The 10 Best Places To Live In Maryland For 2022

These are the cream of the crop when it comes to living in the Old Line State.

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There’s nothing crabby about Maryland except for maybe their ‘all you can eat blue crab specials’. The people here are super nice and some of the best places in America are nestled inside Maryland’s Mid-Atlantic borders.

And, you don’t have to do a Google scavenger hunt to find them. HomeSnacks has used science to create a list of the top ten best places in Maryland for 2022. We looked at 37 places and rated them according to median home prices, median household incomes, education, and safety.

The competition was fierce to say the least. Our top ten best places really brought their A-game. We can thank some of Maryland’s best places for Marriott Hotels, The Discovery Channel, and Perdue Farms, and we can thank the other half for higher education institutions like John Hopkins University and the University of Maryland for educating the future of those companies.

Whether you want to be a Chesapeake Bay crabber, a Potomac Housewife, or you just want to live like Maryland royalty, there’s a place on our top ten list for you.

Have we piqued your curiosity? If so, head on down to our list of the top ten best places to live in The Old Line State.

All great jobs and super smart Marylanders aside, the best places on our list are the best because the people in these places take affordable homes, high incomes, and safe neighborhoods very seriously.

However, there can only be one number one best place to live in Maryland. What is the best place to live in Maryland? According to the data we looked at, that would be Mount Airy. We are not at all surprised. Mount Airy has great people, amazing parks, gold star restaurants, and great shopping.

To see Maryland’s other best of the best places, take a look below. And if you don’t find it there, head to the bottom.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Maryland reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Maryland For 2022

Life can be difficult, choosing the best place to live doesn’t have to be. So, if your thinking about living in Maryland, think about Mount Airy first as it’s the #1 best place to live in the Old Line State for 2022. Yes, this Mid Atlantic marvel located between Baltimore and Frederick just off the I-70 in the Four-County Area, scored high marks on our SnackAbility scale for quality of life indicators like job opportunities, affordable housing, and education.

In terms of affordability, Mount Airy’s median home price is the 7th highest in the state at $387,800. However, don’t let this deter you, Mount Airy has the lowest unemployment rate at 2.2%, so you just need to find a job that will help you earn the city’s median income, $123,750/year, to offset your overall cost of living. On a side note, health services are less expensive here than the rest of the state and 97.1 of this small town’s 9,439 residents have health insurance.

Mount Airy is super safe, but if we could give one piece of advice, make sure to set a little cash aside from your salary to splurge on a reliable car as Mount Airy scored a 2/10 for longer commute times.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,439
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $387,800
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
More on Mount Airy: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Mount Airy, MD

Much like the game of Monopoly, Maryland’s 2nd best place to live, Bowie rose to fame in the mid 19th Century after the Baltimore and Potomac Railroads were purchased by Pennsylvania Railroad making Bowie one of the wealthiest places to live in the country. Well folks, things haven’t changed, Bowie is still one of the richest places in Bowie and it’s 58,158 residents are showing no signs of slowing down.

Bowie’s motto is “Growth, Unity, and Progress,” and their numbers prove that they’re winning at the game of LIFE. First of all, they scored one of the highest SnackAbility scores on our list (9/10) with an emphasis on–but not limited to–cost of living, education, and amenities.

The median home prices for a home in Bowie are less expensive than the rest of the state at $350,000 and the combined household median_income is $116,796/year. Bowie has great schools and the people here are pretty smart–out of the 58,158 residents, over 30% have their Master’s. However, the best part about living in Bowie is that you will be the halfway point between Washington D.C. to the west and Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay to the east. So, basically, you will never run out of things to do.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 58,158
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $350,000
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
More on Bowie: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Bowie, MD

Located just 30 minutes north of Washington D.C., Maryland’s 3rd best place to live, Rockville, is at the core of the I-270 Technology Corridor which is home to numerous software and biotechnology companies and federal government institutions.

So, if you are wondering why the median home price here is the 2nd highest in the state at $540,100 this is one of the reasons. The other, the very educated people here demand high salaries ($111,797/year) and being that Rockville is one of the fastest growing cities in Maryland, that demand trickles down into the economy. Incidentally, high demand has also increased Rockville’s cost of living. If you choose this upscale Maryland city as your home, expect to pay a bit more for groceries, transportation, and utilities.

And if you were wondering about Rockville’s education system, you can stop. Not only do the majority of Rockville’s 68,155 residents have some sort of degree, the city itself houses 12–count them–12 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Plain and simple, folks, Rockville is ‘the bees knees’.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 68,155
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $540,100
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
More on Rockville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Rockville, MD

Maryland’s 4th best place to live, Glenarden, is the epitome of thoughtfully planned communities and charming neighborhoods nestled in the overflow trees from Old National Pike District Park.

Glenarden’s motto is “A City on the Move,” and, foks, that’s just what is happening here as the city continues to make headlines for its low cost of living and low crime rate. And, that’s not all. Glenarden scored a 9/10 on our SnackAbility scale with indicators like jobs, safety, and education leading the way.

Yes, if you want to buy a home here, you can get one for $297,400; and if you need a job, the city’s job opportunities are endless and the unemployment rate here is 5.2%. But, if you were worried about moving your family to a great place with great schools, wonder no more: Glenarden is one of the best places in the state for families.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,158
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $297,400
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
More on Glenarden: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Glenarden, MD

Balancing affordable living, a low crime rate and keeping a great place to live great is what Maryland’s 5th best place to live, Poolesville, does best. Yes, this small town of 5,228 residents in “Little America” has all of the bells and whistles. In fact, Poolesville received high scores on our SnackAbility scale for job opportunities, housing, education, and amenities. If you guessed that the locals here work hard based on the city’s current unemployment rate of 4.6, you guessed right. The poverty level here is well below the state and national level as well.

The median home price in Poolesville is the 3rd best price in Maryland with a $520,800 price tag, and the locals make upwards of $183,700/year to offset the city’s overall cost of living. This leaves all kinds of extra money to enjoy the fun day-life and nightlife that Poolesville offers. Matter fact, we hear that biking the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is a must do.

And, folks, the people here are smart–they knew that if they lived in one of the least expensive places in Maryland that they would save money. So, we were not at all surprised to find Poolesville to be one of the richest cities in the state, too.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,228
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $520,800
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
More on Poolesville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Poolesville, MD

Sitting just over the border from the District of Columbia, Cheverly, Maryland, started life as a planned community. Well, the real estate moguls who founded the town in the early 1900s knew what they were doing. Today, Cheverly ranks as the number 6 best place to live in Maryland.

Cheverly offers excellent commuter access to Washington, DC. Depending on traffic, you can get to the center of the nation’s capital in just over 20 minutes. Head the other direction and it’s just 40 minutes to the heart of Baltimore, Maryland’s biggest city.

With this prime location, Cheverly provides an excellent place for young professionals to put down roots. The community has a median age of 40. Its median income is $99,343, the 7th highest mark in the state. Not surprisingly, home prices are relatively high, with a median home value of $367,800.

Crime in the area is low. However, the cost of living is relatively high, coming in about 30% above the national average.

Cheverly is generally an urban area, but for a little slice of the outdoors, you can check out the Cheverly Nature Park. With the short drive to Washington, it’s an easy trip to local highlights like the Smithsonian Museum and the Lincoln Memorial.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,439
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $367,800
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
More on Cheverly: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Cheverly, MD

Like a fine Boordy Vineyards Dry Red Blend, the 7th best place to live in Maryland, Thurmont, keeps getting better with time.

The current cost of living in Thurmont is 0.9x lower than the state’s index of 121. The crime rate here is below the national average as well. To put this in perspective, there were only 57 committed here this past year and a majority of them were property related.

Don’t let lack of knowledge halter your decision to move to the Thurmont, instead take a look at the numbers posted here to make an informed decision.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,783
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $263,900
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
More on Thurmont: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Thurmont, MD

When you look at the science and data, Walkersville is well deserving of the ranking, “8th best place to live in the Free State.” And if you don’t act now, there might not be real estate left in this small Maryland town of 6,306 residents, because it’s pretty popular. So popular, that there aren’t as many job opportunities like the rest of our top ten. In fact, the unemployment rate here is the 2nd highest in the state at 2.1% and the poverty level is teetering at 2.7%.

However, if you do get a chance to buy some real estate in Walkersville’s market, be prepared to the pay the 15th median home price of $323,100–which isn’t too bad, but to cover Walkersville’s overall cost of living you’re going to have to make at least $107,781/year.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,306
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $323,100
Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
More on Walkersville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Walkersville, MD

Source: Public domain

If you choose to buy your forever home in Maryland’s 9th best place to live, Havre De Grace, you will be gifted quality healthcare, a low overall cost of living, and a low crime rate (there were only 201 recorded at the time of this report). Yes, Havre De Grace is more than just a smartly designed community, it’s a smart choice.

Havre De Grace is the 9th best place to buy a house with a median home price tag of $284,200. The majority of residents who work (which is a lot considering the unemployment rate here is 6.2%) here earn a great salary at $80,853/year. Most importantly, If you choose to call Havre De Grace home, you will find friendly people, great schools (Havre de Grace High School is a National Blue Ribbon School), and a citywide desire to keep residents happy, healthy, and protected.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,808
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $284,200
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
More on Havre De Grace: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Havre De Grace, MD

Want to know what it’s like to be able to bike some of the best trails and sip some of the best wine without leaving your city limits? Well, you can do this and more in Maryland’s 10th best place to live, Hampstead. Not to mention, you can do it at a fraction of the cost as Hampstead is super affordable.

Yes the cost of living here is less than the state average. Living expenses like groceries, housing, and utilities are such a deal, it’s like they are practically giving services away. If you want to buy a home in Hampstead instead of rent, do. Hampstead has the 10th best median home price at $245,700 and the combined household median income is $75,392/year.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,403
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $245,700
Unemployment Rate: 7.4%
More on Hampstead: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Hampstead, MD

Source: Public domain

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Maryland

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Annapolis with a population of 39,321 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 37 cities, 120 towns, and 139 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Maryland have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Maryland

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Maryland across a number of criteria from one to 37, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Maryland”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Maryland? That would be Mount Airy.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Maryland.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Mount Airy at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Maryland

If you’re looking at areas in Maryland with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Mount Airy made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Maryland for 2022.

Best Towns To Live In Maryland

  1. Chevy Chase Village (Pop. 2,030)
  2. Chevy Chase (Pop. 2,948)
  3. Somerset (Pop. 1,215)
  4. Brookmont (Pop. 3,810)
  5. Garrett Park (Pop. 1,058)
  6. Cabin John (Pop. 1,958)
  7. Kensington (Pop. 2,111)
  8. Middletown (Pop. 4,460)
  9. Herald Harbor (Pop. 2,620)
  10. Friendship Heights Village (Pop. 4,730)

Best Small Towns To Live In Maryland

  1. Martin’s Additions (Pop. 912)
  2. Chevy Chase Section Three (Pop. 733)
  3. Chevy Chase View (Pop. 935)
  4. North Chevy Chase (Pop. 498)
  5. Chevy Chase Section Five (Pop. 641)
  6. Glen Echo (Pop. 334)
  7. Nanticoke (Pop. 443)
  8. Tolchester (Pop. 284)
  9. Highland (Pop. 950)
  10. Beaver Creek (Pop. 296)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Maryland according to the data:

  1. Bladensburg (Pop. 9,428)
  2. Cambridge (Pop. 12,300)
  3. Salisbury (Pop. 32,850)

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Maryland?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mount Airy 9,439 2.2% $387,800
2 Bowie 58,158 4.8% $350,000
3 Rockville 68,155 3.9% $540,100
4 Glenarden 6,158 5.2% $297,400
5 Poolesville 5,228 4.6% $520,800
6 Cheverly 6,439 3.5% $367,800
7 Thurmont 6,783 4.4% $263,900
8 Walkersville 6,306 2.1% $323,100
9 Havre De Grace 13,808 6.2% $284,200
10 Hampstead 6,403 7.4% $245,700
11 Chesapeake Beach 5,996 1.7% $368,600
12 Takoma Park 17,703 5.4% $611,400
13 Taneytown 6,837 3.8% $258,800
14 La Plata 9,516 3.7% $333,000
15 Annapolis 39,321 4.3% $414,000
16 Gaithersburg 67,878 6.5% $413,500
17 Frederick 71,843 4.7% $277,300
18 Easton 16,589 2.5% $276,000
19 Brunswick 6,364 8.1% $245,000
20 New Carrollton 12,925 9.7% $287,000
21 Westminster 18,649 5.0% $241,600
22 Mount Rainier 8,149 5.5% $398,200
23 Frostburg 8,550 10.7% $144,300
24 Riverdale Park 7,216 4.0% $340,900
25 Aberdeen 15,904 3.0% $192,400
26 Hyattsville 18,267 3.5% $355,000
27 Laurel 25,734 5.7% $281,500
28 College Park 32,221 5.0% $345,800
29 Greenbelt 23,253 7.4% $225,900
30 Fruitland 5,281 11.3% $165,300
31 Hagerstown 40,027 8.4% $160,000
32 Baltimore 602,274 7.6% $167,300
33 Cumberland 19,495 7.8% $104,200
34 Elkton 15,653 5.7% $211,800
35 Bladensburg 9,428 12.4% $277,400
36 Cambridge 12,300 9.2% $173,800
37 Salisbury 32,850 9.6% $167,800

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to live in Maryland.

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.