Texas

10 Worst Neighborhoods in Houston 2023: The Other Side

Houston TX

Alright, let me paint you a picture. Imagine you’re sitting with me in a bustling Houston café, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air.

We’re about to embark on a journey through the city’s neighborhoods, but not the ones you’d find on a postcard. No, we’re diving into the grittier side of the Bayou City, the neighborhoods that make you clutch your purse a little tighter or lock your car doors a little quicker.

You see, Houston, like any other city, has its fair share of problems. And recently, the city’s homicide rate has been climbing. It’s a sobering fact that has us looking at the city through a different lens.

But fear not, we’re not going in blind. We’ve got a guide, a list from RoadSnacks that ranks the worst neighborhoods in Houston for 2022. It’s not a list you’d want to top, but it’s one we need to know about.

Now, you might be wondering, how did we come up with this list? Well, it wasn’t a game of pin the tail on the donkey, I assure you. We rolled up our sleeves and dived into the latest census data.

We looked at income levels, unemployment rates, crime statistics, and home prices for 26 Houston neighborhoods with over 6,000 residents. We gave each neighborhood a score, a ‘Snackability’ score if you will.

And let me tell you, the neighborhoods at the bottom of our list are not for the faint-hearted. We’re talking about places where carjackings happen in broad daylight, where robberies are a daily occurrence, and where the saying “nothing good happens after dark” rings all too true.

Despite the best efforts of the city’s 3,500 police officers, crime is on the rise in Houston, one of the few major U.S. cities where this is the case.

But don’t get me wrong, Houston isn’t all doom and gloom. There are neighborhoods where you can stroll through a Sunday market, like in Montrose, or enjoy a Crawfish Festival in Greater Heights.

But today, we’re focusing on the areas you might want to steer clear of.

So, are you ready to find out which Houston neighborhoods you should avoid if you value your life? Buckle up, my friend. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

10 Cruddiest Communities 2023

Neighborhood Population Median Home Value Median Income
Far North 59,742 $52,586 $30,316
Northeast 129,659 $66,156 $32,777
Southeast 261,757 $97,556 $41,297
East End 87,359 $102,414 $37,480
North 119,685 $88,419 $34,255
Southwest 108,921 $102,760 $48,850
Sugarland 125,992 $83,472 $42,634
Northwest 138,832 $132,124 $48,919
Pasadina 143,203 $121,525 $64,381
Spring Branch 143,332 $215,498 $59,660

1. Far North

Far North Houston

Picture this: you’re cruising along the I-45, the city’s skyline shrinking in your rearview mirror, and the airport’s hustle and bustle just a stone’s throw away.

Welcome to Far North, a neighborhood that lives up to its name, sitting on the city’s northern outskirts.

Far North is a bit of a paradox. It’s a place where job opportunities are as sparse as a desert, with a modest unemployment rate of 5.5%.

Yet, the jobs that do exist pay about as much as a kid’s weekly allowance, with a median income of a mere $30,316.

But hey, every cloud has a silver lining. Far North is a retail haven, with commercial spots aplenty. And if you’re a bargain hunter, you’ll love the home prices here, with a median value of just $52,586.

  • Population: 59,742
  • Median Home Value: $52,586 (worst)
  • Median Income: $30,316 (worst)

2. Northeast

In the heart of Houston, we don’t beat around the bush. If you’re living in the northeastern part of the city, your neighborhood is simply called “Northeast”. No frills, no fuss.

Northeast is a golfer’s paradise, with the Brock Park Golf Course just a chip shot away. And if you’re a nature lover, Lake Houston is just a short drive away.

But here’s the rub: with a median income of $32,777, you might have to think twice before teeing off or planning that lakeside picnic.

  • Population: 129,659
  • Median Home Value: $66,156 (3rd worst)
  • Median Income: $32,777 (2nd worst)

3. Southeast

Southeast Houston

Next up, we have Southeast, another neighborhood that wears its geographical location on its sleeve. It’s home to some of Houston’s top attractions, like the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

But don’t let these attractions fool you. Southeast’s economy is about as lively as a tortoise on a hot day, landing it the number 3 spot on our list.

With an unemployment rate of 6.1% and a median income of $41,297, it’s not exactly a land of opportunity. But hey, at least the homes are affordable, with a median value under $100,000.

  • Population: 261,757
  • Median Home Value: $97,556 (6th worst)
  • Median Income: $41,297 (5th worst)

4. East End

East End Houston

East End is like a living history book. It’s where modern Houston took root, serving as the capital of Texas during its independence from Mexico in the 19th century. It was once a bustling hub of industry and commerce.

Today, East End still has its charms, with plenty of food, shopping, and golf at Gus Wortham Golf Course. But its economic engine isn’t what it used to be, making it a tough place to find a well-paying job.

  • Population: 87,359
  • Median Home Value: $102,414 (7th worst)
  • Median Income: $37,480 (4th worst)

5. North

North Houston

If the Far North feels like a trek too far, you might settle for North Houston. But be warned: it’s the fifth least appealing neighborhood in Houston for 2022.

North Houston’s story is a familiar one. Its economy is as murky as a foggy morning. While jobs aren’t too hard to come by, with an unemployment rate of 4.5%, the paychecks they offer.

  • Population: 119,685
  • Median Home Value: $88,419 (5th worst)
  • Median Income: $34,255 (3rd worst)

6. Southwest Houston

Are you a fan of gridiron and rodeos? Southwest Houston might just be your cup of tea. This part of the city is home to the NRG Stadium, where the Houston Texans of the NFL play.

But that’s not all! The stadium also hosts the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, among a plethora of other events.

But what about when the footballs aren’t flying and the broncos aren’t bucking? Is Southwest Houston still worth sticking around? Perhaps not. With a somewhat unstable economy, it ranks as the 5th worst area of Houston for 2022.

The median income is a decent $48,850. However, securing a job here might be a challenge, with an unemployment rate of 7.2%.

  • Population: 108,921
  • Median Home Value: $102,760 [
  • Median Income: $48,850 

7. Sugarland

Sugarland Houston

Houston seems to have a penchant for naming its neighborhoods after compass points. North. Northeast. Southeast. Even Far North. But here’s one with a bit more flair: Sugarland. Unfortunately, it’s not as sweet as it sounds.

Sugarland, technically a suburb in the far southwestern part of Houston’s urban sprawl, has several interesting features.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land and the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center are located here.

It’s a fantastic place for a family day out, but perhaps not the best place to raise a family permanently. As we’ve seen repeatedly on this list, a weak economy is the neighborhood’s downfall.

The median income is $42,634 and the unemployment rate is 6.7%.

  • Population: 125,992
  • Median Home Value: $83,472 (4th worst)
  • Median Income: $42,634 (6th worst)

8. Northwest

Northwest Houston

Looking at this list, you might start to worry about Houston residents. It seems like every direction leads to a less-than-ideal neighborhood. Well, here’s another one: Northwest.

Most of Northwest Houston is nestled within a triangle formed by I-10, Highway 290, and the Sam Houston Tollway. Bear Creek Pioneers Park, a large green space, provides a much-needed escape from the daily hustle.

The economy here shows some promise, but it’s not enough to put most locals at ease. The median income is $48,919 and the unemployment rate is 5.2%.

  • Population: 138,832
  • Median Home Value: $132,124 
  • Median Income: $48,919 

9. Pasadina

Don’t confuse this with the home of the Rose Bowl. That’s Pasadena, California, about 1,500 miles west. But Pasadina, Texas, has its own charm.

Located southeast of central Houston, this community has access to the bay and attractions like the Bay Area Museum and Armand Bayou Nature Center.

The economy isn’t the main issue here. Residents can expect a median income of $64,381 and an unemployment rate of just 5.0%.

However, its distance from the city center, about 20 minutes from downtown, can make commuting a challenge.

  • Population: 143,203
  • Median Home Value: $121,525 
  • Median Income: $64,381 

10. Spring Branch

Spring Branch Houston

Located on the far northwest edge of the city, Spring Branch neighbors Bear Creek Pioneers Park. Defined by the intersection of I-10 and the Sam Houston Tollway, the neighborhood is a blend of concrete and greenery, forming part of Houston’s outer rim.

The economy in Spring Branch isn’t a concern. Unlike many ofits counterparts on this list, most locals enjoy a stable financial situation, with a median income of $59,660 and an unemployment rate of 4.6%.

However, affordability is a challenge. The median home value is a steep $215,498, which may be out of reach for many residents.

  • Population: 143,332
  • Median Home Value: $215,498 
  • Median Income: $59,660 

Methodology:

Unveiling the least desirable neighborhoods in Houston for 2023 To identify the neighborhoods that are less appealing to live in, we needed to understand what people generally value in a living environment and then pinpoint the areas that lack these desirable qualities.

We incorporated the following criteria into our analysis to ensure comprehensive and accurate results. These criteria were applied to each neighborhood in Houston:

  • High unemployment (Fewer job opportunities)
  • Low median income (Lower earnings)
  • Low population density (Limited activities)
  • Low home values (Lower demand for housing)
  • High crime (Estimated)

Subsequently, we ranked each Houston neighborhood from worst to best for each of these criteria.

FAQ

Does this analysis consider factors like schools, healthcare facilities, or public transportation?

This analysis primarily focused on economic factors and crime rates. Factors like the quality of schools, availability of healthcare facilities, or accessibility of public transportation were not explicitly considered in this analysis.

If these factors are important to you, you may want to conduct additional research or consult with a local real estate agent or city planner.

Is it safe to visit these neighborhoods?

While these neighborhoods have been identified as less desirable based on certain factors, it does not necessarily mean they are unsafe to visit.

However, like any area, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings, especially if you are unfamiliar with the neighborhood. If possible, try to visit during daylight hours and stick to populated areas.

Are there any plans or initiatives to improve these less desirable neighborhoods?

This analysis does not provide specific information on any ongoing or planned initiatives to improve these neighborhoods. However, cities often have development plans and initiatives in place to improve less desirable areas.

For more detailed information, it would be best to check with local government or community organizations in Houston.

 How does the crime rate in these neighborhoods compare to the national average?

This analysis does not provide a direct comparison of the crime rates in these neighborhoods to the national average. However, high crime rates were one of the factors contributing to a neighborhood’s ranking as less desirable.

For specific crime statistics and comparisons, you may want to consult resources like the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

 What are the job prospects like in these neighborhoods? 

The job prospects in these neighborhoods vary, but generally, areas with high unemployment rates were ranked as less desirable.

This suggests that job opportunities may be limited in these neighborhoods. However, job prospects can change over time and can also depend on specific industries or professions.

Final Words

As our journey through the less desirable neighborhoods of Houston comes to a close, it’s important to remember that every city has its highs and lows, its shining stars and its dark corners.

Houston, with its sprawling size and diverse population, is no exception. While this guide has focused on the areas that face more significant challenges, it’s not a definitive judgment of the city as a whole.

Houston is a city of resilience and transformation. It’s a city that has faced hurricanes and economic downturns, yet continues to grow and evolve.

Each neighborhood, even those that currently struggle, is a part of this dynamic tapestry, contributing to the city’s unique character and potential.

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