The 10 Best Baltimore Suburbs To Live For 2021


We analyzed over 18 places around Baltimore to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Baltimore suburbs.

Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Baltimore are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Baltimore for 2021:

  1. Mount Airy
  2. Sykesville
  3. University Park
  4. Bowie
  5. Manchester
  6. Annapolis
  7. Laurel
  8. Berwyn Heights
  9. Glenarden
  10. Hyattsville

What's the best suburb of Baltimore? Mount Airy ranks as the best suburb of Baltimore for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Mount Airy, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Baltimore 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Maryland:

The 10 Best Baltimore Suburbs To Live For 2021

Mount Airy, MD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,397
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $125,365
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.6%
More on Mount Airy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mount Airy is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Baltimore area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Mount Airy."

Everyone here is rich; families average $125,365 a year, which is the 2nd highest in the Baltimore region. And only 2.44% are out of work. Homes average more than $371,500 each.

Sykesville, MD

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 3,939
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $109,393
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 1.4%
More on Sykesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sykesville is the second best 'burb we looked at near Baltimore for 2021.

It ranks 4th for incomes in the area and only 3.54% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

University Park, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 2,651
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $159,667
Unemployment Rate: 0.6%
Poverty Rate: 8.3%
More on University Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in University Park, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Baltimore metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in University Park.

Bowie, MD

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 58,481
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $113,338
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Bowie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bowie ranks as the 4th best suburb of Baltimore for 2021.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Bowie and the schools are some of the best around.

Manchester, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,832
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $95,000
Unemployment Rate: 1.8%
Poverty Rate: 7.8%
More on Manchester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Manchester.

Manchester gets kudos for having the 10th most expensive homes in the Baltimore area, where houses sell for an average of $294,500. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Annapolis, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 39,278
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $85,636
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Rate: 11.0%
More on Annapolis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Annapolis is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 5.0% which is 11th best in the area.

According to online reports, Annapolis is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Baltimore area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Laurel, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 25,767
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $78,313
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 7.4%
More on Laurel: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Laurel.

Laurel schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 19.5 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Berwyn Heights, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,273
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Income: $106,912
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 5.4%
More on Berwyn Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Berwyn Heights is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 13.77% of people lack insurance, good for 16th in the area.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 6,140
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $86,506
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Poverty Rate: 8.6%
More on Glenarden: Real Estate | Data

Is 'Everything Better In Glenarden?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Hyattsville, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 18,242
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $81,736
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 11.0%
More on Hyattsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Hyattsville.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Baltimore for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Baltimore was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2015-2019 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Baltimore.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 18 suburbs to evaluate around Baltimore.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 18 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Baltimore." We're lookin' at you, Mount Airy. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Baltimore 'Burbs of 2021

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Baltimore, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Baltimore Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Mount Airy, MD 9,397 $125,365
2 Sykesville, MD 3,939 $109,393
3 University Park, MD 2,651 $159,667
4 Bowie, MD 58,481 $113,338
5 Manchester, MD 4,832 $95,000
6 Annapolis, MD 39,278 $85,636
7 Laurel, MD 25,767 $78,313
8 Berwyn Heights, MD 3,273 $106,912
9 Glenarden, MD 6,140 $86,506
10 Hyattsville, MD 18,242 $81,736
11 Hampstead, MD 6,362 $77,083
12 College Park, MD 32,159 $66,679
13 New Carrollton, MD 12,935 $66,991
14 Greenbelt, MD 23,219 $71,734
15 Westminster, MD 18,552 $60,518
16 Aberdeen, MD 15,848 $63,842
17 Riverdale Park, MD 7,198 $79,219
18 Bladensburg, MD 9,402 $44,905

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.