These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Maryland For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in MD are really ghetto.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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There are lots of people who throw the term ‘ghetto’ around. But which of Maryland’s largest cities are the most ghetto of all?

How do you decide if a place is ghetto or not? You ask the internet. According to the Urban Dictionary, a ghetto is defined as:

“urban; of or relating to (inner) city life” and “poor; of or relating to the poor life.”

Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where ghettos might exist in a state, and then put out a list.

After analyzing the largest cities in the Old Line State, we came up with this list as the most ghetto places to live in Maryland:

  1. Hyattsville (Photos)
  2. Salisbury (Photos)
  3. Baltimore (Photos)
  4. Bladensburg (Photos)
  5. Cambridge (Photos)
  6. District Heights
  7. Hagerstown (Photos)
  8. Suitland
  9. Temple Hills
  10. Elkton (Photos)

In case you’re wondering, Edgewood is the least ghetto city of all we measured.

Read on below to see where your hometown ranked and why.

For more Maryland reading, check out:


What ghetto criteria did we use?

In order to rank the most ghetto places in Maryland, we had to determine what criteria defines a ghetto city or neighborhood.

Since a ghetto is defined as a poor area, we used income levels, crime and education levels as a guide to determine where the most broke citizens of a state live.

Additionally, the staples of inner city life include cheap and discounted retail outlets.

We started by making a list of cities with populations over 5,000 based on the 2013 American Community Survey. That left us with 190 cities in Maryland to measure.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Area Vibes, this is the criteria we used:

  • Household income levels
  • High school graduation rates
  • Number of convenience stores
  • Number of drug stores
  • Number of discount stores
  • Crime
  • Twitter mentions of #ghetto

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.

All of these results are listed in a per capita basis. Meaning number of stores per person in a state. Additionally, high school graduation rates are determined by looking at the total number of people who live in a city, not the current graduation rate of an area’s high schools.

For geo-located Tweets, we measured all mentions coming from a city with #ghetto


1. Hyattsville

Source: wikipedia

Discount shopping: 1st in MD
Drop out rate: 31%
Crime: 16th worst

When you look at the unbiased data, Hyattsville, right outside of DC, is the most ghetto area of Maryland. Here’s why.

There is a larger concentration of discount outlets in Hyattsville than anywhere else in the state. Sociologists have indicated that drugs stores, convenience stores and discount stores are a staple of inner city life.

Property crimes are really bad here – yes, we’re aware that the PG Mall attracts lots of personal property thefts. But the fact is, that statistically, every year you spend within Hyattsville city limits, you have a 1 in 15 chance of being robbed.

Finally, 3 in 10 residents dropped out of high school.

There were quite a few #ghetto Tweets, too: “The only ghetto parts of pg are right around DC. Landover/Hyattsville, Capitol Heights and Suitland.”

2. Salisbury

Source: wikipedia

Income: $38,524
Drop out rate: 19%
Crime: 8th worst

If you spent a year within Salisbury, you’d have a 1 in 96 chance of being raped or attacked. That’s according to the latest FBI data available.

Not only that, but Salisbury is the 6th poorest city in Maryland. This Delmarva Peninsula city saw 40% of its kids or its elderly living in poverty every month.

For a city of just 30,000, there were plenty of Tweets, which helped Salisbury move up the rankings:

“Welcome to Salisbury where everyone you meet is either a redneck or ghetto !!!”

3. Baltimore

Source: wikipedia

Income: $40,803
Drop out rate: 25%
Crime: 3rd worst

Of course, you’re going to have lots of people say Baltimore is not only the most ghetto city in Baltimore, but one of the worst ghettos in the nation. Sure, we get it. This is an unbiased look, using science, and the data says it’s third.

1 in 4 Baltimore residents doesn’t have a high school degree, and income levels are the 7th lowest in the state.

In terms of crime, there were 233 murders here in 2013. But you already know how dangerous Baltimore is.

When we got the Twitter data back, it took about 10 minutes to read through all of the #ghetto Tweets from here.

This was a gem: “You know you live in the ghetto when someone steals your cat’s sweater right off of your cat. #Baltimore”

4. Bladensburg

Source: wikipedia

Income: $44,436
Crime: 18th worst
Dropout rate: 21%

This is another city in Prince George County, where the city motto is, “A past to remember, a future to embrace.” Hopefully, that future involves getting residents to stay in school and quit committing crimes.

This city of 9,300 saw a murder in 2013, but the real threat are robberies. More than once a day, on average, someone here had their lives changed due to a robbery of some type.

3 in 10 residents under 18 or over 65 kids lives in poverty here.

5. Cambridge

Source: wikipedia

Income: $35,090
Drop out rate: 24%
Crime: Top 15%

A quarter of the children in Cambridge lives in poverty, and a majority of the population has trouble making ends meet every month. This small city of 12,000 near the eastern shore certainly isn’t safe either. You have a 1 in 14 chance of being the victim of some type of crime for every year you spend here.

That means if you weren’t a victim, your neighbor was. That’s the true sign of a ghetto – poor, uneducated and dangerous.

6. District Heights

Source: Public Domain

Income: $66,650
Drop out rate: 15%
Discount shopping: 3rd most

Another PG County ranks on this list. The residents of District Heights were both supportive of this ranking, and cautious to take too much from it.

The apartment areas in District Heights are crime ridden for sure. But some of the areas with single family homes are decent, they say. Additionally, most people agree that the police response time here is quick.

But does that make it any easier to live here?

There aren’t many other places in the entire state with a higher concentration of convenient stores, discount stores and drug stores.

7. Hagerstown

Source: wikipedia

Income: $37,289
Discount shopping: 5th highest in MD
Dropout rate: 25%

H-Town makes it onto another list of ours. There are several data sets that make it a real ghetto – 1 in 4 residents is a high school dropout, residents are the 5th poorest in the state, and there are a large number of inner city shopping experiences.

As a result, Hagerstown has the 6th highest unemployment rate (7.4%) and the 4th cheapest homes in the state – $116,000.

8. Suitland

Source: Public Domain

Income: $54,922
Drop out rate: 14%
Crime: 4th worst

Maryland residents are aware that many areas inside the beltway on the south side of D.C. are ghetto. Perhaps these rankings actually put the whole ‘which places are the worst’ debate in order, though.

Suitland is clearly one of the most dangerous places in the state. Robberies and car thefts happen regularly, and there are places you shouldn’t walk around by yourself, even in the day time here.

9. Temple Hills

Source: Public Domain

Crime: 5th worst

Just outside the beltway is the small area of Temple Hills, which is the 5th most dangerous place in the state. It isn’t an actual city, but it’s what the government calls a ‘census designated place.’

Judging by the sheer number of Tweets mentioning the Royal Farms gas station here, we’re going to assume this is the center point of the ghetto activity in Temple Hills. People Tweeted that they had been offered drugs, sex, and had been threatened here.

10. Elkton

Source: wikipedia

Income: $54.071
Drop out rate: 26%
Crime: Highest in the state

Believe it or not, little Elkton, near the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line, is the most dangerous place in the state, according to the chances residents have of being the victim of a crime every year.

You have a 1 in 81 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 15 chance of being the victim of a robbery or property crime for every year you spend here.

And those numbers are way down from previous years. So apparently, things are improving here, at least in terms of crime.

There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in Maryland where there are a high number of poor and uneducated residents, and where there are a high number of discounted shopping stores, this is an accurate list.

Additionally, here are the least ghetto places in Maryland: South Kensington, Linganore, Spring Ridge, Annapolis Neck, Travilah.

We also wrote about the 10 Drunkest Cities in Maryland if you didn’t happen to see it.

Desktop users, below is a ghetto ranking chart of all large cities in Maryland, along with their crime numbers:

City Crime rank Rank
hyattsville 164.6 1
salisbury 175.2 2
baltimore 150.4 3
bladensburg 161.7 4
cambridge 146 5
district heights 110.1 6
hagerstown 109.8 7
suitland 190.6 8
temple hills 190.3 9
elkton 178.7 10
greenbelt 136.4 11
glen burnie 123.1 12
cumberland 155.6 13
silver spring 140.1 14
chestertown 115.4 14
westminster 116.4 16
jessup 63 17
oxon hill 126.3 18
frederick 115.6 19
ocean city 198.9 20
parkville 117.6 21
marlow heights 160.3 22
annapolis 112.2 23
rosedale 81.1 24
forestville 116.3 24
lexington park 169.1 26
mount rainier 134.2 26
middle river 130.3 26
bel air 118.8 26
edgewood 127.2 30
cockeysville 162.8 31
beltsville 104.8 32
riverdale park 143.5 33
gaithersburg 112 34
adelphi 134.3 35
aberdeen 123.4 36
landover 168 37
easton 105.7 38
langley park 172.5 39
college park 112 40
reisterstown 124 41
la plata 116 42
glenarden 74.9 43
owings mills 154.3 43
essex 138.4 43
new carrollton 117.3 46
wheaton 88.4 46
laurel 126.8 48
lansdowne 168.1 48
glassmanor 191.2 50
elkridge 100.2 51
chillum 149.9 52
silver hill 198.9 53
takoma park 106.4 53
coral hills 148.4 55
milford mill 177.5 56
rockville 93.9 57
waldorf 106.8 58
hillcrest heights 152.8 59
bryans road 69.3 60
havre de grace 115.8 61
baltimore highlands 156.3 62
dundalk 104.6 63
walker mill 149.7 64
edgewater 62.9 64
lochearn 105.9 66
east riverdale 135.6 67
frostburg 94.2 68
catonsville 80.3 69
white oak 170.8 70
columbia 100.6 70
towson 101.7 72
seabrook 122.2 73
pasadena 50.6 74
brunswick 50.9 75
rossville 136.5 76
largo 115.7 77
summerfield 154.1 78
california 85.9 78
randallstown 97.5 80
south laurel 166.3 81
thurmont 61.1 81
clinton 53.4 83
savage 113.6 83
hampstead 71.8 83
lanham 60.3 83
bowie 79.5 87
cheverly 112.4 88
germantown 92.7 89
brooklyn park 80.8 90
brandywine 48.6 91
fort meade 166.7 92
severn 89.5 93
burtonsville 77.5 94
taneytown 68.7 94
fort washington 49.4 96
fairland 146.4 96
white marsh 68.1 98
arbutus 88.6 99
walkersville 60.7 100

23 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Maryland For 2018

  1. They based how ghetto Temple Hills is off the negative comments everyone was tweeting about the badly managed Royal Farms that is really in Camp Springs. Now if they were talking about Iverson Mall and the crime rate I might have considered this article valid. They also don’t take into account that since most of these cities border D.C. that a lot of the crime is from the criminals that travel into these areas steal and rob and then go back to D.C. Fix your data collection variables.

    1. The areas that border DC have its own criminals and a large majority of the crime in those areas is done by the people from MD, while a small percentage is DC. Those same Marylanders commit crimes in DC also, I’m from one of them border areas so i am well aware of what goes on. Seems like you just read about it. Landover is sometimes considered hyattsville, that’s not on the border, but the crime there is spilling from DC and the same goes for seat pleasant, and I could name a few other areas. The was invented in DC and neither was crime

  2. As a resident of Hyattsville (Adelphi) 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.

  3. Is this an attempt to put down these places and to be taken over like they have taken over D C. And now taking over cities near by by degrading and trashing them, this is so sad. And I live in a great city called DISTRICT HEIGHTS MD.

  4. This racist ass article, he keeps talking about another Prince George’s county city on the list but fails to mention PG was rated number 1 in the NATION for having the highest income of African Americans. Also, where the National Harbor is, which is nothing like a ghetto, and mansions from Fort Washington to Bowie. This author doesn’t know what the term ghetto means. Hyattsville over Baltimore?? Creditably gone.

    1. My exact sentiments. It takes mpre than research to know if a place is “ghetto” or not….how about come and experience the places yourself. Or speak to locals! Article npt 100% on point

  5. Good article. The smaller cities/towns indicate that there are economic issues all over the state. In the larger larger cities minorities are the disadvantaged and are highlighted in the media. In smaller cities such as Hagerstown, the white population are the disadvantaged (more so than minorities of the larger area). The sad fact here is that cities like Hagerstown does not get the negative truths exploited like larger cities with the same issues.

  6. Wow. This article is rife with subjectivity and inconsistency, yet you have the nerve to say it’s scientific? You use a few social benchmarks, but you don’t apply a weighting to each of these benchmarks… That’s to say, you don’t differentiate between the importance of one socioeconomic factor over the other in determining the overall rating for a particular city. For example: If the dropout rate is high and income is low in City A, but City B has a larger number of discount stores and higher crime rate, how do you determine which is more “ghetto”.

    And some of the comments were right on. You should read through them. It may give you a better perspective of what you did wrong here, in case you consider writing something similar again in the future. There were some comments though that were just silly, and lacked any form of critical thinking.

    Now I’m not defending the legitimacy or quality of the article by saying this, but this article is NOT “racist” as some people have commented. That’s an overused term that gets thrown around so much it makes my head spin. The irony is that being racist partly refers to one’s tendency to make a judgement about someone else without knowing the individual. And yet those who throw around that word have no problem doing just that. Neither using the term ghetto, or compiling a list of cities based on statistics are reasons to call an article racist. Quite frankly, this list touches on something that needs to be fixed in this country. We do need to identify areas where social and economic indicators are deteriorating. We need to have serious discussions in this country, and if we keep up this bullsh*t of calling things like this racist, we will NEVER be able to have those kinds of honest discussions. This article was inept, clumsy and woefully inaccurate, but it definitely was not racist.

    1. “We do need to identify areas where social and economic indicators are deteriorating”. I agree, where do WE start? This aritcle was not “infotainment”, it was a description of of depressed communities in need.

  7. I’m glad Nick James prefaced this article by stating, “This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.” However, as soon as you add non-facts to facts, you can’t say it’s based on facts anymore. It’s like saying, “In the US, there are over 300 million people… and 300 extra terrestrials.”

    Although I like most of what Greg wrote, I disagree with his comment about this not being racist. The word Ghetto has lots of racial and ethnic derogatory connotations since it was and is used to describe poor enclaves of national/racial/ethnic/religious minority groups. (e.g. Jewish ghetto, Italian ghetto, etc.)

    “Inner city” is also an old term since many central parts of cities are now some off the wealthiest sections. Similarly, the number of “drug stores” and “convenience stores” is not a good indicator of poverty anymore. Additionally, every city has poorer neighborhoods and wealthier neighborhoods. People generally look at neighborhoods rather than cities when looking at next home.

    Finally, these (“infotainment”) generalizations harm these towns that are trying to improve. Next time, why not highlight the cities and towns that have made the most improvements in education, social services, and the economy?

  8. I have the disadvantage of living in Marlow Heights currently. This article is NOT “racist” or totally misconstrued, empirical, etc. As I type my comment, I am gagging on weed stink wafting in my window and the fright of illegal fireworks– or gunshots– in the distance.

  9. Let me get this straight…District Heights’ average income for those living in apartments is a little over $66k with the national average being $52k in 2015 (Census) and that’s considered the crime ridden ghetto…? Sorry, can’t trust this jargon.

  10. Written and published for shock value, no more no less. That’s what the writer does. Big data at its worst in the hands desperate person!

  11. This is not factual at all. Just some racist bs to get under black people’s skin. While we’re out here getting our lives it’s always someone minding our business and getting the facts wrong.

    1. This article is utter nonsense. Quite frankly, this author has spent little to no time nor effort in doing thorough research for this article. Rising Sun should have been on this list but it is not. Aberdeen should have been on this list, but it isn’t. Hyattsville has NEVER been “ghetto”. Very sad that you would sign your name to this drivle. Greg wrote a very sensible comment. However, this article does comes across as racially biased. The term “ghetto” in this article refers impoverished BLACK cities. Why isn’t Rising Sun or Aberdeen on this list? Truly bothersome how people reveal their prejudices and as soon as you point it out, someone else asserts it couldn’t possibly be racism. It is, what it is. Period. Prejudice directed towards a racial component is racism. This author picked predominately Black cities most of which are near DC and found some ridiculous statistics to attach to this article and presented it. That’s lazy and irresponsible at best.

  12. Lived in District Heights. Wouldn’t go back for all the money in the world. The apartments I lived in for a year had 5 murders happen within seeing distance of my living room window. My downstairs neighbor repeatedly threatened to rape me and kill me and my family. Fun times. I had to leave for the safety of my family. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of hard working and lovely people in the community. Unfortunately, the trouble makers are the worst of the worst, which brings the whole community down. I wish there was an answer to the issues I encountered while living there. For me though ,it wasn’t worth losing my life in search of a city’s redemption.

  13. This is what happens when no-one ask the Lord for help. The Lord sees everything we do but Americans go to everyone else and not the Lord. So now we are stewing in our own juices. People have lost their faith in God and in humanity. We need to get our faith back and soon. I am just saying.

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