The Top 10 Dangerous Cities to Live in Maryland: An In-Depth Look

Maryland, known for its rich history and beautiful landscapes, also faces challenges with crime in certain cities. This article delves into the top 10 dangerous cities in Maryland, based on the latest statistics, to provide a comprehensive understanding of safety concerns in these areas.

1. Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, is often cited for its high crime rates. Despite a population of nearly 600,000, Baltimore’s crime rate is 149.12% higher than the national average. In 2021, the violent crime rate was a staggering 1,858.8 per 100,000 people. The city struggles with poverty, with a rate of 23.1%, and an average household income of $50,177​​.

2. Ocean City

Ocean City is a popular tourist destination but faces significant crime issues, especially during the summer. It leads Maryland cities with a 1 in 6 chance of being a victim of property crime and a 1 in 85 chance of violent crime victimization​​.

3. Elkton

Elkton, in Cecil County, has a violent crime rate of 8.68 per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 51.80 per 1,000 residents. These rates are significantly higher than both the national and state averages​​.

4. Cambridge

Cambridge, a small city on Maryland’s eastern shore, exhibits a violent crime rate of 8.93 per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 41.46 per 1,000 residents. The city’s crime per square mile is 50% higher than the state average and more than double the national average​​.

5. Cumberland

Cumberland in Allegheny County, once a military outpost, now has a violent crime rate of 7.26 per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 29.25 per 1,000 residents. Its crime rates exceed state and national statistics​​.

6. Salisbury

Salisbury, one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., has a violent crime rate of 887.4 per 100,000 people. Despite its growth, the city experiences 109.12% more crime than most American homes​​.

7. Hyattsville

Hyattsville, near Washington, D.C., experiences high property crime rates. The chance of becoming a property crime victim in Hyattsville is 1 in 21, with a violent crime rate of 3.69 per 1,000 residents​​.

8. Laurel

Laurel, situated between Washington and Baltimore, has a violent crime rate of 476.5 per 100,000 people. The city’s crime rate is 57.98% above the national average, with a notable incidence of violent crime, car theft, and robbery​​.

9. Bladensburg

Bladensburg, with a violent crime rate of 622.6 per 100,000 people, is known for its historical significance but also its high crime rates. The murder rate in Bladensburg is three times the average for Maryland and six times the national average​​.

10. La Plata

La Plata, near Washington, D.C., has a violent crime rate of 492.8 per 100,000 people. Despite being a smaller city, it experiences significant crime concerns​​.

Safety Tips for Residents and Visitors

  1. Stay Informed: Always be aware of your surroundings and the latest crime reports in the area you are visiting or residing in.
  2. Secure Your Property: Ensure your home or hotel room is secure, and valuables are safely stored.
  3. Avoid High-Crime Areas: Especially at night, avoid areas known for high crime rates.
  4. Use Caution in Tourist Areas: Even in popular tourist destinations like Ocean City, exercise caution, particularly during peak seasons.
  5. Community Engagement: Participate in or support local community initiatives aimed at reducing crime.


Understanding the crime statistics and taking appropriate precautions can significantly mitigate risks while living in or visiting these Maryland cities. While these cities have their challenges, they also offer unique cultural, historical, and recreational opportunities. It’s crucial to balance awareness of safety concerns with the enjoyment and exploration of Maryland’s diverse cities.