Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Sunnyvale.
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 Sunnyvale ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Sunnyvale area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Sunnyvale proper, although Los Altos certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Sunnyvale are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…
We examined the 40 biggest suburbs of Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale in terms of quality of life.
Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Sunnyvale for 2018:
- Hayward (Photos)
- Oakland (Photos)
- East Palo Alto (Photos)
- San Leandro (Photos)
- San Jose (Photos)
- Santa Cruz (Photos)
- Newark (Photos)
- Morgan Hill (Photos)
- Milpitas (Photos)
- South San Francisco (Photos)
Read on to see how we determined the places around Sunnyvale that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Sunnyvale 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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In California
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 40 suburbs to evaluate around Sunnyvale.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 40 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 Sunnyvale.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Hayward.
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.
We’ll get the ball rolling with Hayward, the absolute worst place to live around Sunnyvale according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Hayward beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 5th worst in the Sunnyvale area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 1st 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 Hayward.
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 Oakland. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 28.7 miles to Sunnyvale. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $57,778 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. East Palo Alto
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Sunnyvale suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see East Palo Alto 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 Sunnyvale suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
4. San Leandro
If you live in San Leandro, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale. Remember, we looked at 40 cities for this study.
San Leandro is about 23.2 miles to downtown.
5. San Jose
San Jose has the distinction of being a Sunnyvale suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, San Jose has the 11th lowest home values in the metro Sunnyvale area, where the median price is $658,000. To put that into perspective, in Los Altos, the median income is $250,000, which is the best in the area.
San Jose has an unemployment rate of 7.4% which ranks 5th worst.
6. Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz has 63,310 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 24.1%.
Ah, Newark. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Sunnyvale.
It’s the place with the 15th most out of work residents in the Sunnyvale metro area (5.7%).
8. Morgan Hill
Morgan Hill is a city about 27.5 miles from Sunnyvale, but Sunnyvale 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. Morgan Hill has the 11th most uninsured people, 14th worst incomes, and has the 10th highest unemployment rate (6.4%) in the entire Sunnyvale metro area.
Homes only cost $678,900 for a reason. That’s cheap for Sunnyvale standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Sunnyvale, then Milpitas might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Sunnyvale suburb.
About 7.3% of residents are out of work.
10. South San Francisco
Rounding out the ten worst Sunnyvale suburbs to call home is South San Francisco.
Located 26.7 miles outside the city, South San Franciscos is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 9th highest unemployment rate (6.6%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around Sunnyvale where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Sunnyvale with Hayward casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Sunnyvale aren’t all bad. Los Altos takes the cake as the best place to live around Sunnyvale.
For more California reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In California
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In California
- 10 Safest Places In California
- 10 Worst Places To Live In California
Detailed List Of The Worst Sunnyvale Suburbs
|3||East Palo Alto||29,353|
|10||South San Francisco||66,587|
|17||Half Moon Bay||12,281|
|39||Los Altos Hills||8,376|