The 10 Worst Winston-Salem Suburbs

The worst Winston-Salem suburbs are Mayodan and Yadkinville based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Winston-Salem to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises: what suburbs of Winston-Salem are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science 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 only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Winston-Salem proper, although Bermuda Run certainly tries.

We examined the 25 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.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 worst suburbs around Winston-Salem for 2024

  1. Mayodan
  2. Yadkinville
  3. Lexington
  4. Spencer
  5. Madison
  6. Thomasville
  7. Mocksville
  8. High Point
  9. Jamestown
  10. Walnut Cove

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Winston-Salem? Mayodan ranks as the worst suburb of Winston-Salem for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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.

The 10 Worst Winston-Salem Suburbs To Live For 2024

1. Mayodan

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,438
Median Income: $40,458 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $148,549 (lowest)
More on Mayodan: Crime

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Mayodan beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Winston-Salem area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 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 Mayodan.

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. Yadkinville

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,971
Median Income: $41,148 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $227,489 (7th lowest)
More on Yadkinville: Crime

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

This city is 22.6 miles to Winston-Salem. Income levels here are the 3rd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $41,148 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Lexington, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,595
Median Income: $36,868 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $243,908 (11th lowest)
More on Lexington: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Winston-Salem suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Lexington 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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Winston-Salem suburbs.

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

4. Spencer

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,296
Median Income: $61,079 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $192,651 (3rd lowest)
More on Spencer: Crime

If you live in Spencer, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 13th lowest Winston-Salem suburb for median household incomes.

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 25 cities for this study.

Spencer is about 29.4 miles to downtown.

5. Madison

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,185
Median Income: $51,150 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $198,186 (4th lowest)
More on Madison: Crime

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

All snarkiness aside, Madison has the 4th lowest home values in the metro Winston-Salem area, where the median price is $198,186. The median income is $148,182.

Madison has an unemployment rate of 7.6% which ranks 5th worst.

Thomasville, NC

Source: Wikipedia User AmaryllisGardener | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,130
Median Income: $48,457 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $214,034 (6th lowest)
More on Thomasville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Thomasville has 27,130 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 20.650742900131654%.

Mocksville, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Ceh2624 | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,908
Median Income: $46,553 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $254,179 (14th lowest)
More on Mocksville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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

It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the Winston-Salem metro area (5.87%).

High Point, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 114,120
Median Income: $58,582 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $229,659 (8th lowest)
More on High Point: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

High Point is a city about 17.2 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. High Point has the 8th most uninsured people, 11th worst incomes, and has the 8th highest unemployment rate (6.16%) in the entire Winston-Salem metro area.

Homes only cost $229,659 for a reason. That’s cheap for Winston-Salem standards.

9. Jamestown

Jamestown Location In North Dakota

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,850
Median Income: $53,389 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $184,873 (2nd lowest)
More on Jamestown:

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 5.68% of residents are out of work.

10. Walnut Cove

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,028
Median Income: $42,398 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $204,063 (5th lowest)
More on Walnut Cove:

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

Located 14.9 miles outside the city, Walnut Coves is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 14th highest unemployment rate (4.21%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Winston-Salem for 2024

To figure out how bad a Winston-Salem suburb is to live in, we used Saturday Night Science to identify the kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2018-2022, 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 dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Winston-Salem.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 25 suburbs to evaluate around Winston-Salem.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 25 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 looking at you, Mayodan.

We updated this article for 2024, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Winston-Salem.

Summary: The areas around Winston-Salem where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2024

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

The worst suburbs of Winston-Salem are .

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

  • Bermuda Run
  • Stokesdale
  • Oak Ridge

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Winston-Salem Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Mayodan 2,438 $40,458 $148,549
2 Yadkinville 2,971 $41,148 $227,489
3 Lexington 19,595 $36,868 $243,908
4 Spencer 3,296 $61,079 $192,651
5 Madison 2,185 $51,150 $198,186
6 Thomasville 27,130 $48,457 $214,034
7 Mocksville 5,908 $46,553 $254,179
8 High Point 114,120 $58,582 $229,659
9 Jamestown 15,850 $53,389 $184,873
10 Walnut Cove 2,028 $42,398 $204,063
11 Trinity 7,012 $70,368 $268,416
12 Greensboro 297,202 $55,051 $248,523
13 Rural Hall 3,376 $56,037 $258,003
14 Tobaccoville 2,602 $75,673 $242,468
15 Wallburg 3,081 $80,592 $300,004
16 Archdale 11,873 $63,627 $233,051
17 Midway 4,773 $72,574 $277,641
18 King 7,210 $59,770 $249,231
19 Kernersville 27,177 $66,151 $302,017
20 Lewisville 13,509 $86,641 $358,604
21 Summerfield 10,986 $148,182 $467,749
22 Clemmons 21,281 $75,667 $353,229
23 Oak Ridge 7,637 $146,131 $514,942
24 Stokesdale 5,900 $118,159 $349,634
25 Bermuda Run 3,118 $71,515 $378,006
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *