The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Seattle For 2022

We used data and science to identify the neighborhoods in Seattle that are the real pits.

RoadSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Seattle's neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You've got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.

It seems as if there's a neighborhood for everyone in Seattle.

And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it's not all rainbows and sunshine in Seattle. Some neighborhoods aren't as great as others.

So the question arises, which Seattle neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Seattle hoods need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Seattle area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Laurelhurst ranks way above the rest.

We examined 78 of Seattle's neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don't quite measure up to Seattle's reputation.

So what's the worst neighborhood to live in Seattle for 2022? According to the most recent census data, South Park looks to be the worst neighborhood in Seattle.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Seattle that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Once you're done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best. Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of Seattle.

For more Washington reading, check out:

Worst Neighborhoods In Seattle
Source: Public domain

The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Seattle For 2022

No, this isn't the home of foul-mouthed cartoon characters. That South Park is in Colorado. You'll find this South Park in the southern part of Seattle, across the Duwamish Waterway from the city's airport.

Located near a busy aviation hub and an industrialized estuary, South Park doesn't seem to present many park-like elements. Still, it doesn't have a smattering of green space and some pleasant areas by the water.

Cosmetic aspects aside, residents wrestle with weighty financial concerns. The median income only reaches $37,624 - not exactly yacht money. In addition, the unemployment rate touches 7.0%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,549
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $193,200 (worst)
Median Income: $37,624 (2nd worst)
More on South Park:  Data

Welcome to Georgetown, home of the King County International Airport/Boeing Field. It's already a theme on this list and a trend common to most cities: you don't want to live near the airport. Unless you were one of those kids you just loved watching planes take off and land, you're better off searching out a more inviting part of the city.

That said, the Seattle airport has some special features. Specifically, it serves as the base for airplane maker Boeing, which uses it for test flights.

All this activity helps support a robust economy, with a median income of $64,669 and an unemployment rate of 5.9%. Unfortunately, it's hard to find amenities nearby and the median home price runs high at $314,817.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,000
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $314,817 (8th worst)
Median Income: $64,669 (17th worst)
More on Georgetown:  Data

Located in the southwest part of the city, a short drive from the bay, Roxhill makes this list for one major reason. It ranks as the number 3 worst part of Seattle for 2022 because of the high real estate prices.

The median home value in the area comes in at a hefty $324,975. That's a lot to afford, even when the local median income reaches $63,066.

Also, it's a lot to spend for the location. Notice we said "near the bay," not "on the bay." It will take a 10-minute drive to reach Lincoln Park and the water. You'll also have to commute to downtown, leaving the area separate from the city's main attractions.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,249
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $324,975 (9th worst)
Median Income: $63,066 (15th worst)
More on Roxhill:  Data

Sand Point is less of neighborhood and more of a giant park. It sits along the Sand Point peninsula in the northeastern part of the city, overlooking Lake Washington. It mostly consists of Magnuson Park, though there are a few residential areas as well.

You really couldn't ask for a prettier spot to live. Of course, that kind of view comes at a cost. The median home value in this section amounts to $396,900. Also, while they're close to the water and all the park attractions, residents live far from the heart of the city. This means they have to venture out for many amusements and necessities.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 703
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $396,900 (25th worst)
Median Income: $66,250 (18th worst)
More on Sand Point:  Data

Don't let the name fool you. North Delridge is located in the southern part of the city, near Harbor Island and a series of industrial districts. That said, the area itself is quite green. It has a host of park space, including Puget Park.

As we've seen elsewhere on this list, the cost of living undermines an otherwise beautiful neighborhood. Sure, the median income around here equals $73,541. But that's not enough to make the mortgage on $350,000 house affordable. And that's what you're looking at as a median home price in North Delridge.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,280
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $352,340 (14th worst)
Median Income: $73,541 (26th worst)
More on North Delridge:  Data

Maybe just stay away from any Delridges. They all seem to end up on this list of the worst neighborhoods in Seattle for 2022. Elsewhere, you'll find North Delridge. Now, you've got her southern sister. Meanwhile, this neighborhood's western neighbor, Roxhill, makes the list as well.

With those associations, you might consider this the bad part of town. But that idea is relative. In some cities, a median income of $52,981 and an unemployment rate of 6.6% would merit a parade. Here, it counts as a sluggish economy. This disconnect comes about because of a comparably high cost of living, with a median home price of $280,467.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,231
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $280,467 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $52,981 (6th worst)
More on South Delridge:  Data

In a medieval castle, or on a Game of Thrones set, you might expect a drawbridge and some archer towers. As in, "Look out! The wildlings are attacking the North Gate!" Here, the neighborhood just marks the northern stretch of Seattle.

With I-5 running through the center of the area, Northgate comes with its share of diversions. You've got amenities like the Jackson Park Golf Course. However, you also face an issue we've encountered elsewhere on this list: high real estate prices. In this case, a home will run you a median cost of $363,225. Compare that to the local median income of $55,515.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,283
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $363,225 (19th worst)
Median Income: $55,515 (9th worst)
More on Northgate:  Data

Rainier Beach sounds like a resort. Like, "Hey, let's take my private jet to Rainier Beach and spend the weekend skinny dipping and drinking champagne." Well, it's not quite on that level. But this portion of southeastern Seattle does sit by the water, overlooking the shores of Lake Washington.

The only other way Rainier Beach resembles an exotic tropical destination: it's expensive. Not private island expensive. But hard to afford for anyone making a regular salary. The median home value in the area tops $330,000. Meanwhile, the median income barely ticks above $60,000.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,358
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $334,780 (11th worst)
Median Income: $61,016 (13th worst)
More on Rainier Beach:  Data

Credit for honesty: the University District does contain a university. It's home to the University of Washington. Located in the northern part of the city, along the Union and Portage bays, it has charm beyond college parties and late-night discussions of philosophy.

That said, there are drawbacks. After all, this counts as the number 9 worst location in Seattle for 2022. The economy doesn't offer all it could. Compared with the surrounding areas, unemployment is a bit elevated. Meanwhile, costs remain high in this part of town, with a median home value of nearly $300,000.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,977
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $298,214 (4th worst)
Median Income: $51,109 (5th worst)
More on University District:  Data

Yes, Riverview has a view of the river. The Duwamish Waterway to be exact. That's just one of the attractions in this part of southern Seattle. You'll also find plenty of park land, including the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails. Riverview also plays host to South Seattle College.

Yet, we wouldn't mention the neighborhood on this list if everything was rosy. Once again, a high cost of living acts as the culprit here. Sure, the median income for the neighborhood hits $76,727, more than enough for many cities. But in a neighborhood where the median home value reaches $335,700, that amount of cash can still often fall short.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,508
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $335,700 (12th worst)
Median Income: $76,727 (28th worst)
More on Riverview:  Data

Methodology: How we determined the worst Seattle neighborhoods in 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 places have the least amount of those things. We threw the following criteria into this analysis in order to get the best, most complete results possible. We used this set of criteria for each neighborhood in Seattle:

  • High unemployment (Less jobs)
  • Low median income (Less pay)
  • Low population density (No things to do)
  • Low home values (No one's willing to pay to live here)
  • High crime (Estimated)

Then, we ranked each neighborhood in Seattle, Washington for each of these criteria from worst to best.

Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a "Worst Score".

The neighborhood with the lowest "Worst Score" ranks as the worst neighborhood of Seattle.

Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Seattle to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 78 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.

Summary: The Worst Neighborhoods Around Seattle

Well there you have it -- the worst of the neighborhoods in Seattle with South Park landing at the bottom of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Seattle aren't all bad. Laurelhurst takes the cake as the best place to live in Seattle.

We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Neighborhoods To Live In Seattle For 2022?

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 South Park 3,549 $193,200 $37,624
2 Georgetown 2,000 $314,817 $64,669
3 Roxhill 5,249 $324,975 $63,066
4 Sand Point 703 $396,900 $66,250
5 North Delridge 4,280 $352,340 $73,541
6 South Delridge 6,231 $280,467 $52,981
7 Northgate 4,283 $363,225 $55,515
8 Rainier Beach 15,358 $334,780 $61,016
9 University District 26,977 $298,214 $51,109
10 Riverview 3,508 $335,700 $76,727
11 Olympic Hills 8,347 $313,800 $61,322
12 International District 6,222 $275,700 $31,574
13 Atlantic 5,133 $409,783 $66,899
14 Haller Lake 8,563 $362,689 $66,470
15 North College Park 7,494 $354,178 $72,782
16 High Point 7,820 $331,500 $60,140
17 Beacon Hill 35,035 $359,223 $60,130
18 Industrial District 2,705 $449,162 $89,424
19 Columbia City 9,450 $362,455 $58,398
20 Brighton 8,225 $347,062 $48,031
21 Interbay 4,239 $524,950 $81,117
22 Mount Baker 8,739 $484,690 $84,194
23 Cedar Park 5,660 $425,214 $73,451
24 Highland Park 7,492 $306,962 $53,914
25 Pinehurst 5,879 $399,283 $64,376
26 South Lake Union 6,331 $372,100 $88,097
27 Bitter Lake 8,798 $364,800 $55,490
28 Downtown 12,264 $474,229 $70,330
29 Seward Park 4,496 $509,056 $91,406
30 Belltown 10,468 $298,940 $84,419
31 Alki 2,069 $616,283 $92,988
32 Greenwood 16,734 $424,567 $81,641
33 Crown Hill 2,877 $503,267 $89,372
34 First Hill 12,112 $369,892 $47,158
35 Meadowbrook 3,644 $429,440 $79,570
36 Pioneer Square 582 $574,033 $82,597
37 Central District 16,895 $434,618 $69,524
38 Roosevelt 3,138 $549,275 $78,093
39 Victory Heights 5,254 $375,186 $66,984
40 Westlake 3,905 $363,800 $94,208
41 Lower Queen Anne 11,479 $447,030 $79,278
42 Ballard 16,713 $522,193 $88,479
43 Maple Leaf 11,681 $497,731 $89,121
44 Sunset Hill 6,216 $575,288 $93,572
45 Broadview 8,547 $494,800 $85,064
46 Capitol Hill 37,489 $526,860 $85,656
47 North Beach 2,193 $605,300 $99,843
48 Madison Valley 1,789 $527,975 $123,390
49 Fremont 12,472 $533,092 $81,943
50 Eastlake 3,806 $555,300 $75,217
51 West Seattle 27,055 $505,822 $89,963
52 Olympic Manor 2,278 $685,967 $103,313
53 Leschi 4,466 $658,600 $111,087
54 Admiral 12,607 $551,173 $96,220
55 Madison Park 1,773 $1,216,900 $168,926
56 Blue Ridge 1,877 $549,625 $95,292
57 Matthews Beach 5,195 $585,271 $115,178
58 Fauntleroy 4,261 $551,867 $107,902
59 Arbor Heights 5,176 $459,550 $100,528
60 Denny-Blaine 971 $994,350 $186,066
61 Wedgwood 10,290 $543,192 $101,398
62 Whittier Heights 5,298 $554,725 $92,956
63 Magnolia 16,871 $645,029 $108,612
64 Montlake 2,009 $854,000 $148,077
65 Madrona 4,296 $638,550 $123,935
66 Windermere 1,616 $979,300 $127,762
67 Wallingford 16,333 $604,588 $93,826
68 Queen Anne 25,386 $635,135 $104,518
69 Green Lake 9,656 $614,025 $106,534
70 Ravenna 10,286 $591,627 $96,775
71 View Ridge 4,205 $687,960 $133,298
72 Hawthorne Hills 1,721 $707,800 $113,832
73 Loyal Heights 7,963 $554,144 $96,947
74 Phinney Ridge 10,900 $612,754 $94,057
75 Broadmoor 1,508 $1,256,500 $188,646
76 Bryant 5,241 $567,125 $105,780
77 Portage Bay 1,614 $784,150 $110,704
78 Laurelhurst 4,159 $1,053,600 $170,046

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 2022. This is our time ranking the worst neighborhoods to live in Seattle.

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.