These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Maryland For 2019


We analyzed the cities and towns in Maryland to determine which ones are at the bottom of the income ladder.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the poorest places in Maryland.

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Maryland brings to mind images of Annapolis, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Maryland has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Maryland that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 41 places in Maryland with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Old Line State for 2019:

  1. Frostburg (Photos)
  2. Cumberland (Photos)
  3. Hagerstown (Photos)
  4. Cambridge (Photos)
  5. Baltimore (Photos)
  6. Salisbury (Photos)
  7. Bladensburg (Photos)
  8. Mount Rainier (Photos)
  9. Elkton (Photos)
  10. Fruitland (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Frostburg is the poorest place in Maryland for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Maryland or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Maryland reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Maryland for 2019

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 41 places with more than 5,000 people in Maryland, we ranked each place from 1 to 41 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Frostburg, crowned the “Poorest Place In Maryland For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 41 places.

Frostburg, MD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,689
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $37,099 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.0% (1st highest)
More on Frostburg:  Data | Photos

Frostburg, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Maryland thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 8,689 people averages the 2nd lowest median household income in Maryland and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Cumberland, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 20,084
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $32,825 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.4% (7th highest)
More on Cumberland:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Maryland is Cumberland.

The city ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty and 1st lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 4th highest in the Old Line State.

Hagerstown, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 40,222
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $40,761 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.2% (3rd highest)
More on Hagerstown:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Hagerstown’s median income ranks as the 5th lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 27.2% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Old Line State.

Cambridge, MD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,484
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $38,908 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.8% (5th highest)
More on Cambridge:  Data | Photos

Cambridge ranks as the fourth poorest place in Maryland.

The town ranks as having the 4th lowest median household income and the 5th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Baltimore, MD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 619,796
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $46,641 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.4% (8th highest)
More on Baltimore:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Maryland is Baltimore.

The city ranks as having the 8th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 8th highest in Maryland.

Still not the best news for Baltimore.

Salisbury, MD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 32,368
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $37,416 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (17th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.5% (2nd highest)
More on Salisbury:  Data | Photos

Salisbury ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Old Line State.

It ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and the 17th highest unemployment rate.

Bladensburg, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,374
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $43,109 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 19.0% (10th highest)
More on Bladensburg:  Data | Photos

Bladensburg places as the seventh poorest city in Maryland.

The city of over 9,374 ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Mount Rainier, MD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,097
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $50,707 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 11.7% (17th highest)
More on Mount Rainier:  Data | Photos

Mount Rainier ranks as the eighth poorest city in Maryland.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 8th highest in the state.

Elkton, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,651
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $55,609 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.4% (9th highest)
More on Elkton:  Data | Photos

Elkton couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Maryland; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 13th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Elkton ranks as having the 9th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Maryland.

Fruitland, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,172
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 12)
Median Income: $63,922 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 14.9% (13th highest)
More on Fruitland:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Maryland is Fruitland.

The city of 5,172 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Old Line State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Maryland For 2019

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Maryland, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Maryland.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Maryland, according to data:

    Richest: Poolesville
    2nd Richest: La Plata
    3rd Richest: Mount Airy

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Maryland

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Frostburg 8,689 28.0%
2 Cumberland 20,084 24.4%
3 Hagerstown 40,222 27.2%
4 Cambridge 12,484 24.8%
5 Baltimore 619,796 22.4%
6 Salisbury 32,368 27.5%
7 Bladensburg 9,374 19.0%
8 Mount Rainier 8,097 11.7%
9 Elkton 15,651 21.4%
10 Fruitland 5,172 14.9%
11 New Carrollton 12,932 10.2%
12 Aberdeen 15,523 17.2%
13 District Heights 5,989 10.1%
14 College Park 32,186 26.8%
15 Cheste 5,132 24.5%
16 Havre De Grace 13,511 9.9%
17 Ocean City 7,026 6.5%
18 Riverdale Park 7,248 15.2%
19 Westminster 18,557 11.4%
20 Brunswick 6,134 11.5%
21 Thurmont 6,496 7.8%
22 Easton 16,606 12.2%
23 Frederick 69,330 11.4%
24 Hyattsville 18,225 12.7%
25 Greenbelt 23,289 9.3%
26 Gaithersburg 67,417 9.5%
27 Taneytown 6,762 12.3%
28 Glenarden 6,128 9.8%
29 Laurel 25,913 8.0%
30 Cheverly 6,453 5.9%
31 Takoma Park 17,643 8.0%
32 Chesapeake Beach 5,930 8.3%
33 Annapolis 39,151 9.9%
34 Bel Air 10,139 7.6%
35 Walkersville 6,048 9.0%
36 Hampstead 6,331 4.1%
37 Rockville 66,420 7.2%
38 Bowie 58,290 3.6%
39 Mount Airy 9,387 3.7%
40 La Plata 9,160 5.1%
41 Poolesville 5,163 1.6%

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