We keep you updated on the best things about Austin and the Lone Star State. But sometimes, we have to look at the other side of the coin, like the cities in Texas that are the absolute pits. A new ranking from HomeSnacks analyzed the 238 most populous cities in the state to come up with a list of the worst places to live in 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.
Where is the No. 1 worst place to live in Texas? According to the ranking, it's Jacksonville in East Texas. With a population of around 14,500, the city is host to high crime rates (24th most dangerous in Texas) and features one of the lowest student expenditures (money spent per student) in the entire state.
No. 2 on the list is Port Arthur, where 1 in 5 homes is vacant and unemployment rates are nearly twice the national average. Donna, located on the far southeastern tip of the state, is the No. 3 worst place to live. "Basically, Donna is 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," says HomeSnacks.
Tomball, on the northern edge of Houston's suburbs, comes in at No. 4 on the list, thanks to long commute times and a high home vacancy rate. Tomball also ranks almost last in terms of sunny days in Texas (huh?). Donna's next door neighbor, Mercedes, rounds out the five worst places to live. It has a very low household income and a very high unemployment rate.
The top 10 worst places to live in Texas also include Vidor (No. 6), Galveston (No. 7), Weslaco (No. 8), Freeport (No. 9) and Huntsville (No. 10).
Among large Texas cities, Houston ranks worst at No. 33. Dallas is No. 49, Fort Worth is No. 79 and San Antonio is No. 87. Austin, of course, fares pretty well. We're No. 147.
For more of the worst in Texas, go here.