Don't Live Here

Some of the worst places to live in Texas hover around one big city

Some of the worst places to live in Texas hover around one big city

Texas flag flying with blue sky in background
A new study identified the 10 worst places to live in Texas. Photo courtesy of AFlags

We write a lot about the best places to live, but which towns are the pits? A new study from HomeSnacks figured out the 10 worst places to live in Texas by analyzing the 238 most populous cities (10,000 and up) in the state.

Thankfully, none are in North Texas.

Using FBI crime data, census information, Bureau of Labor statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, the site assessed cities based on population density, unemployment rates, median income, housing vacancy rates, education quality, commute times, crime rates and weather conditions.

According to the list, the worst place to live is Jacksonville in East Texas, population 14,500. It’s the 24th most dangerous city and has one of the lowest student expenditures (the amount of money spent per student) in the entire state.

No. 2 is Port Arthur, where one in five homes is vacant, and unemployment rates are nearly twice the national average. Third-worst place to live is Donna, at the far southeastern tip of the state, “a small town with a high unemployment rate where there’s not a lot to do in the general vicinity except listen to police sirens.”

Three of the top 10 are near Houston, including No. 4 Tomball, No. 7 Galveston (the site notes that crime rates can be higher in beach towns, which get a lot of out-of-town visitors), and No. 9 Freeport.

Among large Texas cities, Houston ranks No. 33, followed by Dallas at No. 49, Fort Worth at No. 79, San Antonio at No. 87 and Austin at No. 147 — making the latter tops among the big cities.

The bottom five — and therefore some of the best places to live in the state, according to HomeSnacks’ criteria — are Dumas (about 50 miles north of Amarillo); Highland Village, Murphy and Allen in North Texas; and Brushy Creek north of Austin.

See the complete rankings here.