The 10 Worst Baltimore Suburbs

The worst Baltimore suburbs are Greenbelt and Bladensburg based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Baltimore to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises: what suburbs of Baltimore are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Baltimore ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Baltimore area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Baltimore proper, although University Park certainly tries.

We examined the 19 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.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 worst suburbs around Baltimore for 2024

  1. Greenbelt
  2. Bladensburg
  3. Aberdeen
  4. College Park
  5. New Carrollton
  6. Westminster
  7. Riverdale Park
  8. Landover Hills
  9. Hyattsville
  10. Hampstead

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Baltimore? Greenbelt ranks as the worst suburb of Baltimore for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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.

The 10 Worst Baltimore Suburbs To Live For 2024

Greenbelt, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Andrew Bossi | CC BY-SA 2.5
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Population: 24,646
Median Income: $82,019 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $273,558 (lowest)
More on Greenbelt: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Greenbelt beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 6th worst in the Baltimore area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 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 Greenbelt.

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.

Bladensburg, MD

Source: Public domain
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Population: 9,574
Median Income: $58,619 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (highest)
Median Home Value: $315,966 (3rd lowest)
More on Bladensburg: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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

This city is 29.9 miles to Baltimore. Income levels here are the lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $58,619 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.

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

Aberdeen, MD

Source: Wikipedia User DanTD | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 16,422
Median Income: $74,555 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $314,123 (2nd lowest)
More on Aberdeen: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Baltimore suburbs.

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

College Park, MD

Source: Wikipedia User User:Tomf688 | CC BY-SA 2.5
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Population: 34,416
Median Income: $76,973 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $418,488 (9th lowest)
More on College Park: Data | Cost Of Living

If you live in College Park, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 5th lowest Baltimore suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 6th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Baltimore. Remember, we looked at 19 cities for this study.

College Park is about 27.3 miles to downtown.

New Carrollton, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Christopher Sayan | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 13,580
Median Income: $76,386 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $385,956 (5th lowest)
More on New Carrollton: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

New Carrollton has the distinction of being a Baltimore suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, New Carrollton has the 5th lowest home values in the metro Baltimore area, where the median price is $385,956. The median income is $191,205.

New Carrollton has an unemployment rate of 10.92% which ranks 3rd worst.

Westminster, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Farragutful | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 20,099
Median Income: $71,286 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $423,805 (10th lowest)
More on Westminster: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Westminster has 20,099 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 12.237552489502098%.

Riverdale Park, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Famartin | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 7,284
Median Income: $105,250 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $457,160 (14th lowest)
More on Riverdale Park: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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

It’s the place with the 13th most out of work residents in the Baltimore metro area (3.64%).

8. Landover Hills

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Population: 2,118
Median Income: $100,739 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $355,664 (4th lowest)
More on Landover Hills:

Landover Hills is a city about 29.0 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. Landover Hills has the 6th most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 2nd highest unemployment rate (11.29%) in the entire Baltimore metro area.

Homes only cost $355,664 for a reason. That’s cheap for Baltimore standards.

Hyattsville, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Famartin | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,851
Median Income: $90,329 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $396,591 (6th lowest)
More on Hyattsville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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 2.83% of residents are out of work.

Hampstead, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,278
Median Income: $87,454 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $397,582 (7th lowest)
More on Hampstead: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

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

Located 25.1 miles outside the city, Hampsteads is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 5th highest unemployment rate (6.92%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Baltimore for 2024

To figure out how bad a Baltimore suburb is to live in, we used Saturday Night Science to identify the kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2018-2022, 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 dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Baltimore.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 19 suburbs to evaluate around Baltimore.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 19 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 looking at you, Greenbelt.

We updated this article for 2024, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Baltimore.

Summary: The areas around Baltimore where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2024

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Baltimore with Greenbelt casting itself ahead of the pack.

The worst suburbs of Baltimore are .

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Baltimore aren’t all bad. University Park takes the cake as the best place to live around Baltimore.

  • University Park
  • Mount Airy
  • Sykesville

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Baltimore Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Greenbelt 24,646 $82,019 $273,558
2 Bladensburg 9,574 $58,619 $315,966
3 Aberdeen 16,422 $74,555 $314,123
4 College Park 34,416 $76,973 $418,488
5 New Carrollton 13,580 $76,386 $385,956
6 Westminster 20,099 $71,286 $423,805
7 Riverdale Park 7,284 $105,250 $457,160
8 Landover Hills 2,118 $100,739 $355,664
9 Hyattsville 20,851 $90,329 $396,591
10 Hampstead 6,278 $87,454 $397,582
11 Berwyn Heights 3,312 $132,625 $427,367
12 Laurel 29,581 $92,035 $443,952
13 Glenarden 6,335 $100,179 $412,112
14 Annapolis 40,719 $97,219 $571,003
15 Manchester 5,403 $103,629 $425,271
16 Bowie 57,922 $138,797 $495,660
17 Sykesville 4,305 $126,941 $510,464
18 Mount Airy 9,667 $148,779 $575,869
19 University Park 2,610 $191,205 $644,596
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

9 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Baltimore Suburbs

  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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