Worst Santa Ana Suburbs For 2020


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst suburbs around Santa Ana.

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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 Santa Ana.

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 Santa Ana 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Santa Ana area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Santa Ana proper, although Redondo Beach certainly tries.

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

We examined the 100 biggest suburbs of Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Santa Ana for 2020:

  1. Commerce (Photos)
  2. Huntington Park (Photos)
  3. Maywood (Photos)
  4. Bell Gardens (Photos)
  5. Pomona (Photos)
  6. Compton (Photos)
  7. Cudahy (Photos)
  8. South Gate (Photos)
  9. Lynwood (Photos)
  10. Ontario (Photos)

What's the worst suburb of Santa Ana? Commerce ranks as the worst suburb of Santa Ana for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana 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:

The 10 Worst Santa Ana Suburbs To Live For 2020

Commerce, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,933
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,083 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $385,100 (18th lowest)
More on Commerce:  Data | Photos

We'll get the ball rolling with Commerce, the absolute worst place to live around Santa Ana according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Commerce beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 8th worst in the Santa Ana area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 18th 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 Commerce.

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.

Huntington Park, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 58,694
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Income: $40,638 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $377,200 (15th lowest)
More on Huntington Park:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 25.5 miles to Santa Ana. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $40,638 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.

Maywood, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,542
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $39,738 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $375,600 (13th lowest)
More on Maywood:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Santa Ana suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Maywood 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 Santa Ana suburbs.

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

Bell Gardens, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 42,641
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $41,355 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $380,100 (16th lowest)
More on Bell Gardens:  Data | Photos

If you live in Bell Gardens, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Santa Ana suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 12th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Santa Ana. Remember, we looked at 100 cities for this study.

Bell Gardens is about 22.1 miles to downtown.

Pomona, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 152,494
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $55,115 (19th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $367,400 (11th lowest)
More on Pomona:  Data | Photos

Pomona has the distinction of being a Santa Ana suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Pomona has the 11th lowest home values in the metro Santa Ana area, where the median price is $367,400. To put that into perspective, in Redondo Beach, the median income is $175,000, which is the best in the area.

Pomona has an unemployment rate of 8.73% which ranks 7th worst.

Compton, CA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 97,301
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $50,507 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $319,800 (4th lowest)
More on Compton:  Data | Photos

Compton has 97,301 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 21.949608282325734%.

Cudahy, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 24,016
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Median Income: $43,381 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $405,400 (22nd lowest)
More on Cudahy:  Data | Photos

Ah, Cudahy. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Santa Ana.

It's the place with the 4th most out of work residents in the Santa Ana metro area (9.09%).

South Gate, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 95,103
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $50,246 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $375,900 (14th lowest)
More on South Gate:  Data | Photos

South Gate is a city about 22.8 miles from Santa Ana, but Santa Ana 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. South Gate has the 7th most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 1st highest unemployment rate (10.36%) in the entire Santa Ana metro area.

Homes only cost $375,900 for a reason. That's cheap for Santa Ana standards.

Lynwood, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 71,022
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $49,684 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $371,800 (12th lowest)
More on Lynwood:  Data | Photos

If you absolutely have to live near Santa Ana, then Lynwood might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Santa Ana suburb.

About 9.0% of residents are out of work.

Ontario, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 173,580
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $61,602 (32nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $348,200 (8th lowest)
More on Ontario:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Santa Ana suburbs to call home is Ontario.

Located 26.3 miles outside the city, Ontarios is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 16th highest unemployment rate (7.35%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Santa Ana for 2020

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 2014-2018, 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 Santa Ana.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 100 suburbs to evaluate around Santa Ana.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 100 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 Santa Ana." We're lookin' at you, Commerce. 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.

The areas around Santa Ana where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2020

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Santa Ana with Commerce casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Santa Ana aren't all bad. Redondo Beach takes the cake as the best place to live around Santa Ana.

  • Redondo Beach
  • Palos Verdes Estates
  • Rancho Palos Verdes

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Santa Ana Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Commerce 12,933 $47,083 $385,100
2 Huntington Park 58,694 $40,638 $377,200
3 Maywood 27,542 $39,738 $375,600
4 Bell Gardens 42,641 $41,355 $380,100
5 Pomona 152,494 $55,115 $367,400
6 Compton 97,301 $50,507 $319,800
7 Cudahy 24,016 $43,381 $405,400
8 South Gate 95,103 $50,246 $375,900
9 Lynwood 71,022 $49,684 $371,800
10 Ontario 173,580 $61,602 $348,200
11 Montclair 38,865 $58,012 $334,500
12 Hawaiian Gardens 14,411 $44,792 $339,700
13 South El Monte 20,727 $48,944 $428,200
14 Bell 35,809 $42,548 $390,100
15 El Monte 115,669 $47,121 $427,400
16 Paramount 54,776 $53,031 $323,600
17 Azusa 49,544 $60,227 $390,100
18 Midway 3,301 $54,526 $137,600
19 Montebello 63,099 $53,677 $466,700
20 La Puente 40,268 $61,054 $391,200
21 Stanton 38,509 $56,506 $360,800
22 Hawthorne 87,370 $50,948 $499,200
23 Duarte 21,713 $73,429 $455,600
24 Chino 87,735 $79,477 $433,700
25 Baldwin Park 76,222 $62,227 $380,400
26 Long Beach 468,883 $60,551 $519,300
27 Bellflower 77,529 $55,729 $436,200
28 Anaheim 349,668 $69,443 $538,700
29 Rosemead 54,417 $52,057 $534,200
30 Gardena 59,924 $55,351 $441,900
31 Carson 92,517 $78,580 $434,000
32 Norwalk 105,886 $66,453 $410,400
33 Signal Hill 11,538 $75,684 $487,000
34 Lawndale 33,007 $58,447 $476,500
35 Pico Rivera 63,432 $65,666 $415,100
36 Santa Fe Springs 17,791 $65,518 $430,800
37 Temple 4,366 $56,294 $117,300
38 La Habra 61,910 $76,452 $505,800
39 Corona 165,355 $79,081 $444,200
40 Upland 76,382 $68,551 $489,600
41 Garden Grove 174,010 $65,591 $519,600
42 Fullerton 139,866 $73,360 $625,800
43 San Gabriel 40,242 $57,863 $659,500
44 Downey 112,901 $71,948 $525,500
45 Artesia 16,817 $63,708 $505,300
46 West Covina 107,242 $79,140 $490,000
47 Westminster 91,417 $61,834 $581,900
48 Covina 48,403 $69,449 $467,400
49 Monterey Park 60,792 $57,265 $593,300
50 Buena Park 82,781 $72,814 $540,200
51 Norco 26,569 $95,441 $495,200
52 Lomita 20,628 $69,827 $586,200
53 Alhambra 84,974 $57,117 $582,600
54 Glendora 51,773 $92,674 $562,500
55 Tustin 80,140 $79,339 $618,500
56 Orange 139,873 $86,027 $635,500
57 Laguna Woods 16,228 $41,928 $278,300
58 Costa Mesa 113,198 $79,207 $707,600
59 Whittier 86,523 $73,517 $528,400
60 La Verne 32,358 $85,769 $562,300
61 San Juan Capistrano 35,952 $87,353 $678,200
62 La Mirada 48,974 $87,778 $516,500
63 Seal Beach 24,364 $67,917 $358,700
64 Los Alamitos 11,628 $84,068 $755,000
65 Diamond Bar 56,434 $96,628 $640,600
66 Chino Hills 79,298 $104,590 $597,400
67 Lakewood 80,771 $89,469 $524,600
68 Placentia 52,049 $89,690 $609,400
69 Eastvale 61,337 $114,230 $547,800
70 San Dimas 34,239 $84,749 $547,500
71 Claremont 36,025 $97,363 $645,400
72 Laguna Hills 31,185 $98,168 $688,200
73 Lake Forest 82,911 $104,449 $621,000
74 Brea 42,330 $93,703 $635,400
75 Fountain Valley 56,372 $85,423 $688,000
76 Irvine 265,502 $100,969 $797,100
77 Cerritos 50,172 $99,528 $660,800
78 Arcadia 58,207 $92,102 $1,068,800
79 Walnut 30,008 $104,096 $739,100
80 Laguna Beach 23,147 $121,474 $1,700,400
81 Huntington Beach 200,606 $91,318 $728,200
82 El Cerrito 25,203 $100,422 $744,600
83 La Habra Heights 5,383 $111,551 $960,500
84 Dana Point 33,913 $97,519 $861,600
85 La Palma 15,733 $98,788 $634,900
86 Cypress 48,955 $92,098 $605,600
87 San Clemente 65,045 $105,812 $881,000
88 Torrance 146,392 $90,309 $724,700
89 Villa Park 5,912 $145,250 $1,156,600
90 Laguna Niguel 65,652 $103,910 $795,300
91 Mission Viejo 96,124 $114,688 $668,800
92 Rolling Hills Estates 8,187 $143,873 $1,229,300
93 Rancho Santa Margarita 48,792 $115,073 $652,400
94 Aliso Viejo 50,925 $108,558 $610,600
95 San Marino 13,285 $159,509 $1,886,000
96 Yorba Linda 67,815 $129,391 $829,700
97 Newport Beach 86,280 $122,709 $1,787,300
98 Rancho Palos Verdes 42,271 $133,286 $1,114,800
99 Palos Verdes Estates 13,523 $175,000 $1,680,600
100 Redondo Beach 67,700 $112,271 $875,000

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