8 Worst Places To Live in Delaware

Written By Emma Johnson

Considering a Move to Delaware? You need to do more research than you think before finalizing a neighborhood.

While, Living in Delaware offers many benefits from an affordable cost of living and robust job opportunities to a great mix of diversities-like many places, it too has it problems. For Delaware it is its safety!

While Delaware ranks 16th in safety in the US, there are specific pockets of the state that warrant caution.

8 Dangerous Cities to Live in Delaware

1.1 Wilmington

Worst Places to live in Delaware: View of Wilmington city

Why is Wilmington, Delaware so dangerous? Well, Wilmington is a large and densely populated city with a population of around 71 thousand.

The city has been struggling with high poverty and unemployment rates for years, with more than 28% of its residents living below the poverty line. Due to these socioeconomical challenges, Wilmington has the highest violent crime rate compared to other cities in Delaware.

While it wouldn’t be fair to label it the ‘worst place to live in Delaware’, the nickname ‘Murder City of the USA’ that Wilmington has gained certainly raises concerns about its safety.

If you land in the city by some reason, we would suggest you to keep your eyes open and walk in groups, especially if you’re out late at night.

Let’s look at the crime index for Wilmington:

Wilmington has a crime index of 2 (100 being the safest), meaning 98% of the US is safer than this city.

Wilmington Violent Crimes

Image source: 1

  • East Side: This area is infamous for its violent crime like assault, robbery and rape. Steer clear from this area whenever you are in Wilmington.
  • Hedgeville: This neighborhoods have been identified with higher theft, robbery and rape cases.
  • Southbridge: Noted for its economic challenges, this area has a reputation for higher crime rates.
  • North Market Street Corridor: This area experiences a mix of traffic-related issues and crime incidents.

Source: niche.com

1.2 Rehoboth Beach

Worst Places to live in Delaware: View of Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach is the number one spot for property crime in Delaware, especially during summers.

Do you know that there is 11% chance of being a property crime victim if you are in that area!

While Rehoboth beach is swarmed by tourist all year, and instances of thefts and burglaries are quite common, the numbers increase indefinitely during summers when the population swells and the local law enforcement resources are strained.

Rehoboth Beach Crime Data
Rehoboth Beach Violent Crimes

Image Source: 2

1.3 Dover

Worst Places to live in Delaware: View of Dover city

Dover, Delaware does grapples with significant safety challenges. It is one of the most unssafe places to live in Delaware because of it high crime rates relative to both the national average and other cities of similar size.

A significant majority expressing concern about crime and feeling unsafe walking alone at night. This sentiment underscores the broader statistics and highlights the need for ongoing efforts to address crime in the city​​.

Dover Crime Data
Dover violent crimes

Image source: 2.1

These figures suggest that Dover experiences considerably more criminal activity than many other cities across the country​​.

With a crime rate of 56 per one thousand residents, the likelihood of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Dover is 1 in 18, placing it among the cities with the highest crime rates in America. Specifically, the odds of falling victim to a violent crime in Dover is 1 in 118, while the chance of experiencing property crime is 1 in 21​​.

Crime comparison graph of Dover and Delaware

Vehicle thefts in Dover are notably high, with the city reporting one of the highest rates of vehicle theft in the country. The rate of 453 stolen vehicles per 100,000 people puts Dover in the bottom 10% of cities nationwide for vehicle theft rates, indicating a 1 in 221 chance of having a vehicle stolen​​.

1.4 Milford 

Worst Places to live in Delaware: View of Milford city

Milford is on Delaware’s top 5 lists for violent and property crime. It is located in the southeastern part of Delaware and is one of the most populated cities in the state. Milford is the 3rd most dangerous city in Delaware. Property crime is high – you’ve got a 1/20 chance of being a victim of a property crime and a 1/100 chance of being a victim of a violent crime.

Milford Crime Data
Milford Violent Crimes

Image source: 3

1.5 Laurel

Worst Places to live in Delaware: Building of Laurel city

The population in Laurel is meager, so you’d expect it to be the safest city in the state. But it is the second most violent city in Delaware. Burglaries are a significant problem in the community, and residents should consider investing in extra home security. Theft, robbery, and assault are high, increasing the city’s overall crime rate. However, the murder rate is lower. In addition to violence, property crime is also high in Laurel. 

Laurel Crime Data
Laurel Violent Crimes

Image Source: 4

Laurel has a crime index of only 3 (100 being the safest), which means 97% of cities in the US are safer than Laurel. 

1.6 New Castle

Worst Places to live in Delaware: View of New Castle city

New Castle has a larger area than most of the cities in Delaware, so the chance of crime is also high. Compared to the national average, New Castle has a higher property crime rate. It can be shocking to know that these crimes occur every 24 seconds. While violent crimes exist, they are not as prevalent as they used to be.  

New Castle Crime Data
New Castle Violent Crimes

Image Source: 5

1.7 Seaford

Worst Places to live in Delaware: View of Seaford city

Seaford is one of the largest year-round cities, and it can be a dangerous place at times. With a high population in the city, there is a higher chance of becoming a victim of crime. Seaford has a high crime rate, where one in 14 can become a victim of a property crime, and 1 in 111 can become a victim of a violent crime. 

Seaford Crime Data
Seaford Violent Crimes

Source: 6

1.8 Camden

Worst Places to live in Delaware: View of Camden city

Camden is a small town in Kent County with a population of only 3,469 residents. Despite its small size, it has the highest crime rate in the state, and property crime is the biggest problem. Though the city’s violent crime rate is low, the overall crime rate is nearly three times the state’s average.

Camden Crime Data
Camden Violent Crimes

Image Source: 8

2. Most Dangerous Places to Stay in Delaware for Weather

DangerHigh Risk
FireRehoboth Beach
FloodRehoboth Beach

In addition to the above mentioned data, the Delaware Bay is prone to flooding during hurricanes. Back in 2012, Sandy (hurricane) caused extensive flooding, leaving thousands without power or water.

High waves and ripple currents also make Delaware’s beaches dangerous especially during storm. In 2018, a 12-year old lost his life after being swept out to sea by a rip current off the coast of Delaware.

Additionally, the Pine Barrens can be dangerous too! In 2016, a 20-year-old woman died from heat stroke while hiking in the Pine Barrens.

📖 Also Read: Living in Delaware

3. County and city With the Most Road Accidents in Delaware

County and city With the Most Road Accidents in Delaware

Road safety is another factor that determines a city’s livability. Before COVID-19, fatal car accidents were one of the leading causes of death. Every year, several people die tragically in road accidents in Delaware. 

CityNumber of accidents per 10,000 residents

According to the Annual Traffic Report, 2023, New Castle County seems to be the worst in Delaware, while Kent seems the safest with the least number of fatal crashes and fatalities. In addition, Wilmington has the maximum number of road crashes in Delaware.

Also Read: Best Places to Live in Delaware

4. FAQs

4.1 What are the most concerning crime in Delaware?

These are the 3 worst crimes in Delaware:

Violent crime:

Delaware has a higher violent crime rate than the national average, and gun violence is a major contributor to this.

  • Violent crime rate in Delaware is 3.7 per 1,000 residents.
  • The number of violent crimes reported in Delaware in 2022 was 6,518.
Property crime:

While property crime in delaware is lower than the national average, it is still a major problem in Delaware. It includes burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft. It is often linked to drug use and addiction.

  • The property crime rate in Delaware is 22.4 per 1,000 residents
  • The number of property crimes reported in Delaware in 2022 was 42,033.

Cybercrime such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and ransomware attacks are growing day by day in Delaware. Not only are these crime dangerous to an individual’s image but can also cause a significant financial impact on victims.

  • The number of cybercrime complaints filed with the Delaware State Police in 2022 was 1,752.
  • The total financial losses reported from cybercrime in Delaware in 2022 was $4.2 million.

4.2 What is the worst city in terms of property crime in Delaware?

The city with the highest property crime rate in Delaware is Dover. The property crime in the city is 33.4 per 1,000 residents, which is way higher than the national average 24.7 per 1000 residents.

4.3 What is the worst city for violent crime in Delaware?

The city with the highest violent crime rate in Delaware is Wilmington. The violent crime rate in Wilmington is 11.2 per 1,000 residents, higher than the national average 4.5 per 1,000 residents.

Delaware is the 16th safest states in the country. However, some of its areas rank quite high in specific crimes. If you are considering a move to Delaware in the coming months, try to avoid moving in the above neighborhood and locality.

If by some case you have to try finding an area in the city that is fairly safe to live. Choosing a place to call home is a very big decision, so make a decision wisely. Stay safe!

Written By:

  • Emma is a residential and commercial agent in Delaware, known for her sharp negotiating skills & deep market knowledge. Off duty you will find her buried in novels and playing handball with her kids.

    View all posts

Leave a Comment