The Most Dangerous Top 10 Cities to Live in Delaware

Delaware, often known for its charming small towns and bustling cities, harbors a less talked about aspect – the prevalence of crime in certain areas. In this detailed exploration, we delve into the top 10 most dangerous cities in Delaware as of 2024, examining factors contributing to their high crime rates and offering insights into the safety challenges they face.

1. Seaford, Delaware: The Most Dangerous City

Population: 8,145

Seaford, located on the Nanticoke River in Sussex County, has a rich history with many registered historical sites. Despite its historical charm, Seaford tops the list of most dangerous cities in Delaware with a crime rate 106% above the national rate. The town witnessed 215 crimes last year, including 39 violent and 176 property crimes. The chance of being a victim of property crime here is 1 in 25.

2. Wilmington, Delaware: The Largest and Second Most Dangerous

Population: 70,100

Wilmington, the largest city in Delaware, is a hub of business and commerce but also struggles with a high crime rate, 125% above the national average. The city reported a total of 3,713 crimes last year, including 31 murders, 786 aggravated assaults, and 280 robberies. Violent crime is a significant issue, with a 1 in 62 chance of falling victim.

3. Laurel, Delaware: A High Crime Rate in a Historic Setting

Population: 4,431

Laurel, known for its potato farming heritage and Nanticoke Indian settlement, has a crime rate 106% above the national rate. Last year, it recorded 215 crimes, including 39 violent and 176 property crimes. The likelihood of being a victim of property crime here is 1 in 25.

4. Millsboro, Delaware: Surprisingly High Crime in a Water Sport Haven

Population: 4,600

Millsboro, once a timber village now popular for water sports, has a crime rate 105% above the national average. Despite its small size, Millsboro saw 187 property crimes and 35 violent crimes last year.

5. Dover, Delaware: The State Capital with Significant Crime Issues

Population: 40,000

Dover, Delaware’s capital, is rich in history and home to significant landmarks like the Dover Airforce base. However, its crime rate is 108% above the national average, with last year’s crime statistics including 329 violent crimes and 1,549 property crimes. The chance of being a victim of violent crime here is 1 in 116.

6. Milford, Delaware: High Crime in an Artistic Town

Population: 11,994

Milford, known for its art scene and river activities, has a crime rate 103% higher than the national average. The town experienced 572 crimes last year, with 78 violent and 494 property crimes. The chances of a violent crime occurring are 1 in 153 and 1 in 24 for property crime.

7. Camden, Delaware: Property Crimes in a Rural Setting

Population: 3,562

Camden, a rural community within the Dover metropolitan area, saw 220 crimes last year, including 9 aggravated assaults and 204 acts of larceny. While the chances of violent crime are lower than the national average, the risk of property crime is high at 1 in 17.

8. Harrington, Delaware: Small Population, Significant Crime Rate

Population: 3,650

Harrington, despite its small population, has a crime rate that’s been high enough for FBI tracking. The community’s overall crime rate is decreasing, but it still remains a concern.

9. Georgetown, Delaware: Scenic but Unsafe

Population: 7,560

Georgetown, the seat of Sussex County, is known for its beautiful scenery and beaches. However, it has a high property crime rate, with theft slightly above the national average.

10. Smyrna, Delaware: Moderately High Crime Rates

Population: 11,780

Smyrna, while not the most dangerous city in Delaware, has a moderately high property crime rate and a violent crime rate higher than the national average.

Understanding the Challenges

Most of the crime in these cities is related to property crimes, particularly theft. Factors like poverty, unemployment, drug use, and gang activity contribute significantly to these high crime rates. For example, in Wilmington, more than 28% of residents live below the poverty line, and there’s a substantial gang problem contributing to the violence.

Staying Safe

While Delaware has cities with higher crime rates, it doesn’t mean that you’re automatically in danger. Being cautious, especially in areas known for high crime, and taking preventive measures against theft can help in staying safe.


Delaware’s most dangerous cities highlight the complex interplay of historical charm and modern-day challenges. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for residents and visitors alike to navigate these areas safely and responsibly.

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