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:
- Laurel (Photos)
- Delmar (Photos)
- Newport (Photos)
- Seaford (Photos)
- Harrington (Photos)
- Wilmington (Photos)
- Milford (Photos)
- Millsboro (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. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2018.
- 10 Best Places To Live In Delaware
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Delaware
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Delaware
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
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.
Population: 3,984Rank 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.
Population: 1,792Rank 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.
Population: 1,075Rank 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.
Population: 7,417Rank 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.
Population: 3,688Rank 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.
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.
Population: 71,502Rank 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.
Population: 10,532Rank 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.
Population: 4,121Rank 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.
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:
- Lewes (Pop. 2,955)
- Newark (Pop. 32,941)
- Ocean View (Pop. 2,087)
For more Delaware reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Delaware
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Delaware
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Delaware
Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Delaware