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:
- Hampstead (Photos)
- Rockville (Photos)
- Bowie (Photos)
- Poolesville (Photos)
- Walkersville (Photos)
- Mount Airy (Photos)
- La Plata (Photos)
- Thurmont (Photos)
- Cheverly (Photos)
- Takoma Park (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best 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 5,100
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,100
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 37 cities, 122 towns, and 204 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 5,100 people to truly be ‘the best’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
Population: 6,352Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $234,800 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (5th best)
Hampstead has a strong showing in our best places to live in Maryland analysis, coming it at 1st best.
It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.
If you’re thinking of moving to Maryland, Hampstead is a great option.
Population: 65,171Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $499,400 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (7th best)
Let’s take a look at why Rockville is a great place to call home for 2018.
There’s low crime in Rockville, and the residents here are gainfully employed (4.9% unemployment rate).
You can make Rockville your home for only $499,400 which won’t be too hard on a $101,774 household salary.
Population: 57,633Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $303,900 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (19th best)
If you live in Bowie, you probably know how great it is already.
Bowie has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($106,098). And the crime is really, really low (5th lowest in Maryland).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
Population: 5,108Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Home Values: $391,600 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (2nd best)
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…
Population: 5,989 Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Values: $304,200 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (4th best)
With the unemployment rate being the 4th lowest in Maryland and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Walkersville.
Plus, the crime rate is the 17th lowest in the state!
6. Mount Airy
Population: 9,376Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Values: $351,300 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (7th best)
When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Maryland, Mount Airy came in 6th. Let’s see why.
It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.
Plus, Mount Airy has an impressive history for a place of just over 9,376 people. The median home costs a cool $351,300 and households make $108,578 which is good for 2nd in Maryland.
7. La Plata
Population: 9,059Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Home Values: $320,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (1st best)
Who doesn’t want to live inLa Plata? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.
Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 3.4%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.
Expect to see more of La Plata in the news in the coming months.
Population: 6,435Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Home Values: $238,800 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (29th best)
With the unemployment rate being the 29th lowest in Maryland and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Thurmont.
Plus, the crime rate is the 3rd lowest in the state!
Population: 6,390Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $297,100 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (30th best)
Good things do come in small packages; it’s true for Cheverly, which with a population of 6,390 makes it one of the smallest on this list.
Relatively low unemployment and relatively high adjusted income are just two blessings Cheverly residents enjoy.
The 10th lowest crime rate in all of Maryland makes Cheverly one of the safest place on this list.
10. Takoma Park
Population: 17,567Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Home Values: $508,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (23rd best)
Taking its place as the 10th best place in Maryland is Takoma Park. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Maryland.
It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.
An unemployment rate of only 7.7% helps thing too.
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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
- Chevy Chase Village (Pop. 2,030)
- Chevy Chase (Pop. 2,948)
- Somerset (Pop. 1,215)
- Brookmont (Pop. 3,810)
- Garrett Park (Pop. 1,058)
- Cabin John (Pop. 1,958)
- Kensington (Pop. 2,111)
- Middletown (Pop. 4,460)
- Herald Harbor (Pop. 2,620)
- Friendship Heights Village (Pop. 4,730)
Best Small Towns To Live In Maryland
- Williston (Pop. 108)
- Chevy Chase View (Pop. 935)
- National (Pop. 72)
- Martin’s Additions (Pop. 912)
- Chevy Chase Section Three (Pop. 733)
- North Chevy Chase (Pop. 498)
- Chevy Chase Section Five (Pop. 641)
- Glen Echo (Pop. 334)
- Gapland (Pop. 72)
- Tall Timbers (Pop. 324)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Maryland:
- Cambridge (Pop. 12,552)
- Bladensburg (Pop. 9,505)
- Baltimore (Pop. 621,000)
For more Maryland reading , check out:
- 10 Small Towns In Maryland Where You’d Never Want To Live
- These Are The 10 Most Douchebag Cities In Maryland
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Maryland
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Maryland
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