These Are The 10 Worst Santa Ana Suburbs For 2018


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

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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 2018:

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

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Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Santa Ana for 2018

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, 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.

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1. Commerce

Commerce, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,997
Unemployment Rate: 11.4%
Median Home Price: $343,200
Median Income: $42,235
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 22nd 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.

2. Cudahy


Population: 24,106
Unemployment Rate: 11.9%
Median Home Price: $285,900
Median Income: $39,058
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 $39,058 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.

3. Compton

Compton, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 97,740
Unemployment Rate: 13.9%
Median Home Price: $264,300
Median Income: $45,406
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.

4. Huntington Park

Huntington Park, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 58,921
Unemployment Rate: 11.1%
Median Home Price: $322,300
Median Income: $35,629
If you live in Huntington Park, 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.

Huntington Park is about 25.5 miles to downtown.

5. Bell Gardens

Bell Gardens, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 42,805
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Median Home Price: $318,700
Median Income: $37,183
Bell Gardens has the distinction of being a Santa Ana suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Bell Gardens has the 13th lowest home values in the metro Santa Ana area, where the median price is $318,700. To put that into perspective, in Redondo Beach, the median income is $200,766, which is the best in the area.

Bell Gardens has an unemployment rate of 10.6% which ranks 10th worst.

6. Pomona

Pomona, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 151,807
Unemployment Rate: 11.0%
Median Home Price: $310,100
Median Income: $50,360
Pomona has 151,807 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 21.5%.

7. Bell

Bell, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 35,927
Unemployment Rate: 11.4%
Median Home Price: $322,900
Median Income: $38,823
Ah, Bell. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Santa Ana.

It’s the place with the 5th most out of work residents in the Santa Ana metro area (11.4%).

8. Hawaiian Gardens

Hawaiian Gardens, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,468
Unemployment Rate: 10.5%
Median Home Price: $288,200
Median Income: $36,026
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 8th most uninsured people, 2nd worst incomes, and has the 11th highest unemployment rate (10.5%) in the entire Santa Ana metro area.

Homes only cost $288,200 for a reason. That’s cheap for Santa Ana standards.

9. Maywood

Maywood, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,672
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Median Home Price: $325,600
Median Income: $36,696
If you absolutely have to live near Santa Ana, then Maywood might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Santa Ana suburb.

About 9.5% of residents are out of work.

10. Ontario

Ontario, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 169,389
Unemployment Rate: 9.3%
Median Home Price: $293,000
Median Income: $54,896
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 22nd highest unemployment rate (9.3%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Santa Ana where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

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.

For more California reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Santa Ana Suburbs

City Rank Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
Commerce 1 12,997 11.4% $343,200 $42,235
Cudahy 2 24,106 11.9% $285,900 $39,058
Compton 3 97,740 13.9% $264,300 $45,406
Huntington Park 4 58,921 11.1% $322,300 $35,629
Bell Gardens 5 42,805 10.6% $318,700 $37,183
Pomona 6 151,807 11.0% $310,100 $50,360
Bell 7 35,927 11.4% $322,900 $38,823
Hawaiian Gardens 8 14,468 10.5% $288,200 $36,026
Maywood 9 27,672 9.5% $325,600 $36,696
Ontario 10 169,389 9.3% $293,000 $54,896
Lynwood 11 71,233 10.2% $312,100 $43,848
Temple 12 4,287 11.5% $102,600 $46,680
South Gate 13 95,219 11.7% $329,000 $45,522
Paramount 14 54,941 9.1% $283,400 $46,364
Montclair 15 38,294 9.3% $281,100 $50,374
South El Monte 16 20,566 7.0% $363,100 $42,460
El Monte 17 115,665 9.2% $374,900 $40,654
Stanton 18 38,594 8.0% $322,200 $48,332
Baldwin Park 19 76,511 8.8% $333,500 $53,651
Duarte 20 21,792 10.4% $385,600 $65,571
Hawthorne 21 86,938 9.8% $419,600 $45,089
La Puente 22 40,384 8.1% $343,000 $57,174
Azusa 23 48,498 8.1% $342,000 $56,569
Montebello 24 63,416 8.1% $413,900 $47,518
Rosemead 25 54,507 8.2% $455,100 $45,510
Pico Rivera 26 63,724 8.6% $351,300 $57,203
Chino 27 83,670 9.0% $365,500 $72,832
Bellflower 28 77,687 8.3% $367,300 $50,704
Anaheim 29 346,776 8.1% $457,600 $61,826
Long Beach 30 469,793 9.4% $448,800 $55,151
Gardena 31 59,898 8.3% $372,500 $50,137
Lawndale 32 33,161 7.0% $401,700 $51,934
Norwalk 33 106,360 8.0% $350,600 $61,050
Carson 34 92,780 10.8% $366,700 $73,829
Signal Hill 35 11,404 7.0% $446,000 $70,286
La Habra 36 61,660 10.0% $436,200 $65,799
Garden Grove 37 174,676 7.6% $445,700 $60,522
Santa Fe Springs 38 17,436 4.9% $371,400 $58,147
Westminster 39 91,635 7.4% $499,400 $55,287
Corona 40 161,614 7.8% $378,500 $72,309
Midway 41 3,256 4.9% $127,800 $56,367
Monterey Park 42 61,001 7.5% $532,700 $54,008
San Juan Capistrano 43 36,006 7.1% $590,500 $79,393
West Covina 44 107,634 9.9% $430,800 $71,217
Fullerton 45 139,491 8.6% $551,300 $67,110
Covina 46 48,539 9.7% $415,300 $65,451
Norco 47 26,809 8.5% $445,700 $87,067
Downey 48 113,223 6.8% $449,900 $65,332
Glendora 49 51,285 10.1% $481,800 $78,448
San Gabriel 50 40,200 6.9% $605,600 $54,015
Upland 51 75,851 5.9% $444,200 $62,369
Artesia 52 16,789 5.2% $419,500 $58,651
Lomita 53 20,652 8.0% $532,300 $61,580
Orange 54 139,919 7.3% $565,800 $79,192
Whittier 55 86,630 6.7% $458,500 $67,431
Alhambra 56 84,866 6.0% $518,800 $53,138
Buena Park 57 82,771 5.7% $448,900 $70,341
Tustin 58 79,396 6.8% $543,200 $70,822
Seal Beach 59 24,510 6.3% $308,400 $60,222
Costa Mesa 60 112,439 6.5% $637,200 $70,438
Laguna Woods 61 16,347 5.1% $228,700 $39,201
Los Alamitos 62 11,661 7.8% $680,100 $80,926
Eastvale 63 58,217 9.6% $460,100 $104,940
San Dimas 64 34,109 7.0% $481,000 $79,081
La Verne 65 32,078 7.0% $500,300 $78,385
Placentia 66 52,168 6.8% $554,500 $80,668
La Mirada 67 49,130 6.9% $448,400 $81,956
Chino Hills 68 77,266 7.0% $537,800 $97,222
Diamond Bar 69 56,456 7.3% $593,100 $89,845
Claremont 70 35,827 6.8% $581,100 $94,005
Lakewood 71 81,054 6.3% $445,800 $82,175
Laguna Hills 72 31,127 6.2% $628,800 $92,690
Brea 73 41,351 6.4% $579,600 $85,555
Fountain Valley 74 56,670 6.6% $626,600 $84,763
La Palma 75 15,834 6.4% $602,000 $83,760
Lake Forest 76 80,658 5.2% $550,600 $92,415
Walnut 77 30,026 6.6% $679,700 $97,345
Arcadia 78 57,755 6.5% $920,700 $83,958
Dana Point 79 34,009 6.1% $780,300 $83,913
El Cerrito 80 24,646 6.6% $636,600 $92,670
Irvine 81 246,992 6.2% $718,800 $93,823
Huntington Beach 82 198,724 6.0% $659,700 $85,312
Cypress 83 48,978 5.2% $540,900 $84,469
Laguna Beach 84 23,204 6.8% $1,390,500 $100,506
Cerritos 85 49,797 6.6% $620,500 $95,373
Villa Park 86 5,922 8.7% $1,030,800 $131,386
Torrance 87 147,307 6.4% $652,600 $80,862
San Clemente 88 65,082 5.5% $801,100 $97,210
Laguna Niguel 89 64,984 6.4% $712,000 $97,894
La Habra Heights 90 5,406 4.9% $893,200 $110,329
Mission Viejo 91 96,178 6.0% $608,100 $104,886
Yorba Linda 92 67,362 6.5% $728,300 $119,697
Rancho Santa Margarita 93 49,038 3.6% $584,000 $104,556
Aliso Viejo 94 50,219 5.9% $539,000 $103,261
San Marino 95 13,324 4.3% $1,518,400 $139,792
Newport Beach 96 86,813 5.4% $1,584,900 $115,845
Rolling Hills Estates 97 8,206 4.4% $1,096,400 $129,728
Rancho Palos Verdes 98 42,412 4.3% $1,003,300 $120,668
Palos Verdes Estates 99 13,582 2.0% $1,609,500 $200,766
Redondo Beach 100 67,664 5.8% $775,300 $103,782

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