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Maryland’s 10 Safest Cities of 2020

Written by | Updated August 5, 2020
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Last Updated: 2 months ago
See how COVID-19 is impacting crime in Maryland and throughout the country. Read our coronavirus crime update for details about gun violence, back-to-school, and mask mandate madness.

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Maryland for 2020. 

  1. Taneytown
  2. Ocean Pines
  3. Hampstead
  4. Mount Airy
  5. Thurmont
  6. Centreville
  7. Glenarden
  8. District Heights
  9. Bowie
  10. Brunswick

Get more details about our list.

Maryland crime experience infographic; 18% violent crime, 33% property crime, 9% mass shooting

Maryland residents express higher levels of concern about safety and more personal experience with both violent and property crime. But its safest cities boast crime rates that are below both state and national levels.

See Maryland’s 20 safest cities of 2020.

Our 2020 State of Safety survey revealed that 63% of Maryland residents are highly concerned about their safety every day. That’s 17 percentage points higher than the national average of 46%. 

63% of Maryland residents worry about crime on a daily basis in 2020 compared to 51% in 2019.
Maryland reported a 371% increase in experience with property crime year over year.

Despite high reports of personal experience with violent crime (18% versus 12% nationally) and property crime (33% versus 26% nationally), Maine’s overall crime rates aren’t uncommonly high. In fact, the state’s property crime rate of 20.3 is lower than the national rate of 22.0.

Violent crime is a bit more prevalent, though, occurring at a rate of 4.7 incidents per 1,000, versus the national rate of 3.7.

Violent Crime in Maryland: Fear vs. Reality

In the Old Line State, being robbed on the street is the violent crime that causes the most concern. It’s also the crime respondents feel is most likely to actually happen.  

  • 57% reported high concern about being robbed on the street, compared to 38% across the country.
  • 47% said they think being robbed on the street is the crime most likely to occur. That’s 20 points higher than the national average of 27%.
  • Robbery was the second most common violent crime reported, accounting for 28% of the violent crime in the safest cities and 34% across the state.
  • The most prevalent violent crime was aggravated assault, comprising 65% of the violent crime reported among the safest cities and 57% across the state.
  • Being the victim of a mass shooting  is the second most worrisome crime in Maryland. 53% are worried about it on a daily basis, versus 38% nationwide.
  • As of July 15, there have been 10 mass shooting incidents in Maryland in 2020, leaving six dead and 40 injured. One was killed and three injured in a May incident in District Heights, which ranks as the eighth safest city in the state.
  • 2019 saw 21 mass shooting incidents in Maryland, primarily in Baltimore. Those shootings resulted in 12 deaths and 85 injured.
57% of Maryland residents are most concerned about being robbed on the street.
47% of Maryland residents believe they're most likely to be robbed on the street.

Property Crime in Maryland: Fear vs. Reality

Someone breaking in when the residents are at home is the top property crime concern in Maryland, but they think it’s more likely that someone would break in when no one’s at home.

  • 65% of respondents expressed the highest concern about a break-in when the occupants are at home. That’s seven points higher than the national average of 58%.
  • 47% felt that the property crime that’s most likely to occur is a break-in when there’s nobody at home. The national average is 38%. 
  • Burglary made up just 12% of all property crime reported by the safest cities and 15% of all property crime statewide.
  • 33% of Maryland respondents have a home security system—that’s nine points higher than the national average of 24%.
  • A dog or other guard animal is the most widely-used security measure in the Old Line State, with 32% claiming it, compared to 33% nationwide. 
  • 35% don’t use any form of security to protect their property, versus 29% nationally.
65% of Maryland residents are most concerned about a home break-in while they're home.
47% of Maryland residents believe they're most likely to experience a break-in when they're away.

A Closer Look at Maryland’s Safest Cities of 2020

For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • Taneytown moved up one spot from last year’s ranking to become the safest city in Maryland, with no counts of violent crime reported.
  • Only one city dropped in rank year over year–Bowie moved down from six to nine this year.
  • 60% of the cities in the top 10 improved in rank year over year, with District Heights making the biggest leap—jumping 11 spots to become the eighth safest city.
  • Maryland has a higher violent crime rate (4.7) than the national average (3.7), but the safest cities are well below—90% kept violent crime down to fewer than 2.0 incidents per 1,000.
  • Two new cities joined the rankings this year—Hampstead and Mount Airy.
  • 90% of the cities reported fewer than 20 total violent crimes.
  • All cities are below state (20.3) and national (22.0) property crime rates, and all reported fewer than 14 incidents per 1,000.
  • Ocean Pines has the lowest property crime rate at 4.2, with a total of 52 property crimes reported.
  • District Heights had the fewest total property crimes reported (34).
Maryland safest cities heat map showing population and crime score

The 10 Safest Cities in Maryland

VC = Violent Crime
PC = Property Crime




Taneytown, Maryland
Population 6,795
Median Income $71,903
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.0, 0.1, 1.8
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 7.2, 11.4, 9.2


Ocean Pines


Ocean Pines, Maryland
Population 12,244
Median Income $69,010
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.1, 1.7, 1.6
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.2, 6.7, 8.7




Hampstead, Maryland
Population 6,364
Median Income $78,157
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.6, Not available, 0.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 7.5, Not available, 7.4


Mount Airy


Mount Airy, Maryland
Population 9,434
Median Income $112,955
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, Not available, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 9.0, Not available, Not available




Thurmont, Maryland
Population 6,712
Median Income $68,879
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.2, 1.2, 0.9
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 5.8, 8.0, 10.5




Centreville, Maryland
Population 4,844
Median Income $89,219
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.9, 1.9, 2.1
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 5.6, 13.9, 13.2




Glenarden, Maryland
Population 6,258
Median Income $87,829
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.3, 2.2, 1.4
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 10.1, 11.6, 10.5


District Heights


District Heights, Maryland
Population 6,062
Median Income $69,358
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 2.6, 4.3, 3.7
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 5.6, 11.0, 7.6




Bowie, Maryland
Population 59,356
Median Income $108,637
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.3, 1.4, 0.9
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 13.8, 12.9, 12.9




Brunswick, Maryland
Population 6,322
Median Income $79,569
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.9, 3.9, 4.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 13.3, 18.5, 10.2

How We Determined the Safest Cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems.

Didn’t Find Your City in the Top 10?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, which is based on the median population of the state. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2018.

2020 RankingCityPopulationViolent Crime (per 1,000)Property Crime (per 1,000)
12Havre de Grace13,6552.315.9
13New Carrollton13,115313.8
14Bel Air10,0272.323
18Takoma Park18,0493.221.8
22Mount Rainier8,1984.332.9
23La Plata9,4494.333
25Riverdale Park7,3306.123.7
32Seat Pleasant4,85710.127
38Ocean City6,95011.9119.7

Find the Safest Cities in Each State

Click on the state image below to check out the safest cities for each state.


FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder
BestPlaces, “Find a Place Search Tool

Gun Violence Archive (GVA), “Mass Shootings Reports

Mass Shooting Definition:

SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more

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