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The 20 Worst Places to Live in Delaware


Choosing where to live is a big decision, and people have different priorities regarding the locations they prefer. However, most people want to avoid undesirable areas, such as those with high crime rates.

Safety is not the only factor that determines whether somewhere is a good place to live or not, as the economy, employment opportunities, and the schools in a location are also determining factors. Based on these different factors, here are the 20 worst places to live in Delaware.


20. Newark

Newark is a city in New Castle County in Delaware that has a population of more than 33,000 people. The housing lacks diversity in this area, and the public schools have poor ratings.

It is also the 16th most dangerous place to live in the state, as it has the 13th highest violent crime rates and the 14th highest property crime rates. However, life is not all bad for the residents of Newark, as the city has a vibrant nightlife and plenty of things for residents to enjoy in their free time.


19. Elsmere

Elsmere is a suburb of Philadelphia in the Delaware Valley that has a population of 6,049. It has the 11th worst property crime rate and the 16th worst violent crime rate in Delaware, meaning it ranks as the 14th most dangerous place to live in the state overall.

Two other issues in this location are the poorly rated public schools and the lack of employment issues for residents. On the plus side, there are plenty of activities for residents to enjoy, and there is community diversity.


18. Smyrna

The only reason that Smyrna makes it onto the list is the high crime rates. It has the 12th highest violent crime rates and the 13th highest property crime rates in Delaware, making it the 12th most dangerous place to live in the state overall.

However, this town in Kent County also has a lot of positive attributes that have taken it down the rankings of the worst places to live. In this area, the public schools are decent, the community is diverse, there are plentiful job opportunities, and residents enjoy a wide range of leisure activities.


17. Camden

According to Niche, Camden is a small town in Kent County, Delaware, with a population of only 3,469 residents. Despite its small size, it has the 11th-highest crime rate in the state. Property crimes are the greatest problem, as Camden has the fifth-highest number of property crimes but only has the 17th-most violent crimes.

In spite of the high crime rates, Camden is a location that has a lot of other things in its favor. It is a good place for families to live as the schools are excellent, and there is a wide range of family-oriented activities to enjoy. There are also diverse employment opportunities in this area.

New Castle

16. New Castle

Close to Wilmington, New Castle has a population of 5,558 people. Crime has seen a slight improvement in the area over the past 12 months, meaning it has dropped from being the ninth-most dangerous place in Delaware to the 10th.

Another big downside to living in New Castle for families is the public schools, as these are rated as below average. On the other hand, there are plentiful job opportunities, and there are outdoor activities to enjoy in the area.


15. Bridgeville

Unfortunately, crime rates have seen a significant increase in Bridgeville over the last year, taking it from the 18th to the ninth position of the most dangerous cities. It is the increase in crimes that puts it in the 15th position overall for the worst places to live in Delaware.

Violent crimes are the biggest problem, as Bridgeville has the ninth-most violent. However, it also has the 10th most property crimes, so both types of crime are problematic.

Other downsides to living in Bridgeville are the lack of nightlife and limited family-oriented activities. However, the community is diverse, and public schools are above-average.


14. Georgetown

Georgetown is the county seat of Sussex County, and it has a population of 7,558 residents. Although crime remains an issue in Georgetown, the figures are falling.

Last year, Georgetown was ranked as the third-most dangerous place to live in Delaware but is now only the eighth-most dangerous place to live. Zippia also lists Georgetown as the worst place to live in Delaware for women, as 23.1 percent of women living in this area are living in poverty. The lack of nightlife is also an issue for those who enjoy living in a lively area.


13. Harrington

Harrington is only a small place with a population of 3,652. However, crime statistics from the FBI show that it is the seventh most dangerous place to live in Delaware. Violent crime is the most significant issue, as this location ranks in the third position for this type of crime.

However, property crimes are also high as Harrington is the 12th most dangerous place to live in terms of property crimes.

Aside from the crime rates, Harrington has some good points that have possibly saved it from ranking higher on the list of the worst places to live in Delaware. The public schools are above-average, the cost of living is reasonable, and the transport links are good.


12. Millsboro

Crime is on the increase in Millsboro, which is why it deserves a place on this list. It is not the sixth most dangerous place to live in Delaware, compared to being in only the 12th position last year.

In the last reporting year, it had the sixth-most property crimes and seventh-most violent crimes. Despite the high crime rates, Millsboro does have some positive points, as the public schools are above average, and there is a good range of activities to enjoy in the area.


11. Dover

Dover, which has a population of 38,361 people, is the third most dangerous place to live in Delaware, so it is the crime rates that mean it ranks so highly on this list.

It has the fourth-worst crime rates and the second-most dangerous location for property crimes. An interesting fact is that Dover had more arsons than anywhere else in Delaware. Dover is the third-worst place for women to live in Delaware, as they have a significantly lower earning potential, and almost a quarter of women are living in poverty.


10. Wilmington

As Wilmington has the highest violent crime rates in Delaware, it is only surprising that it does not appear higher up the list of the worst places to live in the state. It is only the seventh-worst location for property crimes, meaning it ranks second overall in terms of danger.

However, there are also some plus points to living in Wilmington. For example, there are plenty of activities and attractions for the residents to enjoy. You should also note that Wilmington is the most populous city in Delaware, with a population of 70,624.


9. Selbyville

Overall, Selbyville has the 13th worst crime rate in Delaware. It has the 10th worst violent crime rates and the 16th worst property crime rates. As the residents of this city have a lower median household income than most other cities in the states, around 9.1 percent of the population are living in poverty.

On the other hand, it is in a good location for those that want to live close to the coast but cannot afford the property prices of living right next to the beach. Due to Selbyville’s proximity to the coastline, it is also known as the ‘Gateway to the Beaches,’ says Long and Foster.

Long Neck

8. Long Neck

Long Neck is another location that has made it into the top ten worst places to live in Delaware, despite not being on the list for the most dangerous places to live in the state.

The biggest issues in Long Neck are the low median household income and the rock bottom median home values, which are the lowest in the state. The rural location means that those who live there also have a long commute to find work outside the area. A further issue is the lack of community diversity.


7. Claymont

There are both upsides and downsides to living in Claymont. The main reason it ranks so highly on the list is because of the poor economy and lack of job opportunities. It has the fourth-worst unemployment rate in the state, at 8.8 percent, and the combined median household income is significantly below average at $56,366.

Also, the median home values are the 16th worst in the state. On the other hand, Claymont does not rank in the worst 20 states for crime, and the public schools are average.


6. Milford

Milford is the sixth most dangerous place to live in the state. Property crime is the biggest issue, as it has the third-highest property crime rate in Delaware, while there are the sixth-most violent crimes.

Despite the high crime rates, Milford ranks as average for the state in most other areas. For example, the unemployment rate stands at four percent, which is about average for Delaware.

Rising Sun Lebanon

5. Rising Sun Lebanon

Although Rising Sun Lebanon does not rank in the top 20 most dangerous places to live in Delaware, crime is still relatively high. However, there are other factors that have earned this location its spot on the list of the worst places to live in Delaware.

Unemployment rates are above average, while the combined household income is significantly the state average. House prices are also low, which shows a lack of demand and desirability. Furthermore, there is a lack of things for people to enjoy in their spare time, so the general quality of life is poor for those living in Rising Sun Lebanon.


4. Bear

The economy is not great in Bear, and it has the second-highest unemployment rate at nine percent. Also, Bear is not a great place to live for women, as many are living in poverty, and their average income is significantly lower than their male counterparts.

Furthermore, property crime is an issue in this city, which has a population of 21,362. On the upside, education in Bear is good, as spending on K-12 students is higher there than anywhere else in the state, which is appealing to families living in the state.

Kent Acres

3. Kent Acres

Kent Acres is another location that some people may find it surprising that it ranks so high on the list. With a median home value of $210,900, the house prices are only the 17th worst on the list, so it may seem like a generally nice area.

However, Kent Acres has the sixth-worst employment rate in the state, at 7.4 percent. Also, Kent Acres residents have a one in 19.2 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime.


2. Seaford

It is a combination of factors that has led to Seaford being listed as the second-worst place to live in the state. Seaford has the highest rate of violent crimes and the fourth-highest property crime rate in Delaware.

It ranks as the fourth-worst location for both median household income and median home value, and it has the 15th worst unemployment rate in the state. Seaford also has the second-highest crime rate in Delaware per capita, so there are many issues that deter people from living in this location.


1. Laurel

According to Road Snacks, the worst place to live in Delaware is Laurel, which has the highest crime rates in Delaware overall. It has the second-most violent crimes and the fourth most property crimes.

Crime is far from the only issue in Delaware. The residents have the lowest median household income in the state, the median house prices are the second-lowest, and the unemployment rate is 5.8 percent.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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