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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 35 of the state's most populous cities (over 2,300 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 Seaford.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.
For more Delaware reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Delaware
- Cheapest Places To Live In Delaware
- Most Dangerous Cities In Delaware
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Delaware For 2021
It's not even close. Seaford is the worst place in the state of Delaware that you can live in, according to science. Let's see why.
Seaford's residents are unemployed at a 7.7% clip, which is the 5th highest in the state. Homes are the 4th cheapest in Delaware here, and at $170,300, that shows there's not a lot of demand to live here.
Plus, crime is the 2nd highest in the state of Delaware in Seaford. In Seaford, there were 68 violent crimes in 2021. That means people who live here have a 1 in 113 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered. For Delaware, that's off the charts high.
If you live in Laurel, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 3rd highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Delaware. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 18.6 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 62 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you'd have a 1 in 67 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the lowest salaries in Delaware. At $37,857 a household, that's simply not enough to get by for these Slower Lowers.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $212,800 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (13th worst)
More on Kent Acres: Data
If you live in Kent Acres, 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 3rd worst place to live in the state.
You've got the 6th highest crime rate in Delaware, which saw 80 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 18.2 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 112 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Kent Acres.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. Kent Acres sports the state's 13th highest unemployment rate (5.6%), and families bring in a combined $44,750 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $212,800.
Some of the criminals in Milford need a time out. This city boasts the state's 9th highest crime rate, where you have a 1 in 19.0 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 11,111 people in Delaware live in an average place where people get robbed a lot. Lovely.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $209,700 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (2nd worst)
More on Bear: Data
Here in Bear, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Delaware. That's not a good combination.
Located in New Castle County, you have a 1 in 22.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Bear city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (9.3%). That's good for the 2nd highest unemployment rate in Delaware.
Millsboro is the 6th worst city in Delaware for 2021. When you're comparing other cities to Millsboro, things just don't look great, at least according to science.
Millsboro is the 23rd 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 4.3%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($215,200), and residents earn just $49,737 a year.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $293,300 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (10th worst)
More on Rising Sun-Lebanon: Data
Rising Sun-Lebanon, where there's absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the 7th worst city in Delaware.
Besides the lack of pure amenities, Rising Sun-Lebanon has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 5.8%, and families earn around $72,273 a year. It's also the 6th highest in Delaware for crime, where 1 in 18.2 people gets robbed every year.
Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?
Dover has a 6.2% unemployment rate (9th in DE), below average income levels and the 6th highest crime rate in the state.
This random City-Data comment sums up Dover.
"I visited Dover over the weekend (July 4th) and I have to say the place just seemed completely depressing.
"I saw lots people around Dover who looked...well bad. Like former alcoholics and drug addicts.
"And what's with the poorish looking area, where there were a lot of people in run down homes? And the huge ugly Dover Race Track.
"Just looked sad."
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $184,700 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.5% (worst)
More on Edgemoor: Data
Edgemoor has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 16th-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 13.5%.
Additionally, 28.6% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Claymont is the 16th most dangerous place in the state of Delaware. That's part of the reason it's the 10th worst place in Delaware.
The fact remains, that when you're within Claymont city limits, you have a 1 in 22.4 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Claymont also has the 6th highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.2%? Or that homes are only valued at $208,400?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Claymont.
How we determined the worst places to live in Delaware for 2021
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 35 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 35 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 -- Seaford. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Delaware. You can download the data here.
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, Seaford ranks as the worst city to live in Delaware for 2021.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Delaware:
- Milton (Pop. 2,893)
- Greenville (Pop. 2,467)
- Newark (Pop. 33,448)
For more Delaware reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Delaware?