Is Maryland dangerous? A state known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and close proximity to the nation’s capital, is not immune to the challenges of urban living. Some cities within its borders grapple with higher crime rates compared to others, painting a complex picture of the state’s safety landscape. In this article, we’ll explore the most dangerous cities in Maryland, shedding light on the challenges they face.


Without a doubt, Baltimore often tops the list when discussions turn to crime in Maryland. Despite its famous Inner Harbor, world-renowned hospitals, and rich history, the city has struggled with violence for many years.

Crime Stats:

  • Homicides, gun violence, and robberies are particularly pronounced in certain parts of the city.
  • Baltimore has frequently been listed among the top cities in the U.S. for its high homicide rate per capita.

Underlying Factors:

Many attribute Baltimore’s challenges to socio-economic disparities, systemic racism, lack of educational opportunities, and the effects of the dangerous drug trade.

The Most Dangerous Cities in Maryland: A Deep Dive


Salisbury, known as the “Crossroads of Delmarva,” might be surprising to some given its smaller size. However, it has seen its share of challenges related to crime.

Crime Stats:

  • Violent crimes in Salisbury often surpass national averages.
  • The city sometimes has a higher crime rate per capita than larger cities in Maryland.

Underlying Factors:

The root causes in Salisbury can be traced to socio-economic challenges, unemployment, and drug-related issues.


Cumberland, located in Western Maryland, has experienced economic decline in recent decades due to the downturn in industrial jobs.

Crime Stats:

  • Property crimes, including burglaries and theft, are of particular concern here.
  • The city has higher than average rates of both violent and property crimes compared to national levels.

Underlying Factors:

Cumberland’s economic challenges, combined with the opioid crisis, have had a pronounced impact on its crime rates.


Another city in Western Maryland, Hagerstown has a rich history and is a key transportation hub. However, it too faces challenges.

Crime Stats:

  • Violent crimes, particularly assaults, tend to be more common here.
  • Drug offenses also play a significant role in the city’s overall crime rate.

Underlying Factors:

Much like Cumberland, Hagerstown grapples with economic hardships, and its location makes it a transit point for drug trafficking.

Addressing the Issue

While these cities face their share of challenges, it’s essential to highlight that local governments, community organizations, and residents have been actively working to turn the tide. Programs aimed at youth outreach, education, drug rehabilitation, and community policing are some of the initiatives implemented to create a positive change.

In conclusion, while certain cities in Maryland do face high crime rates and challenges, it’s crucial to approach these statistics with nuance and an understanding of the underlying factors. Labeling them merely as “dangerous” can overshadow the vibrant communities, history, and people that make up these cities. Instead, acknowledging the challenges while also recognizing the ongoing efforts and the potential for change can paint a more accurate picture.