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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 Clarita.
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 Clarita 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Santa Clarita area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Santa Clarita proper, although San Marino certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Santa Clarita are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 21 biggest suburbs of Santa Clarita 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 Clarita in terms of quality of life.
What's the worst suburb of Santa Clarita? Palmdale ranks as the worst suburb of Santa Clarita for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Santa Clarita that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Santa Clarita 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:
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The 10 Worst Santa Clarita Suburbs To Live For 2022
We'll get the ball rolling with Palmdale, the absolute worst place to live around Santa Clarita according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Palmdale beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 5th worst in the Santa Clarita area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd 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 Palmdale.
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.
Welcome to Lancaster. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 27.4 miles to Santa Clarita. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $58,413 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.
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Santa Clarita suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Westlake 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 Clarita suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $55,963 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $107,400 (lowest)
More on Westlake:
If you live in Los Angeles, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Santa Clarita suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 5th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Santa Clarita. Remember, we looked at 21 cities for this study.
Los Angeles is about 27.0 miles to downtown.
San Fernando has the distinction of being a Santa Clarita suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, San Fernando has the 5th lowest home values in the metro Santa Clarita area, where the median price is $471,500. To put that into perspective, in San Marino, the median income is $250,001, which is the best in the area.
San Fernando has an unemployment rate of 5.59% which ranks 10th worst.
Glendale has 199,357 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 13.9008195975786%.
Ah, Burbank. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Santa Clarita.
It's the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the Santa Clarita metro area (6.63%).
Pasadena is a city about 26.7 miles from Santa Clarita, but Santa Clarita 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. Pasadena has the 6th most uninsured people, 10th worst incomes, and has the 12th highest unemployment rate (5.02%) in the entire Santa Clarita metro area.
Homes only cost $822,100 for a reason. That's cheap for Santa Clarita standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Santa Clarita, then Fillmore might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Santa Clarita suburb.
About 3.36% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Santa Clarita suburbs to call home is Simi Valley.
Located 16.8 miles outside the city, Simi Valleys is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 14th highest unemployment rate (4.35%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Santa Clarita for 2022
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 2016-2020, 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 Clarita.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 21 suburbs to evaluate around Santa Clarita.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 21 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 Clarita." We're lookin' at you, Palmdale. 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.
Summary: The areas around Santa Clarita where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Santa Clarita with Palmdale casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Santa Clarita aren't all bad. San Marino takes the cake as the best place to live around Santa Clarita.
- San Marino
- South Pasadena
- Agoura Hills
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Detailed List Of The Worst Santa Clarita Suburbs