These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Maryland For 2018

These are the cream of the crop when it comes to living in the Old Line State.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Maryland?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Old Line State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Maryland.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 37 places in Maryland, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Hampstead (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Rockville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Bowie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Poolesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Walkersville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Mount Airy (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. La Plata (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Thurmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Cheverly (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Takoma Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Hampstead if you’re thinking of moving to Maryland — it’s the best the Old Line State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Maryland.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Maryland

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Annapolis with a population of 39,009 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 37 cities, 120 towns, and 139 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Maryland

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Maryland across a number of criteria from one to 37, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Maryland”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Maryland.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Hampstead at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Hampstead, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,352
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $234,800 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (5th best)
More on Hampstead: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime is the 1st lowest in the state in Hampstead, and there were only 2 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in Maryland, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Hampstead earn $80,313 a year.

Rockville, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 65,171
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $499,400 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (7th best)
More on Rockville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in Maryland, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Rockville area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $101,774 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Rockville as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Rockville.

Bowie, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 57,633
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $303,900 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (19th best)
More on Bowie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bowie ranks as the 3rd best place in Maryland for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.

Bowie has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Bowie’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $106,098 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

Poolesville, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,108
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $391,600 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (2nd best)
More on Poolesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you don’t have a job in Poolesville, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 3.6%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $150,000.

That’s actually not a bad idea…

Walkersville, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,989
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $304,200 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (4th best)
More on Walkersville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Walkersville so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Walkersville great. They also have the 8th highest median income and the 13th shortest commute time.

Mount Airy, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,376
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $351,300 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (7th best)
More on Mount Airy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mount Airy has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Mount Airy has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 4.9% and lowering. And the Mount Airy police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 26th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

La Plata, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,059
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $320,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (1st best)
More on La Plata: Real Estate | Data | Photos

La Plata is known for having a great education system and has the 17th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in La Plata is the 1st lowest in Maryland and the median income is the 7th highest in the state.

Thurmont, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,435
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $238,800 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (29th best)
More on Thurmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

You might be surprised to see the Town of Thurmont so high on the list. Unless you live in Thurmont.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 8.7%, Thurmont residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Maryland. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Thurmont is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Thurmont is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Cheverly, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,390
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $297,100 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (30th best)
More on Cheverly: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The tiny town of Cheverly may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.

The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Maryland residents know, Cheverly is a great central spot for making the most of life.

Takoma Park, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,567
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $508,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (24th best)
More on Takoma Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We think the motto in Takoma Park should be “Everything is greater in Takoma Park,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Takoma Park has some of the highest home values in Maryland, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Takoma Park only has 790.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Takoma Park a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Maryland

If you’re looking at areas in Maryland with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Hampstead made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Maryland

  1. Chevy Chase Village (Pop. 2,030)
  2. Chevy Chase (Pop. 2,948)
  3. Somerset (Pop. 1,215)
  4. Brookmont (Pop. 3,810)
  5. Garrett Park (Pop. 1,058)
  6. Cabin John (Pop. 1,958)
  7. Kensington (Pop. 2,111)
  8. Middletown (Pop. 4,460)
  9. Herald Harbor (Pop. 2,620)
  10. Friendship Heights Village (Pop. 4,730)

Best Small Towns To Live In Maryland

  1. Martin’s Additions (Pop. 912)
  2. Chevy Chase Section Three (Pop. 733)
  3. Chevy Chase View (Pop. 935)
  4. North Chevy Chase (Pop. 498)
  5. Chevy Chase Section Five (Pop. 641)
  6. Glen Echo (Pop. 334)
  7. Nanticoke (Pop. 443)
  8. Tolchester (Pop. 284)
  9. Highland (Pop. 950)
  10. Beaver Creek (Pop. 296)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Maryland according to the data:

  1. Baltimore (Pop. 621,000)
  2. Bladensburg (Pop. 9,505)
  3. Cambridge (Pop. 12,552)

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Maryland

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Hampstead 6,352 4.3% $234,800
2 Rockville 65,171 4.9% $499,400
3 Bowie 57,633 6.8% $303,900
4 Poolesville 5,108 3.6% $391,600
5 Walkersville 5,989 4.2% $304,200
6 Mount Airy 9,376 4.9% $351,300
7 La Plata 9,059 3.4% $320,600
8 Thurmont 6,435 8.7% $238,800
9 Cheverly 6,390 8.8% $297,100
10 Takoma Park 17,567 7.7% $508,600
11 Gaithersburg 66,104 7.1% $369,900
12 Havre De Grace 13,505 10.6% $271,500
13 Glenarden 6,110 7.9% $242,800
14 Annapolis 39,009 5.1% $377,200
15 Frederick 68,229 5.6% $245,500
16 Easton 16,637 4.9% $268,600
17 Taneytown 6,755 3.7% $240,100
18 Brunswick 6,101 6.0% $199,500
19 Westminster 18,665 5.7% $234,100
20 Chesapeake Beach 5,866 8.3% $317,300
21 Laurel 25,703 7.2% $235,800
22 Frostburg 8,718 12.1% $165,800
23 Greenbelt 23,623 6.3% $190,500
24 Aberdeen 15,361 6.6% $195,000
25 Fruitland 5,151 6.3% $163,200
26 College Park 31,942 6.6% $269,500
27 New Carrollton 12,727 11.7% $232,000
28 Mount Rainier 8,364 7.8% $275,900
29 Hyattsville 18,262 6.5% $265,600
30 Riverdale Park 7,221 7.3% $248,100
31 Elkton 15,687 6.7% $197,500
32 Hagerstown 40,325 10.4% $149,400
33 Cumberland 20,290 10.6% $87,700
34 Salisbury 32,338 7.7% $154,000
35 Baltimore 621,000 11.4% $153,000
36 Bladensburg 9,505 8.0% $179,800
37 Cambridge 12,552 10.9% $157,400

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