Nicknamed “America in Miniature,” Maryland is one of the smallest states in America, covering a total of 10,640 square miles. Despite its size, over 6 million people currently live in the state of Maryland.
The centerpiece of Maryland is the large Chesapeake Bay, which divides the state almost in half. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest and most productive bay in the U.S. and is responsible for Maryland’s strong maritime history.
Most of the top attractions in Maryland can be found in the city of Baltimore, including the Fort McHenry National Monument, The Walters Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art. Further afield, you can see a snippet of history in Old Town Annapolis, the state capital. Assateague State Park is another attraction for those who want to step away from the busy cities.
Regardless of where you are in Maryland, you may wonder about safety. Let's take a look at some of the safest cities in the small state of Maryland.
How We Determined the Safest Cities in Maryland
We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.
Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:
*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).
- Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
- Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
- Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:
- Annual rent – Annualized median rent
- Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
- Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
- Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
- Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
- Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance
4 Safest Cities in Maryland
No. 1 Taneytown
At the top of the list of safest cities in Maryland is Taneytown, a small town with a population of just 6,795 people. Located close to the Pennsylvania border, Taneytown is home to the Taneytown History Museum and Memorial Park. The city has low crime rates, a low cost of living and the lowest unemployment rate on this list.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 17.86021 (2nd) 20.401 (1st) 261.8128 (2nd) 0.037364 (1st) 0.037364 (1st) 0.186822 (3rd)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 8820 (4th) 48023 (2nd) 0.062 (4th) 0.151 (4th) 0.009 (4th) 0.315 (3rd)
No. 2 Takoma Park
Located in central Maryland, Takoma Park is part of Montgomery County and sits on the border of the District of Columbia. The city is centrally located for visitors and commuters who want to work or play in D.C. The Sligo Creek cuts through the city, offering a great hiking route with the Sligo Creek Trail.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 21.79537 (3rd) 20.98059 (2nd) 220.6017 (1st) 1.018475 (4th) 1.018475 (4th) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 10488 (3rd) 52048 (1st) 0.077 (3th) 0.155 (3rd) 0.023 (1st) 0.337 (2nd)
No. 3 Riverdale Park
Riverdale Park is a small city in Prince George’s County. It has a total population of about 7,300 residents. Riverdale Park attractions include the 200-year-old Riversdale House Museum and the Riverdale Community Park, which borders the Anacostia River. While it has low crime rates overall, Riverdale Park does have the highest rates of hate crime on our list, along with a high cost of living.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 14.58066 (1st) 39.42611 (4th) 265.368 (3rd) 0.816517 (3rd) 0.816517 (3rd) 0.933162 (4th)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 10644 (1st) 34435 (4th) 0.079 (2nd) 0.175 (2nd) 0.015 (3rd) 0.238 (4th)
No. 4 Baltimore
Baltimore is Maryland’s largest city and has a population of 605,436 people. The city is a major seaport that opens onto the Chesapeake Bay. It‘s home to many great cultural attractions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, which holds the largest collection of Matisse works in the world. Baltimore has the highest crime rates on this list, however, particularly for violent and property crime.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 23.66864 (4th) 24.3261 (3rd) 348.7179 (4th) 0.52597 (2nd) 0.52597 (2nd) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 10500 (2nd) 44926 (3rd) 0.087 (1st) 0.234 (1st) 0.018 (2nd) 0.397 (1st)
Maryland State Safety
Natural Disaster Safety
Maryland is ranked as the 22nd state on the U.S. Natural Hazard Risk list. Since 1953, Maryland has had about 32 major natural disasters. The natural disasters that are most likely to affect Maryland include hurricanes and flooding. The state suffered greatly from hurricanes during the early 2000s, when five of them hit the state between 2003 and 2006. The worst of them, Hurricane Isabel, cost the state $945 million in damages in 2003. Another major disaster occurred in Maryland in 2018 when flash floods hit the state, devastating the historic Ellicott City.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common cause of death in Maryland is heart disease. This is followed by cancer, strokes and accidents. Drug-related deaths in Maryland put the state at 45th in the country, making it one of the worst in the U.S. for drug problems. Unfortunately, Maryland is also listed as 30th in the country for air pollution.
In terms of available healthcare, Maryland scores highly. The state is rated as ninth in the country for the number of primary care physicians per 100,000 people. However, Maryland is rated a bit lower for mental health care providers, coming in at 21st in the U.S.
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Top 4 Safest Cities in Maryland