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Although it’s overall violent and property crime rates are marred by the high crime in Baltimore, by far Maryland’s largest city, the Old Line State is home to many very safe communities. In fact, six Maryland cities scored a 0.6 or higher on our Safety Index, which rates the safety of U.S. cities on a variety of factors, including crime rates and the concentration of law enforcement.

Maryland’s safest city is Bel Air, which earned a 0.57 Safety Index score based on a violent crime rate well below the state average and a high 4.06 per 1,000 ratio of law enforcement employees to residents.

Ranking #2 is the eloquently named Havre de Grace, which recorded a decent violent crime rate below the state average, along with a very good 14.1 per 1,000 property crime rate.

The #3 spot belongs to Easton, a city of 16,598 that earned a 0.38 Safety Index score based on a violent crime rate of 2.29 per 1,000 inhabitants, which is less than half the state average, along with a comfortingly high law enforcement to resident ratio above 3 per 1,000.

Ocean Pines is the final Maryland city to score above a 0.3 on the Safety Index (it scored a 0.33), which it did by managing very impressive crime rates compared to the state, at large: a violent crime rate below 2 per 1,000 and a property crime below 7 per 1,000.

Two more cities in Maryland, Tacoma Park and Bowie, achieved Safety Index scores above 0.2. Both prove to be relatively safe places to live, recording violent crime rates considerably below the state average.

Safest Cities in Maryland, 2019

RankCitySafety Index
1Bel Air0.57
2Havre de Grace0.51
3Easton0.38
4Ocean Pines0.33
5Takoma Park0.26
6Bowie0.23
7Aberdeen0.17
8Annapolis0.05
9New Carrollton-0.02
10Hagerstown-0.31
11Frederick-0.33
12Laurel-0.35
13Westminster-0.41
14Greenbelt-0.5
15Hyattsville-0.55
16Salisbury-1.18
17Cumberland-1.19
18Elkton-1.79
19Cambridge-1.8
20Baltimore-2.36

Methodology

We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings. There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is.

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