These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Delaware For 2019

We used science and data to determine which Delaware cities 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 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Delaware.

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Delaware. The first state. The 2nd smallest state. The place with awesome beaches, where you get your country life and your city life and everything in between.

Where you have Philly wannabes on one side and chicks in the sticks on the other.

If you’re from Delaware, you think it’s the best kept secret around. But is it all good in your hood?

Just like every other state, Delaware has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which places are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Delaware your home.

After analyzing 34 of the state’s most populous cities (over 2,200 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Delaware:

  1. Laurel (Photos)
  2. Seaford (Photos)
  3. Bear
  4. Harrington (Photos)
  5. Wilmington (Photos)
  6. Milford (Photos)
  7. Millsboro (Photos)
  8. Claymont
  9. Kent Acres
  10. Long Neck

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Delaware? That would be Laurel.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Delaware reading, check out:

How we determined the worst places to live in Delaware for 2019

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 don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 2,000 people were considered — leaving 34 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 34 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Delaware — Laurel. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Delaware.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Laurel, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,147
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $143,000 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (8th worst)
More on Laurel:  Data | Photos

If you live in Laurel, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 21st highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Delaware. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 23.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.

That’s a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.

Plus, for such a small place, there were 54 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you’d have a 1 in 76 chance of being raped or attacked.

Finally, the folks who live here earn the 1st lowest salaries in Delaware. At $34,291 a household, that’s simply not enough to get by for these Slower Lowers.

Seaford, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,447
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $159,400 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (13th worst)
More on Seaford:  Data | Photos

Seaford seems to be the have’s and have not’s. While the annual average income levels here are respectful ($44,886), about 1 in 15.9 people here are without jobs. Homes are valued at only $159,400.

But the biggest eye opener is the sheer crime here. It seems as if just about everyone in town without a job is pillaging the community. Seaford has the 6th highest crime rate in Delaware, where 1 in 126 people has a statistic chance of being attacked, raped or murdered each year.

Plus, 1 in 16.7 people are robbed.

If you’re headed past Seaford and stop for gas, make sure you lock your doors.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,401
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $200,600 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (10th worst)
More on Bear:  Data

What the heck is going on in little Bear? The crime is the 13th highest in the state of Delaware. Here, residents have a 1 in 20.1 chance of being robbed. That means if you live here, and didn’t have something stolen from you, there’s a good chance your neighbor did.

That ratio is one of the highest we’ve seen in the nation. Perhaps the high unemployment rate has something to do with it. More than 7.1% of Bear residents were without jobs in the latest numbers we collected, which is the 10th highest in the state.

Harrington, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,664
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $165,800 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (6th worst)
More on Harrington:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Harrington is the worst place you can live in the state of Delaware. Let’s see why.

Crime and no jobs. How does that sum it up? When you look at the numbers, you can see why Harrington might be a bad place to live. Would you believe Harrington has the 25th highest crime rate in Delaware? It does. You have a 1 in 30.5 chance of being robbed when you’re within Harrington city limits each year.

Plus, Harrington has the 6th highest unemployment rate in the state. At 9.0%, that’s actually under the national average, but really high for Delaware.

And the home prices ($165,800) are the 5th cheapest in the state. Say what you want about ‘cheap living,’ the fact is, homes are priced on demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Harrington.

Harrington is located near…well it’s a small state. You probably know where it is.

Wilmington, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 71,276
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $165,300 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (4th worst)
More on Wilmington:  Data | Photos

If you live in Wilmington, you’re either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because science says it’s the 5th worst place to live in the state.

You’ve got the 13th highest crime rate in Delaware, which saw 1,142 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 20.1 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 62 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Wilmington.

Plus, folks are simply out of work. Wilmington sports the state’s 4th highest unemployment rate (9.4%), and families bring in a combined $40,221 a year, which is far below the state average.

No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $165,300.

Milford, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,645
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $179,600 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (18th worst)
More on Milford:  Data | Photos

Some of the criminals in Milford need a time out. This city boasts the state’s 4th highest crime rate, where you have a 1 in 16.5 chance of being robbed every year. Plus, this small city saw a murder not too long ago.

Everything else in Milford is actually right about average. So 10,645 people in Delaware live in an average place where people get robbed a lot. Lovely.

Millsboro, DE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,181
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $208,000 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (25th worst)
More on Millsboro:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Millsboro is the 7th worst place in the state of Delaware.

The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. Millsboro is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in Millsboro are the 19th lowest in the entire state.

And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can’t get much worse in Delaware.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,707
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $200,600 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (5th worst)
More on Claymont:  Data

you’re looking to live in Delaware, Claymont might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2017.

Claymont doesn’t have the worst crime in the state, but it’s sure up there. And when you factor in one of the lowest household incomes in the state and a sky high unemployment rate, Claymont may not be your first choice for a vacation.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,369
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $189,400 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (7th worst)
More on Kent Acres:  Data

Kent Acres is just a tiny place in the middle of nowhere where people have a hard time making ends meet. Folks here earn barely more than $59,728 a year, which is barely over the poverty line. And for Delaware, a 8.8% unemployment rate is really high.

Crime is also the 4th highest in Delaware here. Meaning people need to stop breaking into homes and start looking for jobs.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,716
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 8)
Median Home Value: $74,900 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (26th worst)
More on Long Neck:  Data

Long Neck, part of Sussex County, is the 10th worst place to live in Delaware for 2017.

. Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $47,420, and crime 1st worst in Delaware.

Additionally, the poverty level is 5.4% in Long Neck.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Delaware

If you’re looking at areas in Delaware with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Laurel ranks as the worst city to live in Delaware for 2019.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Delaware:

  1. North Star (Pop. 7,390)
  2. Newark (Pop. 33,243)
  3. Lewes (Pop. 2,961)

For more Delaware reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Delaware

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Laurel 4,147 8.1% $143,000
2 Seaford 7,447 6.3% $159,400
3 Bear 20,401 7.1% $200,600
4 Harrington 3,664 9.0% $165,800
5 Wilmington 71,276 9.4% $165,300
6 Milford 10,645 5.4% $179,600
7 Millsboro 4,181 4.0% $208,000
8 Claymont 8,707 9.2% $200,600
9 Kent Acres 2,369 8.8% $189,400
10 Long Neck 2,716 3.9% $74,900
11 Selbyville 2,245 1.9% $258,800
12 Riverview 2,728 6.2% $258,800
13 Brookside 13,554 7.1% $191,000
14 Wilmington Manor 7,608 6.6% $169,800
15 Smyrna 11,276 5.4% $184,600
16 Elsmere 6,097 11.2% $168,400
17 Glasgow 15,280 6.7% $269,400
18 Edgemoor 6,178 9.7% $196,600
19 Dover 37,109 6.2% $174,900
20 Townsend 2,195 4.3% $313,900
21 Bridgeville 2,480 10.8% $258,900
22 Clayton 3,134 6.0% $198,400
23 Camden 3,486 2.6% $199,400
24 Milton 2,792 5.1% $252,900
25 Pike Creek Valley 10,823 4.9% $254,800
26 Highland Acres 3,775 6.0% $238,700
27 Hockessin 13,672 3.7% $433,400
28 New Castle 5,364 4.3% $199,500
29 Greenville 2,305 1.9% $667,400
30 Ocean View 2,150 3.7% $337,600
31 Pike Creek 8,740 3.7% $321,100
32 North Star 7,390 1.9% $435,300
33 Newark 33,243 4.8% $274,100
34 Lewes 2,961 1.3% $512,100

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15 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Delaware For 2019

  1. by the way Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country. Delaware is the second smallest. Research and verify!

  2. Nobody wants to be from Philly trust that, people in delaware have their own style, their own culture and their own history this so called article is a joke and you should do better research next time before you judge a place you know nothing about.
    Thank you and try again

  3. Dagsboro better than Bethany Beach? A hoot. Delaware City with the beach towns…Ouch! That must be why all the tourists go to Delaware City to vacation? the beautiful city………………

  4. @Janaia
    “…people in delaware have their own style, their own culture…”

    Style and culture are the LAST things that come to mind in Delaware.
    It’s so ugly – row upon row of pressboard palaces with beige plastic siding – houses that are completely made of plastic.
    Plus it’s one of those places where the most prominent geographic feature is the horizon. The whole state sucks.

  5. I totally understand that in each and EVERY state there’s good and bad areas/cities/neighborhoods to live in. But my one issue with this article is that if you’re going to write it have correct information. Delaware is NOT the smallest state in the Union…….that belongs to Rhode Island. They’re the smallest and we’re the SECOND smallest. And YES…….I’m a native Delawarean.

    1. Before you leave a comment, maybe you should actually read the article. It clearly states ” The 2nd smallest state”. If you missed that or read it incorrectly, what else did you miss or read incorrectly?

  6. All of you criticizing their research on which state is the smallest, go back and read the first three sentences. “Delaware. The first state. The 2nd smallest state.”

    Also, the article starts out clearly stating: “We used science and data to determine which Delaware cities are the real pits.” and “This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.”

    I live in Delaware and am proud to do so.

  7. I’m very interested in the picture the author used for Wilmington. I grew up there and never have I seen an area like that; it looks more like an area you’d see in one of the two southern counties (Sussex and Essex).

    While I do agree that Wilmington should be on this list, there are areas in Wilmington that are quite nice; unfortunately those areas are close to the undesirable areas. It sucks because Delaware really is a good place to live with a lot to do and close to a lot of things to do; all within at least 2 hours drive (Ocean City, MD….Central Philadelphia…..Baltimore Harbor….Atlantic City….a nice handful of beaches…there’s an international airport close-by….and tax-free shopping).

  8. I’m a single man and reside in Milford, DE. I’m a transplant from New Jersey. If you are single, from out of town and looking for a mate in this area, good luck! Local boys and girls. They probably have known each other since kindergarten to adulthood. The men from here are quite beefy, and the girls are drop-dead beautiful! I have to say that the locals (Camden area) are very lovely and polite, but if you are seeking romance, chances are you will be disappointed.

  9. I’ve lived in wilmington delaware my entire life… Its so bad… I’m 25 years old, white, graduated from St Marks HS and I’m currently trying to figure out what i want to do at Del Tech College… I am trying so hard to make something with my life so i can make it out of here… 99% of the ppl i went to school with are addicted to heroin… i can’t find any friends bcuz there are no trust worthy/ nice people… I’m in my house right now, and I am coughing and wheezing bcuz the air is so bad here… i look up, and i see stains on my ceiling from mice pissing in my attic… i feel like i am trash just bcuz i am from in f and it is ruining my confidence… i know God has bigger plans for me, i just hope i make it out be4 its too late… plz pray 4 me

  10. Bridgeville Delaware has to be the worst place in Delaware to live a lot of crime and drugs I was moving out going back and forth from new place to old found next door neighbor in my house stealing my stuff. Called the bridgeville police they did nothing just stood around looking at broken in door and left. the town is corrupt the people are animal abusers . Nasty people !

  11. Claymont Delaware is the worst place to grow up! I am from delco (Delaware county), and there is absolutely NOTHING for kids to do here. In delco, kids are out riding their bikes and hanging out around town. In claymont, I NEVER see kids outside. Period. There is simply nowhere to go to, and nothing to do. On one side is crappy wilmington, the other side is a refinery and methed out Marcus Hook, and the other side is the Delaware river. the problem with Delaware is bussing and consolidation of school districts. They make 3 districts 1 mega district. Therfor, all the kids live far from class mates, or they buss in the trash from wilmington. Sure Delaware taxes are crazy cheap, but I’d rather pay the 5-6k a year taxes in delaware county so my kids wouldnt have to go with all the trash and have a neighborhood where its safe for them to go be a kid in.

  12. We retired to Laurel and love it. Big victorian house on a lake, nice people and major cities and beaches an easy drive. Low taxes and no sales tax. People are taking steps to improve the town. We aren’t.affected by the schools and we feel safe. Have beautiful woods and state park, historic buildings. No place is perfect but dont judge only by numbers.

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