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 2017.

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

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

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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.

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1. Laurel

Laurel, Delaware

Source: Google Maps

Population: 3,984
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $142,700 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (9th worst)
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

Population: 1,792
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $130,600 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.7% (3rd worst)
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

Population: 1,075
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $185,700 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.4% (1st worst)
Would you believe that Newport is the 16th most dangerous place in Delaware? That’s the case, as every year, you have a 1 in 38.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within Newport city limits.

In addition, every year, you have a 1 in 107 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Newport. That means raped, attacked or killed. Again, for Delaware, that’s just unacceptable.

Beyond the crime numbers, Newport’s unemployment rate is the 1st highest in Delaware (17.4%), and homes are the 14th cheapest in the state ($185,700). 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 Newport.

4. Seaford

Seaford, Delaware

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,417
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Values: $154,500 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (16th worst)
If you’re looking to live in Delaware, Seaford might not be the best choice as it places 4th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2015.

The unemployment rate here is 6.9%, and households bring in a combined $40,000 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 6th highest in the state in Seaford as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.

5. Harrington

Population: 3,688
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $166,000 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (5th worst)
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)
While the median household income in Blades is higher than other towns on this list, causing it to be lower down on the list of “worst cities”, Blades still has the 10th worst unemployment rate in the state, as well as the 21st worst crime index.

Therefore, though the average Blades household brings in a higher income, there are fewer people working here than in other cities across the state. It doesn’t help that everyone has to be constantly worried about crime, either.

7. Wilmington

Wilmington, Delaware

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 71,502
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Home Values: $162,400 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (8th worst)
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 3rd 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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,532
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Home Values: $174,900 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (12th worst)
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: Wikipedia

Population: 4,121
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $185,500 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (26th worst)
Millsboro is a really small, densely populated place in Delaware.

The unemployment rate here is sky high at 4.3%, and income levels are the 7th lowest in Delaware. Homes sell for an average of $185,500.

If you’re trying to have some sort of professional career in Delaware, this is one of the last places you would want to live.

10. Cheswold

Population: 1,123
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Home Values: $85,000 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (7th worst)
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

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Laurel 1 1 3,984 10.1% $142,700
Delmar 2 3 1,792 13.7% $130,600
Newport 3 2 1,075 17.4% $185,700
Seaford 4 6 7,417 6.9% $154,500
Harrington 5 5 3,688 11.6% $166,000
Blades 6 4 1,302 8.9% $131,500
Wilmington 7 8 71,502 10.3% $162,400
Milford 8 9 10,532 7.7% $174,900
Millsboro 9 11 4,121 4.3% $185,500
Cheswold 10 7 1,123 11.2% $85,000
Bridgeville 11 17 2,397 12.7% $234,600
Elsmere 12 15 6,137 11.4% $165,000
Dover 13 13 37,351 8.1% $172,000
Greenwood 14 12 1,280 5.6% $154,800
Selbyville 15 10 2,268 3.2% $260,500
Millville 16 14 1,611 7.4% $281,900
Felton 17 18 1,566 14.7% $192,500
Smyrna 18 23 11,081 5.9% $188,100
Clayton 19 21 3,080 7.1% $192,100
Camden 20 19 3,494 5.5% $202,200
Milton 21 19 2,756 6.0% $247,300
New Castle 22 22 5,372 4.9% $200,600
Bellefonte 23 25 1,253 5.8% $217,300
Townsend 24 24 2,320 3.7% $312,500
Wyoming 25 26 1,575 4.4% $167,400
Rehoboth Beach 26 26 1,119 4.5% $842,800
Ocean View 27 28 2,087 7.5% $342,000
Newark 28 30 32,941 4.5% $270,700
Lewes 29 29 2,955 4.0% $475,000

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14 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.

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