These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Delaware For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Delaware cities are the real pits.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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 29 of the state’s most populous cities (over 1,100 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Delaware:

  1. Laurel (Photos)
  2. Delmar (Photos)
  3. Newport (Photos)
  4. Seaford (Photos)
  5. Harrington (Photos)
  6. Blades
  7. Wilmington (Photos)
  8. Milford (Photos)
  9. Millsboro (Photos)
  10. Cheswold

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. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2018.

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 2018

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 1,100 people were considered — leaving 29 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 29 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.

1. Laurel

Laurel, Delaware

Population: 3,984
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $142,700 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (9th worst)
More on Laurel: Data | Jobs | Photos
If you live in Laurel, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 10th highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Delaware. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 23.9 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 47 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you’d have a 1 in 84 chance of being raped or attacked.

Finally, the folks who live here earn the 2nd lowest salaries in Delaware. At $36,335 a household, that’s simply not enough to get by for these Slower Lowers.

2. Delmar

Delmar, Delaware

Population: 1,792
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $130,600 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.7% (3rd worst)
More on Delmar: Data | Jobs | Photos
Little Delmar is a crummy place to live in Delaware, according to data.

You have the state’s 7th highest crime rate, 9th lowest household incomes and above average unemployment rate. 21% of the Slower Lower residents live below the poverty line. Yikes.

3. Newport

Newport, Delaware

Source: Public domain

Population: 1,075
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $185,700 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.4% (1st worst)
More on Newport: Data | Jobs | Photos
Newport doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 17.4%, and people average less than $36,809 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $185,700, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Delaware.

And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

4. Seaford

Seaford, Delaware

Population: 7,417
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Values: $154,500 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (16th worst)
More on Seaford: Data | Jobs | Photos
Seaford has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 6th-highest in the state of Delaware. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 6.9%.

Additionally, 2550.0% of the population lives below the poverty line.

5. Harrington

Harrington, Delaware

Population: 3,688
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $166,000 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (5th worst)
More on Harrington: Data | Jobs | 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 14th highest crime rate in Delaware? It does. You have a 1 in 33.5 chance of being robbed when you’re within Harrington city limits each year.

Plus, Harrington has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the state. At 11.6%, that’s actually under the national average, but really high for Delaware.

And the home prices ($166,000) are the 9th 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.

6. Blades


Population: 1,302
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Home Values: $131,500 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (10th worst)
More on Blades: Data | Jobs
Blades has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 21st-highest in the state of Delaware. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 8.9%.

Additionally, 2390.0% of the population lives below the poverty line.

7. Wilmington

Wilmington, Delaware

Population: 71,502
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Home Values: $162,400 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (8th worst)
More on Wilmington: Data | Jobs | 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 7th worst place to live in the state.

You’ve got the 4th highest crime rate in Delaware, which saw 1,285 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 20.2 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 55 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 8th highest unemployment rate (10.3%), and families bring in a combined $40,065 a year, which is far below the state average.

No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $162,400.

8. Milford

Milford, Delaware

Population: 10,532
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Home Values: $174,900 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (12th worst)
More on Milford: Data | Jobs | Photos
Some of the criminals in Milford need a time out. This city boasts the state’s 7th highest crime rate, where you have a 1 in 19.2 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 10,532 people in Delaware live in an average place where people get robbed a lot. Lovely.

9. Millsboro

Millsboro, Delaware

Source: Public domain

Population: 4,121
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $185,500 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (26th worst)
More on Millsboro: Data | Jobs | Photos
If, by some reason, you were driving through Millsboro, after stopping to ask for directions, you may have noticed that things aren’t so peachy keen here.

It’s tough out there for people to stay afloat when their income levels are so low ($40,260) and they can’t get good jobs (4.3% unemployment rate).

Millsboro ranks as the 9th wost place in Delaware.

10. Cheswold


Population: 1,123
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Home Values: $85,000 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (7th worst)
More on Cheswold: Data | Jobs
Home prices ($95,000) indicate that Cheswold isn’t a very ‘happening’ place. So does a 6.1% unemployment rate.

Cheswold is just north of Dover. Which brings us to?

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 2018.

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

  1. Lewes (Pop. 2,955)
  2. Newark (Pop. 32,941)
  3. Ocean View (Pop. 2,087)

For more Delaware reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Delaware

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Laurel 3,984 10.1% $142,700
2 Delmar 1,792 13.7% $130,600
3 Newport 1,075 17.4% $185,700
4 Seaford 7,417 6.9% $154,500
5 Harrington 3,688 11.6% $166,000
6 Blades 1,302 8.9% $131,500
7 Wilmington 71,502 10.3% $162,400
8 Milford 10,532 7.7% $174,900
9 Millsboro 4,121 4.3% $185,500
10 Cheswold 1,123 11.2% $85,000
11 Bridgeville 2,397 12.7% $234,600
12 Elsmere 6,137 11.4% $165,000
13 Dover 37,351 8.1% $172,000
14 Greenwood 1,280 5.6% $154,800
15 Selbyville 2,268 3.2% $260,500
16 Millville 1,611 7.4% $281,900
17 Felton 1,566 14.7% $192,500
18 Smyrna 11,081 5.9% $188,100
19 Clayton 3,080 7.1% $192,100
20 Camden 3,494 5.5% $202,200
21 Milton 2,756 6.0% $247,300
22 New Castle 5,372 4.9% $200,600
23 Bellefonte 1,253 5.8% $217,300
24 Townsend 2,320 3.7% $312,500
25 Wyoming 1,575 4.4% $167,400
26 Rehoboth Beach 1,119 4.5% $842,800
27 Ocean View 2,087 7.5% $342,000
28 Newark 32,941 4.5% $270,700
29 Lewes 2,955 4.0% $475,000

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15 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Delaware For 2018

  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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