The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Maryland’s 10 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Maryland for 2021
1. Ocean Pines
5. Mount Airy
10. Havre de Grace
See if your city made the full list.
Maryland residents have higher levels of concern for violent crime, property crime, package theft, and gun violence than the average American. Still, its safest cities have lower crime rates than the nation as a whole.
In our 2021 State of Safety survey, we found that Marylanders are among the most concerned Americans—with 64% of respondents saying they dwell on their safety daily. Overall, this is 17 percentage points higher than the national average of 47%.
In this report
2021 Maryland crime rates
Although Maryland had higher levels of concern, the state continued the trend of decreasing rates of violent crime and property crime year over year. Violent crime saw a small decrease from 4.7 per 1,000 people to 4.5, and property crime dropped from 20.3 per 1,000 to 19.5.
Within its region, Maryland had the second-highest violent crime rate behind South Carolina (5.1) and the third-lowest property crime rate above West Virginia (15.8) and Virginia (16.4).
As in previous years, Maryland had a higher violent crime rate than the national average while logging a smaller property crime rate overall. Among all 50 states, Maryland has the eleventh-highest violent crime rate and the twentieth-lowest property crime rate.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Maryland
Although Maryland residents are among the most concerned in the nation, the overall level of concern rose only by 1% compared to last year. Across the board, Marylanders also reported fewer experiences with crime than the previous year, with the biggest drop coming in the category of property crime—down to 18% from 33%.
Crime concerns in Maryland
We asked Maryland residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Maryland residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Maryland: Fear vs. reality
Maryland sees higher violent crime rates than most of the US, contributing to a lack of residents feeling safe in the Old Line State. Despite this unease, fewer Marylanders reported experiencing violent crime and gun violence than last year.
- Just 46% of people in Maryland report feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
- 12% of survey participants reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the last 12 months—6 percentage points lower than last year.
- Murder accounts for 2% of violent crimes in the state (US 1%), but there was only 1 murder reported among the 10 safest cities overall.
- Rape makes up 7% of violent crime in the state with the incidence in the safest cities coming in at 10%.
- 31% of respondents say they use some form of personal protection versus 34% nationwide.
- 50% of Marylanders say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is 6% more than most Americans.
Attitudes about police and gun violence in Maryland
- Over two-thirds of respondents named gun violence as their top safety concern, which is 1 of the higher numbers in the US, which averages 53%.
- Just 8% of Marylanders reported experiencing gun violence in the past 12 months, which is 1% lower than last year.
- There were 21 mass shootings in Maryland in 2019 and 19 in 2020.
- Marylanders are 1.5 times more likely to worry about police violence on a daily basis than most Americans.
- Residents reported relatively low confidence in law enforcement—just 45% versus 56% nationally.
- Officer-involved shootings increased in 2020, jumping to 39 from 26 in 2019.
Property crime in Maryland: Fear vs. reality
Maryland sees less property crime than most of the nation and the Mid-Atlantic region, which explains the big drop (15 points year over year) in reported experiences in the last 12 months. Still, Marylanders tend to worry more about property crime and package theft than violent crimes.
- Marylanders reported fewer experiences with property crime than the previous year—down to 18% from 33%.
- Burglary makes up 14% (Maryland's safest cities come in at 10%) of all property crime in the state—this is 40% lower than the national burglary rate of 16%.
- 18% of participants reported experiencing package theft in the last 12 months, putting Maryland below the US average of 20%.
- 54% of survey participants use some form of property protection, which is surprisingly low considering the state's high overall levels of daily concern (62% US).
- The top form of property protection among respondents this year is security cameras with 33% using them (28% US).
- 28% of Maryland respondents say they use a home security system to protect their property, which is higher than the national average of 25%.
- 31% of Maryland residents say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property, compared to 29% nationally.
A closer look at the safest cities in Maryland
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 38 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking, the same as last year.
- Ocean Pines moved up one spot from last year's ranking to become the safest city in Maryland, despite a slightly higher incidence of property crime than the second-safest city.
- With the exception of Bowie—the largest city in the top 10 (population 59,093)—most of the top 10 cities changed ranks this year, with a fairly even split between rising and falling rankings.
- There are 2 new cities to the top 10 this year—Berlin and Havre de Grace.
- Last year's safest city, Taneytown, had the biggest ranking drop—down 7 places to eighth overall.
- Although Maryland's violent crime rate (4.5) is higher than the US average (3.8), the safest cities come in much lower than either, with a collective average of 1.2.
- Mount Airy had the lowest violent crime rate at 0.5.
- 90% of the cities reported fewer than 50 violent crime incidents each, with 60% reporting in single-digits.
- Hampstead was home to the lowest property crime rate at 4.8, though all of the cities came in lower than the state rate of 19.5. It had just 31 property crimes during the year.
- 70% of cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
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 encourage everyone to be proactive about home security.
Didn't find your city in the top 10?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. 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 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.