The suburbs of Santa Ana call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Santa Ana to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
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 Saturday Night Science 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 only expect some of 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.
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.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Santa Ana? Commerce ranks as the worst suburb of Santa Ana for 2023 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.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Santa Ana too.
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The 10 Worst Santa Ana Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $58,226 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $455,700 (17th lowest)
More on Commerce:
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 9th worst in the Santa Ana area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 17th 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.
Median Income: $47,050 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $434,200 (8th lowest)
More on Cudahy:
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 lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $47,050 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Median Income: $51,065 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (highest)
Median Home Value: $452,300 (15th lowest)
More on Huntington Park:
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Santa Ana suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Huntington Park 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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Santa Ana suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
Median Income: $67,483 (19th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $423,300 (6th lowest)
More on Montclair:
If you live in Montclair, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 19th lowest Santa Ana suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 9th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Santa Ana. Remember, we looked at 100 cities for this study.
Montclair is about 25.4 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $62,297 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $423,000 (5th lowest)
More on Compton:
Compton has the distinction of being a Santa Ana suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Compton has the 5th lowest home values in the metro Santa Ana area, where the median price is $423,000. The median income is $202,569.
Compton has an unemployment rate of 8.23% which ranks 6th worst.
Median Income: $61,612 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $449,300 (12th lowest)
More on Lynwood:
Lynwood has 67,497 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 16.49350849838677%.
Median Income: $50,311 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (42nd highest)
Median Home Value: $423,700 (7th lowest)
More on Bell Gardens:
Ah, Bell Gardens. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Santa Ana.
It’s the place with the 42nd most out of work residents in the Santa Ana metro area (5.8%).
Median Income: $51,183 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (29th highest)
Median Home Value: $450,900 (13th lowest)
More on Bell:
Bell is a city about 23.9 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. Bell has the 6th most uninsured people, 4th worst incomes, and has the 29th highest unemployment rate (6.58%) in the entire Santa Ana metro area.
Homes only cost $450,900 for a reason. That’s cheap for Santa Ana standards.
Median Income: $59,647 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $470,200 (20th lowest)
More on South Gate:
If you absolutely have to live near Santa Ana, then South Gate might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Santa Ana suburb.
About 8.65% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $67,549 (20th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (30th highest)
Median Home Value: $446,300 (11th lowest)
More on Pomona:
Rounding out the ten worst Santa Ana suburbs to call home is Pomona.
Located 23.3 miles outside the city, Pomonas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 30th highest unemployment rate (6.57%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Santa Ana for 2023
To figure out how bad a Santa Ana suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, 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 dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Santa Ana.
We also limited the analysis to places with 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 looking at you, Commerce.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Santa Ana.
Summary: The areas around Santa Ana where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
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
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Detailed List Of The Worst Santa Ana Suburbs
|13||South El Monte||19,860|
|27||Santa Fe Springs||18,817|
|63||San Juan Capistrano||35,319|
|85||Rolling Hills Estates||8,305|
|86||La Habra Heights||5,651|
|91||Rancho Santa Margarita||48,190|
|96||Rancho Palos Verdes||42,316|
|99||Palos Verdes Estates||13,403|