Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Maryland?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Maryland — and anyone looking to move to Maryland — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Old Line State for 2019:
- Ocean City (Photos)
- Cambridge (Photos)
- Baltimore (Photos)
- Elkton (Photos)
- Cumberland (Photos)
- Salisbury (Photos)
- Bladensburg (Photos)
- Laurel (Photos)
- Hyattsville (Photos)
- Westminster (Photos)
After analyzing 33 cities in Maryland, why did Ocean City take the top spot?
For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.
Or learn more about the safest places in Maryland.
For more Maryland reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Maryland
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Maryland
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Maryland
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Maryland
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Maryland for 2019?
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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
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 cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 33 cities in Maryland.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 33 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 Maryland — Ocean City.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Maryland.
Ocean City coming in as the 1st most dangerous place in Maryland might surprise some, as this resort city is a popular tourist destination.
But this fact may explain the mind-bogglingly high 1 in 6.8 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime in 2017 and the 1 in 65 chance of being the victim of violence.
While it is true that “crime per capita” of people that live there is thrown off by the summer swell of population, the fact of the matter is that a ton of crime is committed in Ocean City relative to its resident population.
Cambridge is the fourth most populous city on Maryland’s eastern shore (behind Salisbury, Easton, and Elkton) and the 2nd most dangerous, ranking 3rd and 2nd in violent and property crime statistics.
Residents of Cambridge faced a nearly 1% chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, which reflected a 23% drop from 2011.
Property crime has also gone down in recent years, but not by nearly as much.
Ah Baltimore — you were probably expecting this to top the list as the most dangerous city in Maryland, and you’d be right in terms of violence.
After all, you don’t earn a nickname like Bodymore, Murderland for nothing — there were 342 murders committed in 2017.
To put that in perspective, if Baltimore had the population of New York City, there’d be 3,141 murders a year, and over 110,000 instances of violent crime.
Located on the northeastern shore of Maryland, Elkton isn’t the worst city in either property or violent crime, but placing 4th and 4th respectively earns the city its 4th place ranking on this list.
Residents of Elkton faced a 1 in 85 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 16.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
The amazing thing is that these numbers reflect a 38% drop in violent crime and a 19% drop in property crime from 2011.
Located in the western part of the state, the Cumberland Metro area is among the poorest in the U.S. in terms of per capita income.
That may be related to its high levels of both property and violent crime, with residents facing 1 in 16.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year.
Only very small improvements were made between 2015-17, with about a 5% decrease in each category of crime.
Located in southeastern Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula, Salisbury isn’t as violent as the above cities, but residents still face a 1 in 102 chance of being the victim of violence.
That’s still 36% less violent than Baltimore, but that’s hardly a high standard to hold a city to.
The good news is that violent crime dropped by a modest 13% between 2015-17, while Baltimore’s wickedly high rate of violence has remained stagnant in recent years.
Located 9 miles from central Washington, D.C., Bladensburg is the 7th most dangerous city in Maryland.
With residents facing a 1 in 127 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, Bladensburg is the most violent of the D.C. suburbs that make up several spots on our list of the most dangerous places in Maryland.
The city of over 25,997 ranks as the 8th most dangerous city in Maryland and has the 9th highest rate of property crime in the state.
Just 6 miles east of DC, Hyattsville is the least violent of the D.C. suburbs, and the least violent place on this list overall.
That’s partially due to a massive 47% drop in violent crime between 2015-17, as well as a 17% drop in property crime.
Still, Hyattsville residents had a 1 in 18.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
Located in northern Maryland, about 35 miles northwest of Baltimore, Westminster is about 3 times as safe a Baltimore in terms of violence.
Still, the 1 in 22 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017 represented a 19% rise from 2011.
Westminster is far from the most dangerous place in Maryland, but it’s relatively bad scores in both categories earn it the last place on this list.
Locking It All Up In Maryland
The latest FBI crime data shows that Ocean City ranks as the most dangerous city in Maryland for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Ocean City and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Maryland:
- Ocean Pines (Pop. 12,263)
- Thurmont (Pop. 6,584)
- Taneytown (Pop. 6,762)
For more Maryland reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Maryland
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maryland For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Maryland
- 10 Safest Places In Maryland
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Maryland
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Maryland
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