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.
Somewhat surprisingly, Baltimore isn’t in the top spot.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Old Line State:
- Ocean City (Photos)
- Elkton (Photos)
- Baltimore (Photos)
- Cambridge (Photos)
- Cumberland (Photos)
- Salisbury (Photos)
- Hyattsville (Photos)
- Bladensburg (Photos)
- Fruitland (Photos)
- Hagerstown (Photos)
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.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Maryland for 2018?
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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.
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 35 cities in Maryland.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 35 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.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Maryland.
1. Ocean City
Population: 7,045Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,263
Property Crimes Per 100k: 15,031
Ocean City coming in as the most dangerous place in Maryland for 2018 might surprise some, as this resort city is a popular tourist destination.
But this fact may explain the mind-bogglingly high 1 in 6 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime in 2016, and the 1 in 85 chance of being the victim of violence.
While it is true that “crime per capita” 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.
Population: 15,837Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,003
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,882
Located on the northeastern shore of Maryland, Elkton isn’t the worst city in either property or violent crime, but placing 2nd and 4th respectively earns the city its 2nd place ranking on this list.
Residents of Elkton faced a 1 in 99 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 14.5 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016.
The amazing thing is that these numbers reflect a 38% drop in violent crime and a 19% drop in property crime from 2011.
Population: 618,385Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,780
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,778
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 318 murders committed in 2016.
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.
Population: 12,524Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,022
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,046
Cambridge is the fourth most populous city on Maryland’s eastern shore (behind Salisbury, Easton, and Elkton) and the 4th most dangerous, ranking 3rd and 7th in violent and property crime statistics.
Residents of Cambridge faced a nearly 1% chance of being the victim of violence in 2016, which reflected a 23% drop from 2011.
Property crime has also gone down in recent years, but not by nearly as much.
Population: 19,995Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 885
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,091
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 16.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year.
Only very small improvements were made between 2014-16, with about a 5% decrease in each category of crime.
Population: 33,417Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 888
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,072
Located in southeastern Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula, Salisbury isn’t as violent as the above cities, but residents still face a 1 in 112 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 2014-16, while Baltimore’s wickedly high rate of violence has remained stagnant in recent years.
Population: 18,666Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 600
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,480
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 2014-16, 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 2016.
Population: 9,735Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 996
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,061
Located 9 miles from central Washington, D.C., Bladensburg is the 8th most dangerous city in Maryland.
With residents facing a 1 in 100 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016, 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.
Population: 5,287Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 453
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,485
This smallish city, Fruitland ranks as one of the most dangerous places in Maryland.
Violent crime has been held steady in recent years and property crime has fallen.
Still, a 1 in 18.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime hardly seems like a cause for celebration.
Population: 40,567Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 569
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,110
Hagerstown is the 10th most dangerous city in Maryland overall.
From 2015, the property crime rate dropped, which is good news for people who like knowing that their stuff is safe.
The bad news for people who like their safety, though, is that violent crime ranks 11th in Maryland.
Locking It All Up In Maryland
The latest FBI crime data shows that Ocean City ranks as the most dangerous city in Maryland for 2018.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Ocean City’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Maryland:
- Ocean Pines
For more Maryland reading , check out:
- 10 Small Towns In Maryland Where You’d Never Want To Live
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Maryland
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Maryland
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Maryland
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