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:

Here are the 10 worst places to live in Delaware for 2019:

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

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:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Delaware For 2019

Laurel, DE

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

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

6
/10

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

When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Delaware, Seaford came in 2nd. Let’s see why.

The city has very bad crime (6th worst) and an employment rate that’s nearly the highest for cities of its size 6.3%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

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

When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Bear is the 3rd worst place in the state of Delaware.

The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. Bear 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 Bear are the 18th 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.

Harrington, DE

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

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

7
/10

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.

Review Of Wilmington by HomeSnacks User

I love Wilmington because it is small and everyone knows eachother!

Charcoal Pit, University of Delaware, Pea Patch Island, The Farmhouse in Newark

Milford, DE

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

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.

Review Of Milford by HomeSnacks User

Lovely small town experience, nice people. Great downtown area. Great Coffee shop called DOLCE. Great theater, Riverfront Theatre. Wonderful antique shop Maggie and Friend.

The Riverwalk

Dolce

Riverfront Theatre

Milford Art League

Maggie and Friends Antique Shop

Delaware Music School

The Irish Shop

Arena’s

Furbaby

Tattoos and Kayaak rentals

Millsboro, DE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

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

The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Millsboro. The only real difference is Millsboro is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.

However, the unemployment rate in Millsboro is at 4.0%, which is the 25th worst in Delaware. And households earn a combined $43,750 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Millsboro is merely $208,000.

Millsboro is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

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 | Photos

Claymont, DE needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 9.2%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 13th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 20.1 chance of being robbed here every year.

You could find a much better place to call home.

Review Of Claymont by HomeSnacks User

Claymont Delaware is the worst place to grow up! I am from delco, 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.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

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

Most of the rest of the cities on this list deserve to be on here due to their high crime numbers. Kent Acres is the 4th most dangerous city in Delaware, according to the FBI. Residents had a 1 in 16.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s really high for Delaware, but not even the highest in the state.

Home values are the 11th cheapest in the state, and income levels are almost as low as you can get. Households in Kent Acres bring in just under $59,728 a year annually.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

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 | Photos

If you’re looking to live in Delaware, Long Neck might not be the best choice as it places 10th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.

The unemployment rate here is 3.9%, and households bring in a combined $47,420 a year in income. That’s not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of Delaware.

Crime is the 1st highest in the state in Long Neck as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.

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.

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:

Where Are 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

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15 thoughts on “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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