These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Maryland For 2018


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

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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 2018:

  1. Frostburg (Photos)
  2. Cambridge (Photos)
  3. Cumberland (Photos)
  4. Hagerstown (Photos)
  5. Baltimore (Photos)
  6. Salisbury (Photos)
  7. Bladensburg (Photos)
  8. Mount Rainier (Photos)
  9. Cheste
  10. New Carrollton (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 2018.

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.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Maryland For 2018

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 2012-2016 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 2018’.

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

1. Frostburg

Frostburg, Maryland

Population: 8,718
Median Income: $35,833
Unemployment Rate: 12.1%
Poverty Rate: 29.6%
More on Frostburg: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

The city of 8,718 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.

2. Cambridge

Cambridge, Maryland

Population: 12,552
Median Income: $36,600
Unemployment Rate: 10.9%
Poverty Rate: 27.3%
More on Cambridge: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The second poorest city in Maryland is Cambridge.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 3rd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 5th highest in the Old Line State.

User comment that mentions Cambridge: Oh hell yeah!! Lived in Cambridge for years! Best little redneck town I have been too! Going to the wal mart was awesome you could stay there for hours people watching and never get bored!!

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

3. Cumberland

Cumberland, Maryland

Source: Public domain

Population: 20,290
Median Income: $31,855
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Poverty Rate: 24.0%
More on Cumberland: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Placing as the third poorest city, Cumberland’s median income ranks as the 1st 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 24.0% 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.

User comment that mentions Cumberland: I live in Cumberland and I absolutely agree with the data. There is definitely not much to do here at all. It’s basically a place for people to retire. The crime is getting worse by the day. But where does Baltimore fall into this- I realize there is a lot to do in Baltimore and the harbor is there which is beautiful. However, the crime alone there should have been enough to put Baltimore on this list.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

4. Hagerstown

Hagerstown, Maryland

Source: Public domain

Population: 40,325
Median Income: $40,342
Unemployment Rate: 10.4%
Poverty Rate: 27.3%
More on Hagerstown: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Hagerstown ranks as the fourth poorest place in Maryland.

The town ranks as having the 6th lowest median household income and the 4th 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.

5. Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland

Population: 621,000
Median Income: $44,262
Unemployment Rate: 11.4%
Poverty Rate: 23.1%
More on Baltimore: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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.

User comment that mentions Baltimore: Obviously, you have not been to Pasadena. Water and rednecks everywhere. Even the black people are rednecks like us. We catch Rockfish, drink cold beer, and eat crabs all day long. 10 minutes to either Baltimore or Annapolis.Dan

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

6. Salisbury

Salisbury, Maryland

Population: 32,338
Median Income: $37,780
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Poverty Rate: 27.8%
More on Salisbury: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

It ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and the 16th highest unemployment rate.

User comment that mentions Salisbury: I moved to salisbury from central nj a few years ago, man what a step down that was. 5 years here, we bought a house in Delmar and are excited to finally get out of here. ||||I’ve been called a cracker and a homeboy. I used to work for dish, so I went into a lot of customers homes. That job really opened my eyes to how people live down here. I had a customer come home from jail whole doing work and he proceeded to smoke crack with his family.||||This place is disgusting, if it weren’t for my gfs great job, we would have moved by now.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

7. Bladensburg

Bladensburg, Maryland

Source: Public domain

Population: 9,505
Median Income: $44,236
Unemployment Rate: 8.0%
Poverty Rate: 20.1%
More on Bladensburg: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Bladensburg places as the seventh poorest city in Maryland.

The city of over 9,505 ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier, Maryland

Population: 8,364
Median Income: $50,345
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Poverty Rate: 12.0%
More on Mount Rainier: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Mount Rainier ranks as the eighth poorest city in Maryland.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 15th highest in the state.

9. Cheste

Source: Public Domain

Population: 5,122
Median Income: $38,813
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Poverty Rate: 24.8%
More on Cheste: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

While the median income is the 5th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Cheste ranks as having the 6th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Maryland.

10. New Carrollton

New Carrollton, Maryland

Population: 12,727
Median Income: $60,645
Unemployment Rate: 11.7%
Poverty Rate: 9.9%
More on New Carrollton: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

The city of 12,727 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 2018

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: Mount Airy
3rd Richest: Hampstead

For more Maryland reading , check out:

  • 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Maryland
  • 10 Best Places To Live In Maryland
  • 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Maryland
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Maryland

    Rank City Poverty Rate
    1 Frostburg 29.6%
    2 Cambridge 27.3%
    3 Cumberland 24.0%
    4 Hagerstown 27.3%
    5 Baltimore 23.1%
    6 Salisbury 27.8%
    7 Bladensburg 20.1%
    8 Mount Rainier 12.0%
    9 Cheste 24.8%
    10 New Carrollton 9.9%
    11 Elkton 19.1%
    12 Riverdale Park 17.9%
    13 College Park 27.3%
    14 District Heights 9.3%
    15 Aberdeen 14.8%
    16 Havre De Grace 10.2%
    17 Ocean City 6.5%
    18 Brunswick 16.1%
    19 Westminster 12.5%
    20 Easton 12.7%
    21 Hyattsville 11.9%
    22 Fruitland 14.0%
    23 Glenarden 10.3%
    24 Thurmont 8.3%
    25 Frederick 11.7%
    26 Laurel 9.2%
    27 Taneytown 14.8%
    28 Chesapeake Beach 9.9%
    29 Greenbelt 9.3%
    30 Takoma Park 7.9%
    31 Gaithersburg 8.9%
    32 Cheverly 5.2%
    33 Annapolis 10.9%
    34 La Plata 11.5%
    35 Bel Air 5.7%
    36 Bowie 3.3%
    37 Rockville 7.3%
    38 Walkersville 7.3%
    39 Hampstead 3.8%
    40 Mount Airy 2.3%
    41 Poolesville 1.5%

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