These Are The 10 Worst Santa Ana Suburbs For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth 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 2019:

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

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:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Santa Ana for 2019

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 2013-2017, 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.

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.

Commerce, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,998
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $42,734 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $357,200 (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.

Cudahy, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 24,146
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $39,804 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $327,500 (9th lowest)
More on Cudahy:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 23.3 miles to Santa Ana. Income levels here are the 6th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $39,804 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.

Compton, CA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 97,847
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $48,117 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.9% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $287,300 (4th lowest)
More on Compton:  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 Compton 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.

Maywood, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,700
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Income: $37,508 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $350,800 (15th lowest)
More on Maywood:  Data | Photos

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

Not only that, but this is the 7th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Santa Ana. Remember, we looked at 100 cities for this study.

Maywood is about 24.7 miles to downtown.

Pomona, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 152,366
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $53,281 (21st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $344,200 (12th 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 12th lowest home values in the metro Santa Ana area, where the median price is $344,200. To put that into perspective, in Redondo Beach, the median income is $180,815, which is the best in the area.

Pomona has an unemployment rate of 9.7% which ranks 6th worst.

Huntington Park, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 58,993
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $38,106 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $357,500 (20th lowest)
More on Huntington Park:  Data | Photos

Huntington Park has 58,993 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 28.0%.

Bell Gardens, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 42,845
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $39,008 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $347,300 (14th lowest)
More on Bell Gardens:  Data | Photos

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

It’s the place with the 13th most out of work residents in the Santa Ana metro area (8.9%).

Hawaiian Gardens, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 14,465
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $38,553 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $307,100 (7th lowest)
More on Hawaiian Gardens:  Data | Photos

Hawaiian Gardens is a city about 12.7 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. Hawaiian Gardens has the 9th most uninsured people, 3rd worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (10.3%) in the entire Santa Ana metro area.

Homes only cost $307,100 for a reason. That’s cheap for Santa Ana standards.

Ontario, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 171,041
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $57,544 (29th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $320,000 (8th lowest)
More on Ontario:  Data | Photos

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

About 8.8% of residents are out of work.

South Gate, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 95,420
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $47,281 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $351,000 (16th lowest)
More on South Gate:  Data | Photos

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

Located 22.8 miles outside the city, South Gates is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 2nd highest unemployment rate (11.1%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Santa Ana where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2019

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
  • San Marino

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Santa Ana Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Commerce 12,998 $42,734 $357,200
2 Cudahy 24,146 $39,804 $327,500
3 Compton 97,847 $48,117 $287,300
4 Maywood 27,700 $37,508 $350,800
5 Pomona 152,366 $53,281 $344,200
6 Huntington Park 58,993 $38,106 $357,500
7 Bell Gardens 42,845 $39,008 $347,300
8 Hawaiian Gardens 14,465 $38,553 $307,100
9 Ontario 171,041 $57,544 $320,000
10 South Gate 95,420 $47,281 $351,000
11 Lynwood 71,350 $45,839 $345,100
12 Montclair 38,613 $54,192 $304,200
13 Bell 35,942 $39,686 $352,000
14 South El Monte 20,712 $44,651 $389,400
15 Paramount 55,020 $49,064 $304,400
16 El Monte 115,958 $43,504 $401,000
17 Stanton 38,648 $50,601 $339,000
18 Azusa 49,029 $57,728 $367,500
19 La Puente 40,451 $60,019 $364,300
20 Hawthorne 87,425 $47,636 $461,400
21 Montebello 63,468 $50,312 $441,500
22 Midway 3,322 $56,458 $130,500
23 Duarte 21,832 $71,260 $422,000
24 Baldwin Park 76,572 $57,209 $357,500
25 Chino 85,609 $75,530 $400,900
26 Gardena 60,096 $50,807 $407,000
27 Long Beach 470,489 $58,314 $476,400
28 Rosemead 54,615 $50,074 $489,700
29 Bellflower 77,852 $52,944 $398,000
30 Pico Rivera 63,750 $61,586 $380,200
31 Anaheim 349,007 $65,313 $491,400
32 Norwalk 106,404 $63,669 $375,400
33 Lawndale 33,191 $54,862 $417,600
34 Santa Fe Springs 17,669 $63,540 $409,200
35 Carson 92,927 $75,517 $402,500
36 Corona 163,585 $73,594 $411,600
37 Garden Grove 174,812 $62,675 $476,300
38 Temple 4,338 $65,375 $108,600
39 La Habra 61,965 $72,178 $473,200
40 Signal Hill 11,508 $75,843 $445,700
41 Westminster 91,785 $57,575 $546,200
42 Monterey Park 61,056 $55,117 $566,700
43 San Gabriel 40,315 $55,939 $628,300
44 West Covina 107,786 $74,551 $459,500
45 Downey 113,358 $68,162 $479,500
46 Fullerton 139,976 $71,660 $589,600
47 Upland 76,155 $65,349 $465,200
48 Covina 48,601 $68,311 $441,100
49 Norco 26,711 $91,915 $476,900
50 Glendora 51,891 $86,442 $517,100
51 Artesia 16,853 $62,702 $437,200
52 Buena Park 83,020 $71,005 $482,300
53 Alhambra 85,168 $55,401 $553,800
54 San Juan Capistrano 35,948 $81,730 $635,100
55 Lomita 20,707 $62,353 $561,500
56 Whittier 86,852 $69,058 $488,200
57 Orange 140,289 $83,500 $604,300
58 Costa Mesa 112,930 $75,109 $671,800
59 Tustin 80,007 $73,567 $585,700
60 Laguna Woods 16,314 $40,837 $246,600
61 Seal Beach 24,510 $65,401 $338,100
62 Los Alamitos 11,639 $79,459 $741,100
63 La Verne 32,320 $82,829 $535,900
64 Eastvale 59,733 $110,685 $496,000
65 La Mirada 49,162 $87,400 $478,400
66 San Dimas 34,334 $81,242 $513,300
67 Chino Hills 78,025 $102,746 $567,200
68 Lakewood 81,106 $84,055 $475,800
69 Diamond Bar 56,600 $94,531 $614,800
70 Placentia 52,294 $88,501 $585,800
71 Lake Forest 81,812 $96,963 $585,100
72 Brea 41,921 $90,214 $610,700
73 Claremont 35,949 $96,923 $605,700
74 Irvine 256,877 $95,573 $753,400
75 Laguna Hills 31,235 $99,797 $649,700
76 Walnut 30,062 $98,329 $703,800
77 Fountain Valley 56,640 $86,602 $654,100
78 El Cerrito 24,982 $96,914 $682,300
79 Cerritos 50,145 $98,953 $638,600
80 Dana Point 34,028 $90,310 $833,800
81 Arcadia 58,156 $90,666 $994,400
82 Huntington Beach 200,415 $88,079 $688,700
83 Villa Park 5,935 $142,628 $1,077,600
84 La Palma 15,814 $91,024 $612,200
85 Torrance 147,190 $85,070 $687,900
86 Laguna Beach 23,224 $117,586 $1,570,700
87 San Clemente 65,226 $101,843 $849,300
88 Laguna Niguel 65,429 $99,206 $737,400
89 Cypress 49,108 $90,345 $576,500
90 La Habra Heights 5,425 $112,273 $871,200
91 Mission Viejo 96,535 $107,988 $640,800
92 Rancho Santa Margarita 49,078 $106,939 $619,200
93 Yorba Linda 67,740 $123,962 $792,700
94 Aliso Viejo 50,691 $106,353 $582,300
95 Rolling Hills Estates 8,229 $131,471 $1,153,700
96 Newport Beach 86,793 $119,379 $1,695,700
97 Rancho Palos Verdes 42,463 $124,552 $1,051,000
98 San Marino 13,331 $152,527 $1,550,100
99 Palos Verdes Estates 13,591 $180,815 $1,637,600
100 Redondo Beach 67,950 $104,548 $817,300

 Worst 

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