The 10 Worst Baltimore Suburbs For 2021

We used science and data to determine which Baltimore suburbs are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Baltimore.

Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Baltimore.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Baltimore 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Baltimore area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Baltimore proper, although Mount Airy certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Baltimore are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 18 biggest suburbs of Baltimore to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in maryland lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Baltimore in terms of quality of life.

What's the worst suburb of Baltimore? Bladensburg ranks as the worst suburb of Baltimore for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Baltimore that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in maryland check out the best places in maryland overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Baltimore too.

Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Maryland reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Baltimore Suburbs To Live For 2021

Bladensburg, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,402
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $44,905 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $255,100 (5th lowest)
More on Bladensburg:  Data | Photos

We'll get the ball rolling with Bladensburg, the absolute worst place to live around Baltimore according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Bladensburg beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Baltimore area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 5th worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it's cheap to live there. But there's a reason for that... it's Bladensburg.

You won't feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren't a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Westminster, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,552
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Income: $60,518 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $242,700 (3rd lowest)
More on Westminster:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Westminster. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 28.7 miles to Baltimore. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $60,518 a year, which doesn't go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Aberdeen, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,848
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Income: $63,842 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $205,900 (lowest)
More on Aberdeen:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Baltimore suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Aberdeen on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that's an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it's in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Baltimore suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

Riverdale Park, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,198
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $79,219 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $328,600 (11th lowest)
More on Riverdale Park:  Data | Photos

If you live in Riverdale Park, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 9th lowest Baltimore suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Baltimore. Remember, we looked at 18 cities for this study.

Riverdale Park is about 28.7 miles to downtown.

Greenbelt, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,219
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $71,734 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $227,400 (2nd lowest)
More on Greenbelt:  Data | Photos

Greenbelt has the distinction of being a Baltimore suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Greenbelt has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro Baltimore area, where the median price is $227,400. To put that into perspective, in Mount Airy, the median income is $159,667, which is the best in the area.

Greenbelt has an unemployment rate of 5.2% which ranks 6th worst.

New Carrollton, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,935
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $66,991 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (highest)
Median Home Value: $271,100 (7th lowest)
More on New Carrollton:  Data | Photos

New Carrollton has 12,935 residents that probably know it's a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you've ever been there, you don't need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 7.649891270580926%.

College Park, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 32,159
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $66,679 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $330,300 (12th lowest)
More on College Park:  Data | Photos

Ah, College Park. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Baltimore.

It's the place with the 12th most out of work residents in the Baltimore metro area (4.23%).

Hampstead, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,362
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Income: $77,083 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $245,700 (4th lowest)
More on Hampstead:  Data | Photos

Hampstead is a city about 25.1 miles from Baltimore, but Baltimore probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You'd be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Hampstead has the 16th most uninsured people, 7th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (5.63%) in the entire Baltimore metro area.

Homes only cost $245,700 for a reason. That's cheap for Baltimore standards.

Hyattsville, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,242
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $81,736 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $336,300 (13th lowest)
More on Hyattsville:  Data | Photos

If you absolutely have to live near Baltimore, then Hyattsville might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Baltimore suburb.

About 3.4% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,140
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $86,506 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $276,400 (8th lowest)
More on Glenarden:  Data

Rounding out the ten worst Baltimore suburbs to call home is Glenarden.

Located 28.8 miles outside the city, Glenardens is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 4th highest unemployment rate (6.09%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Baltimore for 2021

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2015-2019, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Baltimore.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 18 suburbs to evaluate around Baltimore.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 18 in each category, where 1 was the "worst".

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the "Worst Suburb near Baltimore." We're lookin' at you, Bladensburg. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

The areas around Baltimore where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Baltimore with Bladensburg casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Baltimore aren't all bad. Mount Airy takes the cake as the best place to live around Baltimore.

  • Mount Airy
  • Sykesville
  • University Park

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Baltimore Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Bladensburg 9,402 $44,905 $255,100
2 Westminster 18,552 $60,518 $242,700
3 Aberdeen 15,848 $63,842 $205,900
4 Riverdale Park 7,198 $79,219 $328,600
5 Greenbelt 23,219 $71,734 $227,400
6 New Carrollton 12,935 $66,991 $271,100
7 College Park 32,159 $66,679 $330,300
8 Hampstead 6,362 $77,083 $245,700
9 Hyattsville 18,242 $81,736 $336,300
10 Glenarden 6,140 $86,506 $276,400
11 Berwyn Heights 3,273 $106,912 $308,000
12 Laurel 25,767 $78,313 $269,000
13 Annapolis 39,278 $85,636 $420,500
14 Manchester 4,832 $95,000 $294,500
15 Bowie 58,481 $113,338 $338,100
16 University Park 2,651 $159,667 $486,500
17 Sykesville 3,939 $109,393 $379,500
18 Mount Airy 9,397 $125,365 $371,500

How Is Your Town In ?

9 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Baltimore Suburbs For 2021

  1. Edgemere is a great place. I have no idea to why we are the worst place to live. My family has lived in edgemere for many generations although i may still be young, I love that everyone knows everyone. Such a friendly town!

  2. Apparently the writer of this article didn’t talk to anyone from Edgemere or Sparrows point to know the truth. There are waterfront homes that are a half million dollars.

    Kids growing up in Edgemere know what to do around here. It’s called bike riding, skateboarding, and basically hang out.

  3. Ok people this commentary is going to be long..
    Since my son forwarded this to me, I haven’t decided whether to be angry or amused, so I just decided to respond for better, or worse, since three of these communities are in our immediate vicinity, and the rest are within a short driving distance.

    It seems we are being judged on our availability, or lack thereof, of movie theatres, shopping centers and overpriced housing. When did lack of “sprawl” and “affordable” housing, become a detriment?

    I myself am a “transplanted” area resident, arriving in 1986 due to a job transfer. Settling in Essex, I met and married my wife, and began raising our children. We moved to a larger home in the Edgmere/Sparrows Point area in 2004. My wife is an Essex native and my in-laws still live in Dundalk.

    What I’ve observed here is a hardworking, blue collar, people who are trying to adjust to changing times. They are a warm and caring people, with a diverse heritage, who value family and faith above all else, and who are not afraid to show their patriotism, (many of who are veteran’s) or voice their opinions. They are tolerant, and their sense of justice, and fairness shows in their everyday lives.

    These family, and community oriented people, attend church, enthusiastically attend, and support, and participate in their children’s school, and sports activities, while volunteering to help their neighbors, and community at every opportunity.

    One of the items this “so called” research cites is a lack of activities. I think that depends or your definition of activities. I see no mention in this “study” of our scenic waterways, with many breathtaking views, dotted with many modest homes, where families relax at the end of the day on their decks, sharing stunning sunsets with family and friends. This “study” also doesn’t mention the many fishing, boating, and watersport opportunities our communities offer, or the the access to the state parks, and their picnic, and beach availability. They also ignore the many small hidden diners and restaurants where delicious locally cooked food, reasonablly priced drinks, and friendly conversation provide an affordable and pleasant night out.

    You see not everyone needs an overpriced mall, an overcrowded movie theatre, or an astronomically priced restaurant that serves rubber chicken to have a good time. Although, this is available with a short drive.

    Do we have problems? Of course, we suffer from the same maladies that any aging community suffers, especially with the loss of our industries, and the jobs that once made our communities (and the state) great. The loss of income associated with the jobs provided by GM, Seagram’s, and most notably Beth Steel,(just to name a few) was catostrophic. Since these losses, Eastern Baltimore County has been largely forgotten, ignored, and dumped on by county and state government, whose only attention comes when they want our vote, to sell our parks, and recreation land, or to dump some unwanted industry that no one else will take. And through this all these amazing residents perservere.

    I sometimes worry that some of the smaller communities will go the way of the town of Sparrows Point, which is a little more than a zip code at this point. My enthusiasm is renewed when I see a grandfather teaching a grandchild woodworking skills, or a mechanic teaching his son car repair skills. My spirit is always boosted by riding past one of our community athletic fields, and observing the many friends, and neighbors devoting their time to coaching our children.The sight of the kids riding their bike through the neighborhood, or playing sports in the field behind our house is heartwarming, and I realize that this community’s spirit will live on.

    So if you think traffic jams on 301, wall to wall strip malls, overpriced housing, theatre’s, clothes, and food, make somewhere a better place to live, then your compass is broken.

    Me personally, I’d rather be where the beltway ends, (technically at the Key Bridge) eating a spaghetti dinner at the church, enjoying a crab feast at the fire hall, and watching my grandkids play rec sports, all the while cheering with friends and neighbors. This beats ending a heart attack inducing day sitting in my air conditioned, hermitically sealed, million dollar home, not knowing my neighbors, and figuring out what MSG laden chinese take-out to order.

    So, I will politely tell you where to put your “scientific” study, although I’m sure our older community residents would put it stronger.

    After all I’m just a transplant.
    Have a great day.

    1. Best reply I read! I live close to crofton (in Severn) and I hate all the traffic that has come with all the building they are doing or all the new homes they continue to throw up on any little available piece of land that a developer can possibly get their hands on. You actually made that area sound appealing, especially the part where you know your neighbors and you enjoy seeing kids outside and parks and relaxing watching a sunset. They have taken all our fields and wooded areas to build houses and I don’t know any of our neighbors anymore, and the ones we do have all seem to be too busy to even wave hello, let alone volunteer to clean up our community or get together for a cook out. I wish we had that community feeling here in Severn, like we used to when I was growing up. Your a great writer!

  4. This study lists one of the reasons for not living in this areas is “low unemployment”, not enough jobs. I think it should be low “employment”. Shows how much they know, can’t even get the words in their article correct.

  5. This author made many mistakes, the greatest of which was to not check the locations in their list. Most are northern DC suburbs, NOT Baltimore suburbs. If that basic info is wrong, the rest is likely laughable. Do your homework before you waste other people’s important time.

  6. Why isn’t anybody mentioning biddle street if you go down Biddle Street you might not come back That is a very dangerous area probably the worst

  7. 8 out of the 10 are DC suburbs and the other 2 are out in the country-ish parts of Maryland nowhere close to Baltimore. It’s like the author found cities anywhere in Maryland that met its ridiculous criteria and claimed they were suburbs of Baltimore because they’re in the same state as Baltimore.

    Maybe one in the top 10 isn’t the best area (New Carrolton- DC Suburb), but the rest aren’t bad (worst) areas at all. This list is ridiculous.

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