris 73,718 14.2% $211,400 $51,315
2 Hesperia 92,664 13.6% $172,800 $46,446
3 Victorville 121,320 15.5% $158,900 $45,895
4 Banning 30,643 14.0% $177,000 $40,627
5 San Jacinto 46,375 13.2% $159,700 $48,382
6 Colton 53,856 9.8% $189,500 $43,966
7 Jurupa Valley 100,737 12.7% $270,700 $58,849
8 Rialto 102,418 13.8% $236,100 $52,347
9 Calimesa 8,379 13.4% $168,700 $46,070
10 Apple Valley 71,455 12.9% $194,100 $47,433
11 Pomona 151,807 11.0% $310,100 $50,360
12 Moreno Valley 202,061 12.3% $231,400 $56,456
13 Highland 54,490 11.4% $269,000 $53,504
14 Big Bear Lake 5,149 9.4% $384,100 $46,655
15 Montclair 38,294 9.3% $281,100 $50,374
16 Ontario 169,389 9.3% $293,000 $54,896
17 Riverside 318,678 11.0% $286,600 $58,979
18 Fontana 205,228 10.2% $289,400 $65,995
19 Yucaipa 52,886 9.2% $241,700 $55,700
20 Loma Linda 23,859 6.8% $291,600 $51,390
21 Chino 83,670 9.0% $365,500 $72,832
22 Beaumont 42,191 6.7% $250,500 $68,369
23 Grand Terrace 12,393 9.6% $249,700 $64,188
24 Corona 161,614 7.8% $378,500 $72,309
25 Redlands 70,442 7.1% $326,800 $66,514
26 Norco 26,809 8.5% $445,700 $87,067
27 Upland 75,851 5.9% $444,200 $62,369
28 Rancho Cucamonga 173,309 8.9% $414,200 $79,973
29 Eastvale 58,217 9.6% $460,100 $104,940
30 San Dimas 34,109 7.0% $481,000 $79,081
31 Chino Hills 77,266 7.0% $537,800 $97,222
32 La Verne 32,078 7.0% $500,300 $78,385
33 Claremont 35,827 6.8% $581,100 $94,005
34 El Cerrito 24,646 6.6% $636,600 $92,670

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.


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