The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Delaware For 2022


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the First State for 2022.

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You would think that being the oldest state in the country, you should've had plenty of time to work out your kinks. Well, that's not the case in Delaware. The First State has its fair share of dangerous cities.

Delaware does have close to a million people in a state that takes less than an hour to drive from Laurel to Rehobeth Beach, its widest section, so there's bound to be problems, right? Right. And RoadSnacks is here to tell you just where those problems are located: we created a list of the most dangerous places in Delaware for 2022.

How'd we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 20 cities. We looked at the FBI's latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 2,000 residents. We discovered that Delaware's violent and property crime numbers are even scarier than the most dangerous place in the state. If you guessed that most of the state's problems are centralized around Delaware's two largest cities, Wilmington and Dover, you're partially right. But honestly, the state has done a fair job of keeping it's crazy spread evenly across the state.

And while Delaware might not be one of the top ten most dangerous states in the country, the state's most dangerous places do need some work. Maybe more police? Security cameras? Drug programs? We're not entirely sure. One thing that we are sure about, however, is that you should take a look at our list of Delaware's most dangerous places before you make any life changing decisions.

To see our list of Delaware cities with more issues than the Milford Deacon, take a look below.

The Most Dangerous Cities In Delaware For 2022

  1. Seaford
  2. Wilmington
  3. Laurel
  4. Millsboro
  5. Dover
  6. Milford
  7. Camden
  8. Georgetown
  9. Harrington
  10. Smyrna

Some might wonder why we produced this list. Well, one goal is to definitely help people navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city they should call home.

What's the most dangerous city in Delaware? Without further adieu. the most dangerous city in Delaware for 2022 would be Seaford.

If you're curious to see if your city made the list, take a look at our list below. And if you don't see your city there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Delaware.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more Delaware reading, check out:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Delaware For 2022

When it comes to the community's current highlights, we doubt anyone is bragging about its second highest place rank for rape and highest place rank for total crime in Delaware. In 2021, Seaford was second lowest on this list. Its number 1 spot in 2022 suggests crime is trending down. If that pattern continues, high rates of lawlessness may even be a thing of the past someday.

Life in the area is not all bad though. This city is proud of its history, which visitors and residents alike can immerse themselves in at the Seaford Museum. Now that is a comforting thought to enjoy as you stroll along the nearby Nanticoke River.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,145
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,080 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,426 (Second most dangerous)
More on Seaford:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Seaford, DE

A prime location between New York and Washington, D.C. draws people here but the criminal activity just might drive you away. This community does not snag the top spot as most dangerous, but it leads in plenty of other categories including violent and property crimes.

Wilmington's 70,100 residents make it the most populous city in the state. The area is also the deadliest on this list. There were 31 murders recorded here in 2020. But shockingly enough, crime may be improving. In 2021, the community was the fourth most dangerous city in Delaware.

If you can handle the risks that come with being here, there is plenty to do in neighborhoods like the Riverfront.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 70,100
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,590 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,706 (Seventh most dangerous)
More on Wilmington:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Wilmington, DE

Do not be deceived by the small-town charm of the first city on this list. You may want to watch your back in Laurel. Crime in this southern Delaware town is considerably higher than the national average.

Your possessions are most in trouble here. The community is number 1 in the state for burglaries. So, it might not be a bad idea to invest in extra home security if you live in Laurel. After a good night's sleep, you can head out for a day at one of Delaware's first state parks, Trap Pond. The wetland forest attracts hikers, bird-watchers, and fans of fishing.

Just make sure you keep an eye on those around you. Laurel ranks third highest for violent crime.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,431
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 880 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,972 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on Laurel:  | Crime Report

Laurel, DE

Source: Wikipedia

Though no one was robbed or killed in 2020, the year of the most recent data, crime appears to be on the rise in Millsboro. The town's fourth place position on this list is a far cry from its previous ranking as the sixth most dangerous city in Delaware.

The area had 35 violent crimes in 2020, but 4 of those were rapes. Sadly, the town ranks third highest in the state for that offense.

When it comes to property crime, in 2020, nearly the same number took place in Millsboro as in Laurel. The two communities also have a population that is nearly identical in size.

An upside to this unnerving area is its proximity to Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach, and Dewey Beach. All three are close by for a quick getaway when things start to seem too grim.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 4,613
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 758 (Fifth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,053 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Millsboro:  | Crime Report

Millsboro, DE

Source: Public domain

Dover is headed in the wrong direction. The state's capital was formerly the third most dangerous city in Delaware but is now the fifth.

A problem with property crime is partly to blame for the change. The second largest city on this list must have a decent population of people who enjoy playing with fire. More arson occurred in this community than any other one included in this countdown.

Being out and about in Dover is not safe either. Be sure to keep tabs on personal items when seeing sights like the Dover International Speedway. If you do not, you might join the 1,412 people who were victims of larceny in 2020 and discover that possessions like your phone or wallet are missing.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 38,428
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 856 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,030 (Fifth most dangerous)
More on Dover:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Dover, DE

Milford is a mid-sized city in Kent and Sussex counties. A third highest place rank for property crime in Delaware helped it land a spot on this list.

People here just cannot seem to keep their hands off items that belong to others. There were 446 larcenies, 36 burglaries, and 12 car thefts in 2020.

Your property is not all you have to worry about. The area has also been plagued by 78 violent crimes.

That is enough to make any resident want to get away from it all with a trip to Milford's DuPont Nature Center or Abbott's Mill Nature Center.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,994
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 650 (Eighth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,118 (Third most dangerous)
More on Milford:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Milford, DE

Head out of Delaware's capital city of Dover going southwest on Highway 13 and you'll pass by Camden. Why would you do that? We don't know. The beaches are in the other direction. But maybe you want to check out parts of Maryland and Virginia that people don't tend to visit.

Whatever the reason, be careful if you stop for gas. Camden has its crime problems. In fact, it represents the number 7 most dangerous community in Delaware. Violence isn't a massive problem here, but keep an eye on your belongings. The town ranks number 1 in terms of highest rate of property crimes.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,562
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 308 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,867 (Most dangerous)
More on Camden:  | Crime Report

Camden, DE

Source: Public domain

8. Georgetown

Georgetown has come a long way since 2021 as it now ranks as the eighth most dangerous city in Delaware. The Sussex county seat still has plenty of work to do though. Getting a grip on violent crime would be a good start.

During its traditional Return Day gathering, the town celebrates the notion of burying the hatchet. But ironically, residents and visitors seem to have a knack for ruffling each other's feathers every other time of year. In 2022, there were 39 aggravated assaults in Georgetown.

If you do manage to avoid the violence, your belongings may not fare much better. The area ranks 7th in Delaware for burglary.

Population: 7,698
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 701 (Sixth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,507 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Georgetown:

Georgetown, DE

You might not get out of Harrington alive, literally. The city is the only area on this list with a population under 10,000 that had any homicides in 2020. Another disconcerting fact is that Harrington ranks 13th highest in the state for murder.

Your life is not the only thing you are taking a gamble on here. The area ranks seventh highest in Delaware for violent crime in general. The chance of one happening to you is one in 145. If you could care less about those odds, you might enjoy a visit to the local casino.

For people that can look past its imperfections and call Harrington home, there is some good news. Of the cities on this list, the community had one of the lower number of burglaries.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,646
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 685 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,523 (11th most dangerous)
More on Harrington:  | Crime Report

Harrington, DE

You find yourself in Smyrna. That means you're in a coastal city in Turkey, overlooking the glistening Aegean Sea, amid the ruins of a majestic ancient city that once represented a crucial site in ancient Greek culture. Or you're in Delaware.

Where would you rather be? The Delaware version kind of lacks some of the historic grandeur of the spot in Anatolia. And you've got the crime rate to consider. Smyrna, Delaware, had 15 car thefts in a population of just 12,011 people. That ranks as the number 7.0 highest rate in the state.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,011
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 407 (Tenth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,014 (12th most dangerous)
More on Smyrna:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Smyrna, DE

Methodology: How we determined the most dangerous cities in Delaware for 2022?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2020 data, specifically the 2020 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2022.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered Delaware cities over 2,000 in population. That left us with 20 cities in Delaware.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 20 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one "Dangerous Index".

Finally, we ranked every city on the "Dangerous Index" with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Delaware -- Seaford. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

Most Dangerous Places To Live In Delaware FAQs

Is Delaware a dangerous state?

Yes, Delaware is a dangerous state as it ranks as the #20 most dangerous state in the United States based on our analysis of the latest FBI Crime Data. The violent crime rate in delaware ranks 17th highest in the United States -- 11.37% worse than US average violent crime rate. The property crime rate in the First State ranks 25th highest in the United States -- 0.16% worse than US average property crime rate. The latest reporting year from the FBI was 2020.

Is Wilmington, DE a dangerous city?

Yes, Wilmington is a dangerous city. Wilmington ranks as the #72 most dangerous out of 1416 major cities over 30,000 people in the United States based on our analysis of the latest FBI Crime Data. Keep in mind that are always safe and dangerous parts of any city, so even though Wilmington might be considered dangerous you still need to be aware of where you are.

Compared to other big cities, the violent crime rate in Wilmington ranks 18th highest in America -- 328.9% worse than US average violent crime rate. The property crime rate in the ranks 154th highest in the United States -- 73.62% worse than US average property crime rate. Note the latest reporting year from the FBI was 2020 and that no city in America is 'dangerous'. Despite the uptick in murders, it's nothing like you'd see in Tijuana or Caracas where the murder rate is 2x any American city.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Delaware

Most Dangerous Cities In Delaware Graph

Click To Enlarge

Summary: Locking It All Up In Delaware

So what is the most dangerous city in Delaware? After analyzing 20 cities in Delaware, Seaford takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Delaware based on the most recently reported FBI data -- 2020.

The latest FBI crime data shows that Seaford ranks as the most dangerous city in Delaware for 2022.

We want to point out again that there's still safes places in Seaford and that this isn't a comment on the people that live there. So please don't beat us up.

Some might wonder why we produced this list. Well, one goal is to definitely help people navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city they should call home.

What's the most dangerous city in Delaware? Without further adieu. the most dangerous city in Delaware for 2022 would be Seaford.

If you're curious to see if your city made the list, take a look at our list below. And if you don't see your city there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Delaware.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

Here are the safest cities in Delaware:

  1. Bridgeville (Pop. 2,409)
  2. New Castle (Pop. 5,420)
  3. Elsmere (Pop. 5,851)
  4. Selbyville (Pop. 2,585)
  5. Middletown (Pop. 23,385)
  6. Newark (Pop. 33,752)
  7. Milton (Pop. 3,066)
  8. Ocean View (Pop. 2,231)
  9. Lewes (Pop. 3,378)
  10. Clayton (Pop. 3,577)

For more Delaware reading, check out:

Crime By City In Delaware

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Seaford 8,145 1,080 5,426
2 Wilmington 70,100 1,590 3,706
3 Laurel 4,431 880 3,972
4 Millsboro 4,613 758 4,053
5 Dover 38,428 856 4,030
6 Milford 11,994 650 4,118
7 Camden 3,562 308 5,867
8 Georgetown 7,698 701 3,507
9 Harrington 3,646 685 2,523
10 Smyrna 12,011 407 2,014
11 Bridgeville 2,409 290 2,532
12 New Castle 5,420 239 3,376
13 Elsmere 5,851 495 1,880
14 Selbyville 2,585 309 1,740
15 Middletown 23,385 209 1,902
16 Newark 33,752 237 1,884
17 Milton 3,066 195 913
18 Ocean View 2,231 89 717
19 Lewes 3,378 59 1,065
20 Clayton 3,577 83 531

How Is Your Town In ?

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our ninth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Delaware and is updated for 2022.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.