The 10 Worst Santa Ana Suburbs For 2021


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

Join RoadSnacks
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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Santa Ana.

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..

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 2021:

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

What's the worst suburb of Santa Ana? Commerce ranks as the worst suburb of Santa Ana for 2021 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 2021

Commerce, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,830
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,518 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (2highest)
Median Home Value: $411,200 (17th 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 7th 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.

Bell Gardens, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 42,421
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $42,223 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $388,100 (12th lowest)
More on Bell Gardens:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 22.1 miles to Santa Ana. Income levels here are the lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $42,223 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.

Huntington Park, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 58,353
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $42,447 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $412,600 (18th lowest)
More on Huntington Park:  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 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 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: 27,332
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $44,241 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $387,000 (11th 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 4th lowest Santa Ana suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 6th 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.

Cudahy, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 23,890
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $46,642 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $420,700 (22nd lowest)
More on Cudahy:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Cudahy has the 22nd lowest home values in the metro Santa Ana area, where the median price is $420,700. To put that into perspective, in Redondo Beach, the median income is $194,543, which is the best in the area.

Cudahy has an unemployment rate of 8.54% which ranks 3rd worst.

Compton, CA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 96,803
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $52,883 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $355,200 (6th lowest)
More on Compton:  Data | Photos

Compton has 96,803 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 20.473166841031272%.

Pomona, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 152,209
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $60,598 (23rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $394,500 (13th lowest)
More on Pomona:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 12th most out of work residents in the Santa Ana metro area (7.1%).

Bell, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 35,682
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Median Income: $44,327 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $413,400 (19th lowest)
More on Bell:  Data | Photos

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 8th most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 11th highest unemployment rate (7.35%) in the entire Santa Ana metro area.

Homes only cost $413,400 for a reason. That's cheap for Santa Ana standards.

South Gate, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 94,642
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $52,321 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (highest)
Median Home Value: $408,200 (15th lowest)
More on South Gate:  Data | Photos

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 9.55% of residents are out of work.

Lynwood, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 70,635
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $52,213 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $399,100 (14th lowest)
More on Lynwood:  Data | Photos

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

Located 22.4 miles outside the city, Lynwoods is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 4th highest unemployment rate (8.37%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Santa Ana for 2021

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 2015-2019, 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 2021

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 12,830 $47,518 $411,200
2 Bell Gardens 42,421 $42,223 $388,100
3 Huntington Park 58,353 $42,447 $412,600
4 Maywood 27,332 $44,241 $387,000
5 Cudahy 23,890 $46,642 $420,700
6 Compton 96,803 $52,883 $355,200
7 Pomona 152,209 $60,598 $394,500
8 Bell 35,682 $44,327 $413,400
9 South Gate 94,642 $52,321 $408,200
10 Lynwood 70,635 $52,213 $399,100
11 Montclair 39,155 $62,024 $354,500
12 South El Monte 20,721 $52,204 $445,500
13 Ontario 176,760 $65,046 $375,000
14 El Monte 115,517 $49,003 $454,900
15 Hawaiian Gardens 14,337 $49,483 $363,500
16 Paramount 54,513 $55,670 $343,800
17 Montebello 62,742 $56,150 $492,300
18 La Puente 40,020 $64,592 $419,800
19 Azusa 49,753 $68,216 $418,800
20 Baldwin Park 75,892 $65,904 $408,600
21 Stanton 38,377 $57,598 $386,400
22 Hawthorne 87,107 $54,215 $564,300
23 Duarte 21,559 $75,083 $482,200
24 Anaheim 349,964 $71,763 $575,600
25 Long Beach 466,776 $63,017 $556,100
26 Chino 89,631 $81,711 $459,100
27 Bellflower 77,195 $60,011 $458,600
28 La Habra 60,594 $79,325 $539,200
29 Pico Rivera 63,001 $67,636 $440,600
30 Gardena 59,709 $58,447 $474,700
31 Norwalk 105,304 $70,667 $440,800
32 Santa Fe Springs 17,810 $68,685 $447,400
33 Signal Hill 11,512 $75,508 $505,900
34 Lawndale 32,819 $62,013 $518,000
35 Carson 92,079 $82,305 $462,600
36 Temple 4,549 $58,594 $122,100
37 Midway 3,221 $59,625 $147,700
38 Rosemead 54,282 $57,999 $556,600
39 Westminster 91,137 $62,625 $603,700
40 Corona 166,972 $83,752 $467,000
41 Garden Grove 173,258 $69,278 $554,400
42 San Gabriel 40,143 $62,541 $680,700
43 Covina 48,095 $70,780 $509,200
44 Monterey Park 60,439 $61,819 $616,000
45 Artesia 16,758 $67,647 $542,200
46 Upland 76,596 $72,782 $525,700
47 Downey 112,322 $75,878 $569,300
48 Fullerton 139,611 $79,978 $650,000
49 Buena Park 82,489 $78,932 $579,100
50 West Covina 106,589 $82,938 $540,500
51 Glendora 51,801 $96,132 $601,800
52 La Verne 32,211 $88,131 $588,300
53 Alhambra 84,647 $61,384 $612,700
54 Orange 139,887 $91,793 $656,100
55 Costa Mesa 113,159 $84,138 $749,400
56 Laguna Woods 16,053 $44,020 $288,400
57 Whittier 86,090 $77,270 $574,400
58 San Juan Capistrano 35,922 $91,600 $720,200
59 Norco 26,670 $102,817 $544,900
60 Seal Beach 24,204 $68,852 $371,600
61 Los Alamitos 11,534 $88,729 $761,200
62 Tustin 79,863 $84,697 $647,500
63 Lomita 20,514 $71,606 $604,300
64 La Mirada 48,764 $95,685 $569,500
65 San Dimas 34,048 $86,410 $576,800
66 Brea 42,678 $94,492 $660,400
67 Claremont 36,090 $101,420 $672,500
68 Chino Hills 80,701 $106,347 $622,300
69 Diamond Bar 56,211 $99,083 $664,400
70 Placentia 51,818 $95,757 $630,500
71 Lakewood 80,292 $93,432 $568,600
72 Laguna Hills 31,617 $100,985 $707,700
73 Irvine 273,157 $105,126 $838,000
74 Arcadia 58,152 $93,574 $1,097,600
75 Fountain Valley 56,026 $93,075 $734,800
76 La Habra Heights 6,574 $115,762 $928,200
77 Lake Forest 83,974 $109,492 $647,500
78 Walnut 29,903 $108,669 $774,400
79 Cerritos 50,143 $106,190 $685,300
80 Cypress 48,893 $93,137 $632,900
81 Huntington Beach 200,259 $95,046 $771,100
82 Laguna Beach 23,036 $129,983 $1,771,600
83 Eastvale 62,046 $119,213 $574,500
84 El Cerrito 25,398 $108,298 $804,700
85 Dana Point 33,769 $99,409 $878,300
86 Torrance 145,492 $93,492 $762,700
87 Laguna Niguel 65,808 $108,537 $827,100
88 San Clemente 64,878 $110,434 $906,100
89 Mission Viejo 95,516 $118,477 $693,000
90 Rolling Hills Estates 8,169 $150,135 $1,326,600
91 La Palma 15,604 $107,724 $659,100
92 Villa Park 5,861 $165,000 $1,184,100
93 Rancho Santa Margarita 48,503 $121,017 $662,200
94 Aliso Viejo 50,663 $112,689 $632,900
95 Newport Beach 85,694 $127,223 $1,898,900
96 Rancho Palos Verdes 42,030 $138,557 $1,156,700
97 Yorba Linda 67,725 $129,995 $858,300
98 San Marino 13,194 $166,607 $2,000,001
99 Palos Verdes Estates 13,434 $194,543 $2,000,000
100 Redondo Beach 67,423 $113,499 $926,500

How Is Your Town In ?

 Worst 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *