These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Maryland For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in MD are the pits.

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Most Americans have never been to Maryland. However, as the people who live there know, Maryland is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Maryland has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Old Line State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 132 of Maryland’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Maryland where you’d never want to live:

  1. Smith Island
  2. Eden
  3. Powellville
  4. West Pocomoke
  5. Bowmans Addition
  6. Deer Park
  7. Crellin
  8. Goldsboro
  9. Fairmount
  10. Ringgold

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Maryland has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Maryland or the worst places to live in Maryland.

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How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Maryland, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 132 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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1. Smith Island


Population: 195
Median Income: $22,143
Median Home Value: $96,700

2. Eden


Population: 758
Median Income: $26,932
Median Home Value: $84,400

3. Powellville


Population: 109
Median Income: $32,024
Median Home Value: $87,600

4. West Pocomoke


Population: 417
Median Income: $35,221
Median Home Value: $157,600

5. Bowmans Addition


Population: 593
Median Income: $39,038
Median Home Value: $91,500

6. Deer Park


Population: 424
Median Income: $40,455
Median Home Value: $115,600

7. Crellin


Population: 138
Median Income: $33,807
Median Home Value: $171,600

8. Goldsboro


Population: 234
Median Income: $43,438
Median Home Value: $118,800

9. Fairmount


Population: 292
Median Income: $13,289
Median Home Value: $112,900

10. Ringgold


Population: 146
Median Income: $58,750
Median Home Value: $198,900

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Maryland

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Old Line State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Maryland, according to science.

  1. Best: Chevy Chase Section Three
  2. 2nd Best: Martin’s Additions
  3. 3rd Best: Chevy Chase View

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Maryland
  • These Are The 10 Snobbiest Cities In Maryland
  • These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Maryland
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Maryland

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Smith Island 1 195 $96,700
    Eden 2 758 $84,400
    Powellville 3 109 $87,600
    West Pocomoke 4 417 $157,600
    Bowmans Addition 5 593 $91,500
    Deer Park 6 424 $115,600
    Crellin 7 138 $171,600
    Goldsboro 8 234 $118,800
    Fairmount 9 292 $112,900
    Ringgold 10 146 $198,900
    Pleasant Grove 11 371 $109,800
    Gale 12 123 $182,100
    Marydel 13 276 $117,500
    Deal Island 14 443 $114,300
    Port Deposit 15 639 $195,500
    Friendsville 16 623 $116,000
    Loch Lynn Heights 17 656 $98,500
    Millington 18 593 $184,300
    Edesville 19 210 $168,400
    Kitzmiller 20 264 $74,000
    Finzel 21 670 $167,200
    Midland 22 691 $74,500
    Chance 23 261 $123,100
    Barton 24 497 $88,300
    Sudlersville 25 429 $153,800
    Willards 26 922 $129,400
    Grantsville 27 711 $149,600
    Clear Spring 28 448 $132,600
    Funk 29 793 $148,000
    Zihlman 30 334 $99,500
    Aquasco 31 855 $312,800
    Tyaskin 32 173 $188,100
    Madison 33 219 $645,800
    Betterton 34 374 $181,300
    Mount Savage 35 811 $86,300
    Chewsville 36 120 $165,300
    Sabillasville 37 297 $254,300
    Mount Lena 38 500 $263,100
    Bloomington 39 179 $93,800
    Union Bridge 40 880 $185,500
    Secretary 41 681 $136,100
    Newark 42 281 $205,600
    Gilmore 43 154 $79,500
    East New Market 44 414 $144,200
    Tilghman Island 45 892 $320,100
    Galesville 46 528 $606,900
    Vienna 47 283 $148,100
    Corriganville 48 455 $146,900
    Mount Vernon 49 787 $191,200
    North Brentwood 50 524 $237,500
    Parsonsburg 51 250 $178,100
    Mccoole 52 495 $105,200
    Butlertown 53 334 $154,800
    Bagtown 54 228 $204,500
    Potomac Park 55 888 $105,300
    Highfield-Cascade 56 902 $180,100
    Tilghmanton 57 582 $207,700
    St. George Island 58 229 $615,400
    Accident 59 289 $155,400
    Leitersburg 60 636 $208,900
    Shaft 61 403 $87,400
    Rawlings 62 607 $168,900
    Darlington 63 452 $278,800
    Hillsboro 64 112 $200,000
    Shar 65 918 $134,100
    Church Hill 66 773 $221,000
    Mardela Springs 67 347 $146,600
    Rock Point 68 121 $196,300
    Church Creek 69 106 $219,400
    Dawson 70 166 $159,700
    Sharpsburg 71 787 $174,000
    Fishing Creek 72 113 $358,300
    Pomfret 73 626 $251,700
    San Mar 74 203 $275,000
    Taylors Island 75 191 $405,300
    Pinesburg 76 299 $172,000
    Bivalve 77 381 $303,300
    Galena 78 890 $216,700
    Chesapeake City 79 713 $261,200
    Burkittsville 80 147 $345,000
    Calvert Beach 81 839 $276,900
    Pecktonville 82 270 $144,300
    Preston 83 903 $188,500
    Piney Point 84 810 $336,200
    Ellerslie 85 519 $113,800
    Choptank 86 213 $228,500
    Bryantown 87 597 $358,400
    Queen Anne 88 290 $175,000
    Fairplay 89 555 $253,900
    St. Leonard 90 623 $401,600
    Broomes Island 91 456 $358,500
    Midlothian 92 353 $136,300
    Queen 93 631 $294,000
    Bishopville 94 749 $304,700
    Jennings 95 149 $87,500
    Mount Briar 96 228 $262,200
    Eckhart Mines 97 873 $131,700
    Dargan 98 155 $292,000
    Garretts Mill 99 402 $211,300
    Carlos 100 119 $101,600

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    9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Maryland For 2018

    1. You have an inaccuracy regarding Crellin. I’m not from Crellin, but rather a larger town nearby that didn’t make your list. I realize you qualified that 45 minutes to the nearest town would be during a snow storm, but you’d have to be walking for it to take that long even with bad weather. I get the impression you didn’t interview many people when compiling your list. A lot of people in the areas with which I am familiar are quite happy living there, which is why they haven’t moved. I understand the spirit of your article, but highly recommend more thorough fact checking.

    2. Not only that. But I’d say your unemployment numbers are way off. You don’t think a hard working farmer is,employed?

    3. I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a polite way to respond to your article, but alas the only thing I can come up with is that you are a complete bonehead! Maryland has long considered the real Western Maryland, west of Frederick for you flatlanders, and the Eastern Shore red headed step children, but where do you all go in Maryland for your winter and summer fun close to home? I live in Garrett County and am darn proud of it, having been born and raised in the Baltimore metro area, I’ll take these small towns and the people here any day of the week. I challenge you to spend more than a few days out here and just maybe you’ll change your tune and if not go back to the city life cause we don’t need you anyway! By the way, your crime rate figures are a joke, nobody out here trashed their city or town because someone got killed, yes we have our crime and drug problems but at least I don’t have to carry a gun with me everywhere I go.

    4. Grew up in kitzmiller don’t know where you got your info but No One goes to that shop in elk garden. The town does rather quickly after the county stopped funding the elementary school and took our children 30 minutes away. Rather a shithole town with the worst mayor and council in many years.

    5. There on thing that bugs me about this, I’ve lived in pocomoke the majority of my life and this post said, “This Somerset county has a Walmart” first off most of this town especially the part where the Walmart is is in Worcester County, there is a very small portion was Pocomoke that is in Somerset and that is across the bridge more on the Northern eastern side, not West Pocomoke. This isn’t a big deal I just can stand the inaccuracy. If you did described the real West Pocomoke you would be right in this town it is the undesirable part of town, but you completely missed the area you were talking about when you were describing it. In fact the one area that is in Somerset is the country and is somewhat a desirable place to live, well at least more desirable than West Pocomoke.

    6. This “article” is insulting. Who apporved this trash? The only reason anyone has read it is because the title immediately comes off as snobby and directed at people who live in small towns. You cannot write something, and publish it based solely on statistics crunching and Google Street View. It’s rediculous and the author and whoever appoved it should see just how hard it is to live as an Unemployment Statistic.

    7. Where do you get off posting such crap?? I don’t know where you got your numbers but they are WRONG!! Finzel has the worst crime rate – are you kidding me??? I guess you haven’t counted Baltimore and all the surrounding areas?? Who are you to call any town a douchebag town? And GHETTO??? Again, have you over looked Baltimore and surrounding areas??? DID you even bother to drive through any of these towns – spend any time there – talk with any of the people?? You are completely wrong in this so called assessment and have absolutely no clue what you are talking about! Get the facts by spending time in these areas – go to the courthouses and get the public records and employment before you go running your mouth. Clearly the pictures came from Google maps and you showed the worst possible pictures out there! You are a complete moron of the worst kind. You think you are so smart but all you have done is piss off a bunch of people who love their towns and their people.

    8. It’s funny, people from the rest of the state like to look down on us in Western Maryland but you don’t seem to have a problem coming to vacation here or taking our tax dollars. It’s okay though, articles like this keep snobbish city people out of our lovely rural communities where there is incredibly little crime (your numbers aren’t particularly detailed and are, of course, skewed by the population). In fact, crime only seems to start to go up when people from downstate move here. Isn’t that an odd coincidence?

    9. I live in eden. I like the small town values, it beats city life any day. Don’t agree with the most high school drop outs either just your personal opinion which I don’t give a rat’s ass about.

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