10 Most Dangerous Cities In Maryland For 2020

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Old Line State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Maryland and is updated for 2020.

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You don’t have to watch The Wire to know that there’s danger lurking in some pretty seedy places in The Old Line State.

Gone are the days that parents can let their children run wild until the street lights come on. Heck, parents shouldn’t let their kids out of their sight in RoadSnacks’ most dangerous cities in Maryland for 2020.

So, how does one navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city you should call home? Take a look below: we did the work for you. In order to compile our list, we consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 36 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that Maryland’s violent and property crime numbers are even scarier than the most dangerous place in the state.

Folks, the cities that made our list have robberies happening in broad daylight, car jackings, and daily shootings. There are neighborhoods in these cities that you shouldn’t drive thru at all and there are areas that you definitely shouldn’t be in after dark. The state as a whole recorded 500 violent crimes and close to 2,300 property crimes making it the 18th most dangerous state in the country for 2020.

We’re not saying that there aren’t little pockets of goodness in these cities. The neighborhoods and shopping centers in these Maryland cities are not ALL bad. But cities like Baltimore and Laurel catch a break; and sadly, their staggering statistics are keeping this Mid-Atlantic state in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

To see where these Maryland cities with all the problems are located, keep reading.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Maryland for 2020:

  1. Elkton (Photos)
  2. Ocean City (Photos)
  3. Cambridge (Photos)
  4. Baltimore (Photos)
  5. Salisbury (Photos)
  6. Cumberland (Photos)
  7. Hyattsville (Photos)
  8. Bladensburg (Photos)
  9. Hagerstown (Photos)
  10. Laurel (Photos)

What are the circumstances that make these Maryland cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, people just don’t want to work, prisons, drugs, gangs, close to larger cities that push their problems onto surrounding cities?

We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is our number one most dangerous city in Maryland is Elkton.

The Maryland cities on our most dangerous list could definitely use some TLC. If you’re looking to be that diamond in the rough, or you’re just curious to see if your city made the list, take a look below. And if you don’t see your city there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Maryland.

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 Maryland reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Maryland

Most Dangerous Cities In Maryland Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Maryland For 2020

Elkton, MD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,681
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,269 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,306 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Elkton:  Data | Photos

Located on the northeastern shore of Maryland, Elkton isn’t the worst city in either property or violent crime, but placing 2nd and 2nd respectively earns the city its 1st place ranking on this list.

Residents of Elkton faced a 1 in 78 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 15.9 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.

Ocean City, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,950
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,194 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 11,971 (1st most dangerous)
More on Ocean City:  Data | Photos

Ocean City coming in as the 2nd 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 8.4 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime in 2017 and the 1 in 83 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.

Review Of Ocean City by HomeSnacks User

This is a beach on the east coast that in my opinion has the best boardwalk! there are many types of foods something for everyone! I love Dumsers Hommade Ice cream and Thrashers French fries the best breakfast is A made while you wait donor at Fracured Prune. They are all types of games and rides for all ages the street entertainers are fun to watch. the hotel were we stay is right on the boardwalk it is the plum plaza with a fabulous porch to sit on and watch the people the ocean and people on the beach>

There is not much I can say bad about ocean city the only thing that could be bad is the water is unpredictable so one needs to take clothes that are for cold and warm/hot weather

Cambridge, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,364
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,035 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,868 (4th most dangerous)
More on Cambridge:  Data | Photos

Cambridge is the fourth most populous city on Maryland’s eastern shore (behind Salisbury, Easton, and Elkton) and the 3rd most dangerous, ranking 4th and 4th 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.

Review Of Cambridge by HomeSnacks User

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!!

Baltimore, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 605,436
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,833 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,495 (8th most dangerous)
More on Baltimore:  Data | Photos

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 309 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.

Review Of Baltimore by HomeSnacks User

The crime is very bad in this city. I love the culture and my neighbors but the extremely high crime rate is making me seriously consider on moving out.

The violence and the robbery. The restaurants in the city are amazing though.

Salisbury, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,183
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 819 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,665 (6th most dangerous)
More on Salisbury:  Data | Photos

Located in southeastern Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula, Salisbury isn’t as violent as the above cities, but residents still face a 1 in 121 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.

Review Of Salisbury by HomeSnacks User

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.

Cumberland, MD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,555
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 746 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,505 (7th most dangerous)
More on Cumberland:  Data | Photos

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 22.2 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.

Review Of Cumberland by HomeSnacks User

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.

Hyattsville, MD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,448
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 428 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,024 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Hyattsville:  Data | Photos

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 19.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

Review Of Hyattsville by HomeSnacks User

As a resident of Hyattsville for over a decade, I’m prone to say that your factfinders don’t know what they are talking about.

Silver Spring and College Park are continuously within walking distance and, in contrast to Baltimore, everybody gets along here.

Bladensburg, MD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,518
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 588 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,467 (10th most dangerous)
More on Bladensburg:  Data | Photos

Located 9 miles from central Washington, D.C., Bladensburg is the 8th most dangerous city in Maryland.

With residents facing a 1 in 169 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.

Hagerstown, MD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 40,384
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 631 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,604 (15th most dangerous)
More on Hagerstown:  Data | Photos

The 4th most populated city in Maryland, Hagerstown ranks as the 9th most dangerous.

Hagerstown’s crime problem has been slowly improving in recent years, with violent crime going down from 2015-17, and property crime dropping.

Still, Hagerstown residents face about a 1 in 38.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.

Review Of Hagerstown by HomeSnacks User

Town has little job opportunities and has some drug problems.9

Indian restaurant, good sushi, lots of stores.

Laurel, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,038
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 441 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,567 (9th most dangerous)
More on Laurel:  Data | Photos

Laurel placed 10th on our list due, in part, to a 1 in 28.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Maryland for 2020?

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 36 cities in Maryland.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 36 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 — Elkton.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Maryland.

Locking It All Up In Maryland

The latest FBI crime data shows that Elkton ranks as the most dangerous city in Maryland for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Elkton 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:

  1. Thurmont (Pop. 6,712)
  2. Ocean Pines (Pop. 12,244)
  3. Taneytown (Pop. 6,795)

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Maryland?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Elkton 15,681 1,269 6,306
2 Ocean City 6,950 1,194 11,971
3 Cambridge 12,364 1,035 4,868
4 Baltimore 605,436 1,833 4,495
5 Salisbury 33,183 819 4,665
6 Cumberland 19,555 746 4,505
7 Hyattsville 18,448 428 5,024
8 Bladensburg 9,518 588 3,467
9 Hagerstown 40,384 631 2,604
10 Laurel 26,038 441 3,567

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.

2 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Maryland For 2020

  1. Lol…5 out of 10 are PG county. Feels bad man (I’m from temple hills too. No wah temple hills is worse than forestville or oxon hill)

  2. Laurel is not in the west part of the state and has never been the capital of Maryland.
    Annapolis is the capital and briefly was the Capitol of the United States.

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