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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..
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.
What's the worst suburb of San Bernardino? Hesperia ranks as the worst suburb of San Bernardino for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
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.
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:
- Best Places To Live In California
- Cheapest Places To Live In California
- Most Dangerous Cities In California
The 10 Worst San Bernardino Suburbs To Live For 2022
We'll get the ball rolling with Hesperia, the absolute worst place to live around San Bernardino according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Hesperia beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the San Bernardino area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 4th 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 Hesperia.
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.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Income: $54,149 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $255,500 (4th lowest)
More on Hesperia: Data
Welcome to Victorville. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 26.9 miles to San Bernardino. Income levels here are the 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $55,155 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 San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
If you live in San Jacinto, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 8th lowest San Bernardino suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 4th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near San Bernardino. Remember, we looked at 34 cities for this study.
San Jacinto is about 29.5 miles to downtown.
Apple Valley has the distinction of being a San Bernardino suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Apple Valley has the 6th lowest home values in the metro San Bernardino area, where the median price is $270,400. To put that into perspective, in El Cerrito, the median income is $127,881, which is the best in the area.
Apple Valley has an unemployment rate of 9.72% which ranks 3rd worst.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $54,929 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $270,400 (6th lowest)
More on Apple Valley: Data
Perris has 77,708 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 13.396243511578838%.
Ah, Rialto. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around San Bernardino.
It's the place with the 2nd most out of work residents in the San Bernardino metro area (10.63%).
Highland is a city about 7.6 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. Highland has the 10th most uninsured people, 11th worst incomes, and has the 10th highest unemployment rate (7.71%) in the entire San Bernardino metro area.
Homes only cost $338,500 for a reason. That's cheap for San Bernardino standards.
If you absolutely have to live near San Bernardino, then Colton might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst San Bernardino suburb.
About 6.75% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst San Bernardino suburbs to call home is Montclair.
Located 23.6 miles outside the city, Montclairs is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 13th highest unemployment rate (7.21%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around San Bernardino for 2022
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 from 2016-2020, 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, Hesperia. You can download the data here.
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.
Summary: The areas around San Bernardino where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding San Bernardino with Hesperia 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.
- El Cerrito
For more California reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In California
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- Worst Places To Live In California
Detailed List Of The Worst San Bernardino Suburbs
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