These Are The 10 Worst Winston-Salem Suburbs For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Winston-Salem suburbs are the real pits.

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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 Winston-Salem.

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 Winston-Salem ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Winston-Salem area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Winston-Salem proper, although Oak Ridge certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Winston-Salem are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

We examined the 15 biggest suburbs of Winston-Salem to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in North Carolina lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Winston-Salem in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Winston-Salem for 2018:

  1. Lexington (Photos)
  2. Thomasville (Photos)
  3. Mocksville (Photos)
  4. High Point (Photos)
  5. Trinity
  6. Greensboro (Photos)
  7. Archdale
  8. Kernersville
  9. Jamestown
  10. King (Photos)

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

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in North Carolina check out the best places in North Carolina overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Winston-Salem 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 North Carolina reading, check out:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 15 suburbs to evaluate around Winston-Salem.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 15 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 Winston-Salem.” We’re lookin’ at you, Lexington.

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.

1. Lexington

Lexington, North Carolina

Source: Public domain

Population: 19,089
Unemployment Rate: 18.2%
Median Home Price: $101,800
Median Income: $27,437
More on Lexington: Data | Jobs

We’ll get the ball rolling with Lexington, the absolute worst place to live around Winston-Salem according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Lexington beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 1st worst in the Winston-Salem 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 Lexington.

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.

2. Thomasville

Thomasville, North Carolina

Population: 27,178
Unemployment Rate: 13.2%
Median Home Price: $109,900
Median Income: $36,796
More on Thomasville: Data | Jobs

Welcome to Thomasville. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 18.3 miles to Winston-Salem. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $36,796 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. Mocksville

Mocksville, North Carolina

Population: 5,140
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $139,900
Median Income: $38,806
More on Mocksville: Data | Jobs

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Winston-Salem suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Mocksville 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 Winston-Salem suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. High Point

High Point, North Carolina

Source: Public domain

Population: 108,982
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Median Home Price: $142,700
Median Income: $43,322
More on High Point: Data | Jobs

If you live in High Point, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 5th lowest Winston-Salem suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Winston-Salem. Remember, we looked at 15 cities for this study.

High Point is about 17.2 miles to downtown.

5. Trinity


Population: 6,651
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Median Home Price: $131,200
Median Income: $49,208
More on Trinity: Data | Jobs

Trinity has the distinction of being a Winston-Salem suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Trinity has the 4th lowest home values in the metro Winston-Salem area, where the median price is $131,200. To put that into perspective, in Oak Ridge, the median income is $109,509, which is the best in the area.

Trinity has an unemployment rate of 4.4% which ranks 11th worst.

6. Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina

Source: Public domain

Population: 282,177
Unemployment Rate: 7.6%
Median Home Price: $148,500
Median Income: $42,802
More on Greensboro: Data | Jobs

Greensboro has 282,177 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 19.9%.

7. Archdale


Population: 11,483
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $134,600
Median Income: $52,696
More on Archdale: Data | Jobs

Ah, Archdale. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Winston-Salem.

It’s the place with the 5th most out of work residents in the Winston-Salem metro area (6.3%).

8. Kernersville

Kernersville, North Carolina

Population: 23,736
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Median Home Price: $170,200
Median Income: $48,383
More on Kernersville: Data | Jobs

Kernersville is a city about 9.9 miles from Winston-Salem, but Winston-Salem 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. Kernersville has the 7th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 8th highest unemployment rate (5.2%) in the entire Winston-Salem metro area.

Homes only cost $170,200 for a reason. That’s cheap for Winston-Salem standards.

9. Jamestown


Population: 15,441
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Median Home Price: $120,100
Median Income: $49,086
More on Jamestown: Data | Jobs

If you absolutely have to live near Winston-Salem, then Jamestown might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Winston-Salem suburb.

About 2.4% of residents are out of work.

10. King

King, North Carolina

Population: 6,777
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Median Home Price: $145,400
Median Income: $54,471
More on King: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst Winston-Salem suburbs to call home is King.

Located 13.0 miles outside the city, Kings is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (5.2%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Winston-Salem where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Winston-Salem with Lexington casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Winston-Salem aren’t all bad. Oak Ridge takes the cake as the best place to live around Winston-Salem.

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Winston-Salem Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Lexington 19,089 18.2% $101,800 $27,437
2 Thomasville 27,178 13.2% $109,900 $36,796
3 Mocksville 5,140 6.3% $139,900 $38,806
4 High Point 108,982 9.5% $142,700 $43,322
5 Trinity 6,651 4.4% $131,200 $49,208
6 Greensboro 282,177 7.6% $148,500 $42,802
7 Archdale 11,483 6.3% $134,600 $52,696
8 Kernersville 23,736 5.2% $170,200 $48,383
9 Jamestown 15,441 2.4% $120,100 $49,086
10 King 6,777 5.2% $145,400 $54,471
11 Stokesdale 5,278 4.6% $198,300 $94,934
12 Lewisville 13,356 5.4% $185,500 $72,994
13 Clemmons 19,536 3.3% $202,200 $67,783
14 Summerfield 10,758 4.1% $342,300 $100,724
15 Oak Ridge 6,617 2.4% $320,700 $109,509

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