Dallas, a city of diverse neighborhoods, is a melting pot of various cultures and lifestyles. From bohemian enclaves and polished, upscale areas to vibrant student communities and, unfortunately, some underprivileged districts, Dallas seems to have a corner for everyone.
Consistently hailed as one of the top places to reside in the nation, Dallas owes its reputation to a robust economy and a plethora of recreational options. However, it’s not all a bed of roses in this city. Some neighborhoods fall short when compared to others.
So, the question that naturally follows is, which neighborhoods in Dallas are the less desirable, and which ones are the cream of the crop?
In our exploration today, we’ll employ a scientific approach and hard data to identify the Dallas neighborhoods that could use a bit more nurturing – the outliers in the Dallas landscape, so to speak. It’s unrealistic to assume that every neighborhood will be top-notch, although University Park certainly outshines the rest.
10 Cruddiest Hoods
1. Upper West Dallas
Upper West Dallas is a bustling hub of activity, brimming with hotels, shopping centers, and eateries. It’s also home to the vibrant Asian Trade District. If you’re in the mood for a quick getaway, Love Field airport is conveniently located just south of the neighborhood.
However, the local economy paints a different picture. With a median income of a mere $18,936, affording a plane ticket might be a stretch for many residents. Despite a modest median home value of $79,700, homeownership remains a distant dream for many due to low wages. Unemployment is also a concern, with 7.7% of the population unable to secure a job.
- Total crime: 6,315 per 100k people
- Violent crime: 1,243 per 100k people
- Property crime: 5,072 per 100k people
2. Lower South Dallas
Lower South Dallas is predominantly an urban district. Its northern end, close to downtown, is a maze of Interstate interchanges offering a glimpse of the city’s towering skyline. But it’s not all concrete and glass; there are green oases like William Blair Jr. Park and Fair Park.
However, economic anxiety is a constant companion for many residents. With an unemployment rate of 6.2% and a median income of $34,588, Lower South Dallas ranks second on our list of Dallas’s most challenging neighborhoods in 2024.
- Total crime: 6,637 per 100k people
- Violent crime: 1,717 per 100k people
- Property crime: 4,920 per 100k people
3. Boulevard-Park Row South
Boulevard-Park Row South, a quaint neighborhood in southeast Dallas, exudes an air of exclusivity. Touted as a historic district, it boasts houses dating back to 1910 and architectural gems from the Prairie School and Craftsman bungalows era.
However, the economic reality is less rosy. With a median income of $30,213 and an unemployment rate of 4.4%, it’s clear that the prosperity of yesteryears has faded.
- Total crime: 5,475 per 100k people
- Violent crime: 1,724 per 100k people
- Property crime: 3,751 per 100k people
4. Crest of Cedar
In a sprawling city like Dallas, Crest of Cedar offers a refreshing connection to nature. While it’s primarily an urban neighborhood, it also offers opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
However, the economic hardships are palpable. With an unemployment rate of 6.8% and a median income of just $26,592, the residents face significant challenges.
- Total crime: 5,475 per 100k people
- Violent crime: 1,724 per 100k people
- Property crime: 3,751 per 100k people
5. Ford of Eagle
Ford of Eagle, named after a crossing point on the Trinity River, was once a small, independent town. However, the rapid expansion of Dallas in the 1950s led to its absorption into the city.
Today, it faces significant economic hurdles. With an unemployment rate of 7.4% and a median income of $36,658, Ford of Eagle ranks fifth on our list of Dallas’s most challenging neighborhoods in 2024.
- Total crime: 4,729 per 100k people
- Violent crime: 979 per 100k people
- Property crime: 3,750 per 100k people
6. Creek of the Wolf
If you want a glimpse of life in Creek of the Wolf, head to the Wheatland Towne Crossing mall. With stores like Dollar Tree, Five Below, Aldi, and Ross Dress for Less, it’s clear that frugality is a necessity here.
With an unemployment rate of 5.7% and a median income of $37,023, the local economy is far from booming, making every dollar count.
- Violent crimes per 100k: 1,093
- Property crimes per 100k: 3,373
- Total crime per 100k: 4,466
7. Dallas Southeast
Dallas Southeast has a reputation for high crime rates and questionable public schools. The economic situation is also concerning, with an unemployment rate of 4.5% and a median income of just $34,440.
However, there are glimmers of hope. Some parts of Southeast Dallas are on the rise, and attractions like Crawford Memorial Park add to its charm.
- Violent crimes per 100k: 865
- Property crimes per 100k: 2,950
- Total crime per 100k: 3,815
Despite its small size, Parkdale-Urbandale is rich in green spaces. From Parkdale Park to Lawnview Park and the White Rock Creek, it offers a slice of country living in the city.
However, urban challenges persist, particularly economic struggles. With a median income of $33,974 and an unemployment rate of 4.6%, many residents face financial hardships.
- Violent crimes per 100k: 1,082
- Property crimes per 100k: 4,044
- Total crime per 100k: 5,126
9. Area of Love Field
Don’t let the name fool you; Love Field is actually home to one of Dallas’s airports. While it’s not the city’s primary air transportation hub, it serves as the base for Southwest Airlines.
Living near an airport comes with its own set of challenges, and the Love Field Area is no exception. It’s often the choice for those seeking affordable real estate.
- Total crime: 5,883 per 100k
- Violent crime: 895 per 100k
- Property crime: 4,988 per 100k
10. Creek of Five Mile
Creek of Five Mile, a small triangular neighborhood in southwest Dallas, is defined by its borders – I-35, Highway 67, and W. Ledbetter Dr. The actual Five Mile Creek runs through the southern part of the neighborhood, near the Big T Plaza shopping mall.
However, the local economy is far from thriving. With a median income of $26,902 and an unemployment rate of 6.1%, Creek of Five Mile rounds off our list of Dallas’s most challenging neighborhoods.
- Total crime: 3,717 per 100k
- Violent crime: 976 per 100k
- Property crime: 2,741 per 100k
Approach: How we identified the least desirable Dallas neighborhoods in 2024
To ascertain the quality of life in various neighborhoods, we needed to understand what people value in their living environment and then identify which neighborhoods lack these desirable attributes.
We incorporated the following factors into our analysis to ensure comprehensive and accurate results. We applied this set of criteria to each neighborhood in Dallas:
- High unemployment (Fewer job opportunities)
- Low median income (Lower earnings)
- Low population density (Fewer activities)
- Low home values (Lower demand for living in the area)
- High crime (Estimated)
Subsequently, we ranked each Dallas neighborhood from worst to best for each of these criteria.
Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criterion into a “Least Desirable Score”.
The neighborhood with the lowest “Least Desirable Score” is considered the least desirable neighborhood in Dallas.
Continue reading below to learn more about these less appealing places to live in Dallas. Alternatively, you can skip to the end to see the list of all 32 neighborhoods ranked from least to most desirable.
This list is a scientific analysis based on actual data and is entirely impartial. Brace yourself.
Horrific Crime Of Dallas
One of the most horrific crimes in Dallas history is the case of Charles Albright, also known as the Texas Eyeball Killer. Albright had a gruesome habit of surgically removing his victims’ eyes with chilling precision.
His first known victim was Mary Pratt, who was found shot, killed, and her eyes surgically removed in December of 1990. He then moved on to Susan Peterson, killing her in the exact same manner.
The third victim, Shirley Williams, was found in March of 1991 – her eyes had also been removed, but without the same amount of precision.
Albright, a taxidermist, was eventually caught by police after allegedly attempting to murder a fourth victim who narrowly escaped. He was convicted and is still serving time in a Lubbock, Texas psychiatric unit.
Another horrifying crime that shook Dallas was the abduction and murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman in 1996. Amber was riding her bike with her brother when she was abducted.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing Amber scream as she was forced into a pickup truck. Amber’s body was later found at the bottom of a creek, her throat had been slit, and she was naked except for a single sock.
The killer was never found, but the brutality of Amber’s case led to the creation of the Amber Alert system for missing children.
The infamous Waco siege also stands as a dark chapter in Dallas’s history. The 51-day standoff in 1993 between the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the Branch Davidians, a religious sect, resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents and six members of the religious group.
The siege ended when fires broke out in the compound and gunfire was heard inside. Only nine Davidians survived, while 80 were found dead inside, including 20 children, many with gunshot wounds suggesting a mass murder-suicide.
If you’re curious about how Dallas compares to other cities in Texas in terms of safety, this article provides a broader view.
What is the safest neighborhood in Dallas?
: According to various crime statistics and resident reviews, the neighborhood of University Park is often considered the safest neighborhood in Dallas. It’s a highly residential area with a strong community feel, excellent schools, and low crime rates.
What is the cost of living in Dallas?
The cost of living in Dallas is slightly lower than the national average. Housing tends to be the most significant factor in the cost of living difference.
However, the cost can vary significantly depending on the neighborhood. Upscale areas like University Park and Uptown will have a higher cost of living compared to neighborhoods that are considered less desirable.
How is the job market?
Dallas has a robust job market, with opportunities in diverse sectors. The city is home to many Fortune 500 companies, offering jobs in sectors like technology, healthcare, finance, and more. However, the unemployment rate can vary between neighborhoods.
What is public transportation like?
Dallas has a comprehensive public transportation system operated by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). It includes buses, light rail, and a commuter train.
However, like many American cities, Dallas is spread out, and having a car can be more convenient for getting around, especially for commuting to work or school.
How is the education system in Dallas?
Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is the 14th largest public school district in the United States and serves a diverse population of students.
There are also numerous private schools in the city. For higher education, Dallas is home to several colleges and universities, including Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Dallas.
What recreational activities are available?
Dallas offers a wide range of recreational activities. The city has numerous parks, including the massive White Rock Lake Park.
The Dallas Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the U.S., and the city is home to multiple museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Dallas also has a vibrant dining and nightlife scene, with many restaurants, bars, and clubs.
In conclusion, Dallas is a city of contrasts, with neighborhoods that range from the highly desirable to those that face significant challenges. While areas like University Park offer a high quality of life, other neighborhoods struggle with high crime rates, low median incomes, and high unemployment rates.
However, Dallas’s strength lies in its diversity and the potential for growth and improvement in every corner of the city.
The city’s history is also marked by some horrific crimes that have left an indelible mark on its residents. Yet, these events have also led to significant changes and improvements, such as the creation of the Amber Alert system.