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:
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.
For more Delaware reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Delaware
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Delaware
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Delaware
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Delaware For 2019
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 is the 2nd worst city in Delaware for 2019. When you’re comparing other cities to Seaford, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.
Seaford is the 6th most dangerous place in Delaware, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 6.3%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($159,400), and residents earn just $44,886 a year.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $200,600 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (10th worst)
More on Bear: Data
You can sure expect that Bear is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 3rd in our analysis. It is. In fact, Bear has the 13th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 80 violent crimes here in 2019, and residents have a 1 in 20.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Bear, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits — the unemployment rate sits at 7.1% which is the 10th worst in Delaware.
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.
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.
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.
There’s probably not many people in Delaware that would be surprised to see Millsboro on this list. In fact, if Millsboro wasn’t somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.
Here are the statistics. Millsboro has the 23rd worst crime rate in Delaware. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 15 violent crimes in Millsboro in 2019. Residents here had a 1 in 278 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.
The home values in Millsboro are the 19th cheapest in the state ($208,000), the unemployment rate is the 25th highest (4.0%), and the annual household income is 4th lowest in Delaware, at $43,750. That’s basically at the poverty level for a family of four.
There are some bad places to live and some really, really bad places to live. According to the data, Claymont is one of the worst places you can live in Delaware. And quite possibly, one of the worst places you can live in, period. Let’s see why.
We’re not economists, but when you have a 9.2% unemployment rate for a city of 8,707 people, that’s a sign that things aren’t just bad. They are downright depressing.
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 ranks as the 9th-worst place in Delaware due to a variety of factors, placing in the bottom third for unemployment, median income, and crime.
On top of that, residents have the 32nd-worst commute of any place in the state.
When you’re looking at science and data, Long Neck is the worst place you can live in Delaware. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 3.9%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $74,900, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 8.5 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.
Long Neck is a far drive south from Louisville.
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
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:
- North Star (Pop. 7,390)
- Newark (Pop. 33,243)
- Lewes (Pop. 2,961)
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