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:
- Laurel (Photos)
- Seaford (Photos)
- Harrington (Photos)
- Wilmington (Photos)
- Milford (Photos)
- Millsboro (Photos)
- Kent Acres
- 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- North Star (Pop. 7,390)
- Newark (Pop. 33,243)
- Lewes (Pop. 2,961)
For more Delaware reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Delaware
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Delaware
- 10 Safest Places In Delaware
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Delaware
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Delaware
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