The 10 Worst Santa Clarita Suburbs For 2021


We used science and data to determine which Santa Clarita 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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Santa Clarita.

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 20 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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Santa Clarita for 2021:

  1. Palmdale
  2. Lancaster
  3. Westlake
  4. Los Angeles
  5. San Fernando
  6. Glendale
  7. Fillmore
  8. Burbank
  9. Pasadena
  10. Simi Valley

What's the worst suburb of Santa Clarita? Palmdale ranks as the worst suburb of Santa Clarita for 2021 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.

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 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:

The 10 Worst Santa Clarita Suburbs To Live For 2021

Palmdale, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 156,293
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $62,865 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (highest)
Median Home Value: $280,000 (3rd lowest)
More on Palmdale:  Data | Photos

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.

Lancaster, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 159,028
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $55,237 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $261,400 (2nd lowest)
More on Lancaster:  Data | Photos

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 $55,237 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. Westlake

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,727
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $42,156 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $114,400 (lowest)
More on Westlake:

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.

Los Angeles, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,966,936
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $62,142 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $636,900 (8th lowest)
More on Los Angeles:  Data | Photos

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 4th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Santa Clarita. Remember, we looked at 20 cities for this study.

Los Angeles is about 27.0 miles to downtown.

San Fernando, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,535
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $58,425 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $431,100 (5th lowest)
More on San Fernando:  Data | Photos

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 $431,100. To put that into perspective, in San Marino, the median income is $166,607, which is the best in the area.

San Fernando has an unemployment rate of 4.06% which ranks 16th worst.

Glendale, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 200,232
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $66,130 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $769,900 (12th lowest)
More on Glendale:  Data | Photos

Glendale has 200,232 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 13.493321258772927%.

Fillmore, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 15,664
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $76,590 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $426,600 (4th lowest)
More on Fillmore:  Data | Photos

Ah, Fillmore. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Santa Clarita.

It's the place with the 19th most out of work residents in the Santa Clarita metro area (3.26%).

Burbank, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 103,703
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $75,827 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $730,100 (10th lowest)
More on Burbank:  Data | Photos

Burbank is a city about 19.0 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. Burbank has the 9th most uninsured people, 8th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (6.07%) in the entire Santa Clarita metro area.

Homes only cost $730,100 for a reason. That's cheap for Santa Clarita standards.

Pasadena, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 141,258
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $83,068 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $785,700 (13th lowest)
More on Pasadena:  Data | Photos

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

About 4.2% of residents are out of work.

Simi Valley, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 125,842
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $99,151 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $584,900 (6th lowest)
More on Simi Valley:  Data | Photos

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 11th highest unemployment rate (4.47%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Santa Clarita 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 Clarita.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 4,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 20 suburbs to evaluate around Santa Clarita.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 20 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.

The areas around Santa Clarita where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

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
  • Calabasas

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Santa Clarita Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Palmdale 156,293 $62,865 $280,000
2 Lancaster 159,028 $55,237 $261,400
3 Westlake 4,727 $42,156 $114,400
4 Los Angeles 3,966,936 $62,142 $636,900
5 San Fernando 24,535 $58,425 $431,100
6 Glendale 200,232 $66,130 $769,900
7 Fillmore 15,664 $76,590 $426,600
8 Burbank 103,703 $75,827 $730,100
9 Pasadena 141,258 $83,068 $785,700
10 Simi Valley 125,842 $99,151 $584,900
11 West Hollywood 36,450 $74,044 $755,400
12 Thousand Oaks 127,873 $109,378 $726,100
13 Moorpark 36,372 $107,820 $632,900
14 Santa Monica 91,577 $96,570 $1,382,700
15 Beverly Hills 34,186 $106,936 $2,000,001
16 Agoura Hills 20,533 $122,998 $815,000
17 Malibu 12,620 $150,747 $2,000,001
18 Calabasas 23,988 $125,814 $1,076,600
19 South Pasadena 25,661 $104,308 $1,071,000
20 San Marino 13,194 $166,607 $2,000,001

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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