Delaware, a state with a population of less than one million, is recognized for its historical landmarks, picturesque beaches, and low taxes.
However, not all areas in Delaware offer an equally desirable living experience, as some cities and towns struggle with high crime rates, subpar schools, and a diminished quality of life. Recent assessments based on safety, education, economy, and amenities have pinpointed the least favorable city in Delaware.
Laurel: Delaware’s Most Challenging Living Environment
According to Road Snacks, the least desirable place to live in Delaware is Laurel, boasting the highest crime rates in the state. This small Sussex County town is home to approximately 4,500 residents. Laurel exhibits an alarmingly high violent crime rate of 13.9 incidents per 1,000 residents, more than three times the national average.
Additionally, its property crime rate stands at 50.3 per 1,000 residents, over twice the national average. Common occurrences in this town include theft, robbery, and assault, although instances of murder are surprisingly infrequent.
Beyond safety concerns, Laurel falls short in other aspects of appeal. Public schools receive poor ratings, housing lacks diversity, and median income is below the national average. Predominantly a town of renters, Laurel’s median rent is also lower than the national average. Limited cultural, recreational, and entertainment options contribute to its unattractiveness, and despite its past connection to a local nylon factory, Laurel has experienced a decline over the past few decades.
Other Candidates for Delaware’s Least Desirable Places
Laurel is not the sole location in Delaware facing a negative reputation. Several cities and towns rank poorly in terms of livability:
- Seaford: Located in Sussex County with around 8,000 residents, Seaford holds the second-worst place to live in the state. A combination of factors, including an 8.5 per 1,000 residents violent crime rate and a notably high property crime rate of 59.7 per 1,000 residents, contribute to its ranking. Seaford also contends with poorly rated public schools, limited employment opportunities, and a lower-than-average median income. Although possessing a suburban atmosphere, it lacks proximity to larger cities.
- Wilmington: As Delaware’s largest city in New Castle County, with a population exceeding 70,000, Wilmington bears the highest violent crime rate in the state at 15 incidents per 1,000 residents—more than four times the national average. Its property crime rate of 44.6 per 1,000 residents is nearly twice the national average. Wilmington, an urban area where most residents rent, offers a decent public school system but struggles with high housing costs, making it challenging for many to afford. While the city provides numerous activities, it stands out as one of the United States’ most dangerous cities.
Delaware, with its rich history, natural beauty, and tax advantages, also harbors areas best avoided, particularly for those seeking safety and comfort.
Laurel emerges as the least desirable city in Delaware, followed by Seaford and Wilmington, all plagued by high crime rates, inadequate schools, and a diminished quality of life. Prospective residents contemplating a move to Delaware might find alternative options more suitable.