Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround St. Petersburg.
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 St. Petersburg ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the St. Petersburg area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to St. Petersburg proper, although Redington Shores certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of St. Petersburg are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…
We examined the 24 biggest suburbs of St. Petersburg to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Florida lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of St. Petersburg in terms of quality of life.
Here are the 10 worst suburbs around St. Petersburg for 2019:
- Bradenton (Photos)
- Tarpon Springs (Photos)
- Sarasota (Photos)
- Pinellas Park (Photos)
- Tampa (Photos)
- Largo (Photos)
- Clearwater (Photos)
- Gulfport (Photos)
- South Pasadena
Read on to see how we determined the places around St. Petersburg that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around St. Petersburg 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 Florida reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Florida
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Florida
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Florida
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around St. Petersburg for 2019
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 2013-2017, 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 St. Petersburg.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 24 suburbs to evaluate around St. Petersburg.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 24 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 St. Petersburg.” We’re lookin’ at you, Palmetto.
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.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $41,289 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $117,100 (2nd lowest)
More on Palmetto: Data
We’ll get the ball rolling with Palmetto, the absolute worst place to live around St. Petersburg according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Palmetto beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the St. Petersburg area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd 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 Palmetto.
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 Bradenton. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 19.2 miles to St. Petersburg. Income levels here are the 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $42,902 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 St. Petersburg suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Tarpon Springs 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 St. Petersburg suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
If you live in Sarasota, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 6th lowest St. Petersburg suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 10th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near St. Petersburg. Remember, we looked at 24 cities for this study.
Sarasota is about 29.9 miles to downtown.
Pinellas Park has the distinction of being a St. Petersburg suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Pinellas Park has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro St. Petersburg area, where the median price is $128,600. To put that into perspective, in Redington Shores, the median income is $102,348, which is the best in the area.
Pinellas Park has an unemployment rate of 5.8% which ranks 16th worst.
Tampa has 368,087 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 20.0%.
Ah, Largo. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around St. Petersburg.
It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the St. Petersburg metro area (6.8%).
Clearwater is a city about 16.9 miles from St. Petersburg, but St. Petersburg 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. Clearwater has the 6th most uninsured people, 7th worst incomes, and has the 7th highest unemployment rate (7.2%) in the entire St. Petersburg metro area.
Homes only cost $172,900 for a reason. That’s cheap for St. Petersburg standards.
If you absolutely have to live near St. Petersburg, then Gulfport might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst St. Petersburg suburb.
About 6.6% of residents are out of work.
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $32,924 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $163,600 (7th lowest)
More on South Pasadena: Data
Rounding out the ten worst St. Petersburg suburbs to call home is South Pasadena.
Located 5.9 miles outside the city, South Pasadenas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 3rd highest unemployment rate (8.6%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around St. Petersburg where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2019
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding St. Petersburg with Palmetto casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around St. Petersburg aren’t all bad. Redington Shores takes the cake as the best place to live around St. Petersburg.
- Redington Shores
- Indian Rocks Beach
- Longboat Key
For more Florida reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Florida
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Florida
- 10 Safest Places In Florida
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Florida
Detailed List Of The Worst St. Petersburg Suburbs
|21||St. Pete Beach||9,529|
|23||Indian Rocks Beach||4,192|