The 10 Best Places To Live In Maryland For 2024

The best places to live in Maryland for 2024 are Mount Airy, Bowie, and Manchester. Find out where your city or town ranks.

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

You don’t have to do a Google scavenger hunt to find the best places to live in Maryland.

We used Saturday Night Science to compare Census, FBI, and Zillow data to identify the best places in Maryland for 2024. We looked at 39 places and analyzed factors like median home prices, median household incomes, education, and crime.

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

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Table | Map | Methodology | Summary

What is the best place to live in Maryland? The best place to live in Maryland is Mount Airy.

We can thank some of Maryland’s best places for Marriott Hotels, The Discovery Channel, and John Hopkins University for educating the future of those companies.

For more reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Maryland For 2024

Best Places To Live In Maryland Map

Mount Airy, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Acroterion | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Mount Airy Maryland
Population 9,667 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 1
Median Home Value $575,869 $404,251
Median Income $148,779 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 2.1% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0101 0.0198

More on Mount Airy: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 2024. 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 4th highest in the state at $575,869. However, don’t let this deter you, Mount Airy has the lowest unemployment rate at 2.1%, so you just need to find a job that will help you earn the city’s median income, $148,779/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 96.9 of this small town’s 9,667 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.

Bowie, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Andrew Bossi | CC BY-SA 2.5
Stat Bowie Maryland
Population 57,922 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 3
Median Home Value $495,660 $404,251
Median Income $138,797 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 5.1% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0129 0.0198

More on Bowie: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 57,922 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 $495,660 and the combined household median_income is $138,797/year. Bowie has great schools and the people here are pretty smart–out of the 57,922 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.

Manchester, MD

Source: Public domain
Stat Manchester Maryland
Population 5,403 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 2
Median Home Value $425,271 $404,251
Median Income $103,629 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 0.9% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0056 0.0198

More on Manchester: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Located in Carroll County, Maryland, Manchester is known for being one of the best places to live in the state. With a population of 5,403 and a median income of 103,629, this small incorporated town offers a low cost of living and a high quality of life. The median home price in Manchester is $425,271, making it an affordable option for residents.

Despite its small size, Manchester has plenty to offer in terms of attractions and things to do. Residents can explore the town’s historic charm, with its old churches and leafy streets. The town also boasts a variety of outdoor activities, including parks and nature trails, perfect if you enjoy spending time in nature.

In addition to its own amenities, Manchester is conveniently located near larger cities like Baltimore and Washington D.C. This makes it easy for you to access a broader range of entertainment, dining, and employment opportunities.

Walkersville, MD

Source: Public domain
Stat Walkersville Maryland
Population 6,239 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 5
Median Home Value $425,026 $404,251
Median Income $138,190 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 1.3% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0199 0.0198

More on Walkersville: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

When you look at the science and data, Walkersville is well deserving of the ranking, “4th 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 6,239 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 3rd highest in the state at 1.3% and the poverty level is teetering at 1.1%.

However, if you do get a chance to buy some real estate in Walkersville’s market, be prepared to the pay the 17th median home price of $425,026–which isn’t too bad, but to cover Walkersville’s overall cost of living you’re going to have to make at least $138,190/year.

Berlin, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Squelle | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Berlin Maryland
Population 5,056 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 0
Median Home Value $434,662 $404,251
Median Income $80,465 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 2.8% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0113 0.0198

More on Berlin: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Berlin, located in Worcester County, Maryland, is the 5 best place to live in the state for 2024. This historic town, established around the Burley Plantation, is known on the National Register of Historic Places for its downtown.

Berlin’s location near U.S. Route 50 and U.S. Route 113 offers easy travel to Salisbury and Ocean City. Affordability is evident with a median home value of $434,662 and a median rent of $1,031

The 2.8 unemployment rate, 7th lowest in Maryland, underscores a robust local economy.

Rockville, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Wikipedian1234 | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Rockville Maryland
Population 67,142 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 6
Median Home Value $606,807 $404,251
Median Income $122,470 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 3.6% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0302 0.0198

More on Rockville: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located just 30 minutes north of Washington D.C., Maryland’s 6th 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 3rd highest in the state at $606,807 this is one of the reasons. The other, the very educated people here demand high salaries ($122,470/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 67,142 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’.

Cheverly, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Famartin | CC BY-SA 4.0
Stat Cheverly Maryland
Population 6,132 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 10
Median Home Value $468,015 $404,251
Median Income $119,625 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 6.4% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0201 0.0198

More on Cheverly: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 7 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 42. Its median income is $119,625, the 7th highest mark in the state. Not surprisingly, home prices are relatively high, with a median home value of $468,015.

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.

Poolesville, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Famartin | CC BY-SA 4.0
Stat Poolesville Maryland
Population 5,686 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 8
Median Home Value $664,155 $404,251
Median Income $215,025 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 6.0% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0302 0.0198

More on Poolesville: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Balancing affordable living, a low crime rate and keeping a great place to live great is what Maryland’s 8th best place to live, Poolesville, does best. Yes, this small town of 5,686 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 6.0, 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 2nd best price in Maryland with a $664,155 price tag, and the locals make upwards of $215,025/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.

Glenarden, MD

Source: Flickr User MDGovpics | CC BY 2.0
Stat Glenarden Maryland
Population 6,335 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 4
Median Home Value $412,112 $404,251
Median Income $100,179 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 4.2% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0074 0.0198

More on Glenarden: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Maryland’s 9th 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 $412,112; and if you need a job, the city’s job opportunities are endless and the unemployment rate here is 4.2%. 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.

Havre De Grace, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Panoramio upload bot | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Havre de Grace Maryland
Population 14,743 6,161,707
Rank Last Year 7
Median Home Value $376,608 $404,251
Median Income $95,025 $98,461
Unemployment Rate 4.0% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0154 0.0198

More on Havre De Grace: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

If you choose to buy your forever home in Maryland’s 10th 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 226 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 10th best place to buy a house with a median home price tag of $376,608. The majority of residents who work (which is a lot considering the unemployment rate here is 4.0%) here earn a great salary at $95,025/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.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Maryland

Best Places To Live In Maryland Size Requirement

Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in Maryland, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Annapolis, with a population of 40,719, against places with a population of 18?

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

So, to create our ranking, we broke the best 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 filter left 39 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 over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best.’

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

Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them using Saturday Night Science.

We ranked each place in Maryland across a number of criteria from one to 39, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, crowning the city posting the lowest overall score, the “Best Place To Live In Maryland.”

The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:

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

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data, FBI Crime Data, and Zillow. We updated this article for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking Maryland’s best places to live.

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 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.

The best places to live in Maryland are Mount Airy, Bowie, Manchester, Walkersville, Berlin, Rockville, Cheverly, Poolesville, Glenarden, and Havre de Grace.

Mount Airy made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Maryland for 2024.

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

  1. Bladensburg (Pop. 9,574)
  2. Salisbury (Pop. 32,960)
  3. Cambridge (Pop. 13,058)

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Best Places To Live In Maryland Table

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value Median Income Rent Crime Per Capita
1 Mount Airy 9,667 2.1% $575,869 $148,779 $1,606 0.0101
2 Bowie 57,922 5.1% $495,660 $138,797 $2,167 0.0129
3 Manchester 5,403 0.9% $425,271 $103,629 $1,183 0.0056
4 Walkersville 6,239 1.3% $425,026 $138,190 $1,458 0.0199
5 Berlin 5,056 2.8% $434,662 $80,465 $1,031 0.0113
6 Rockville 67,142 3.6% $606,807 $122,470 $2,167 0.0302
7 Cheverly 6,132 6.4% $468,015 $119,625 $1,674 0.0201
8 Poolesville 5,686 6.0% $664,155 $215,025 $1,786 0.0302
9 Glenarden 6,335 4.2% $412,112 $100,179 $1,636 0.0074
10 Havre de Grace 14,743 4.0% $376,608 $95,025 $1,184 0.0154
11 Chesapeake Beach 6,358 1.2% $432,240 $130,175 $1,703 0.0353
12 Annapolis 40,719 4.3% $571,003 $97,219 $1,750 0.0246
13 Thurmont 6,313 2.5% $355,126 $88,243 $1,042 0.0052
14 Takoma Park 17,542 5.1% $667,796 $95,316 $1,318 0.0302
15 Hampstead 6,278 6.9% $397,582 $87,454 $1,069 0.0102
16 La Plata 10,283 3.0% $458,131 $117,065 $1,539 0.0293
17 Easton 17,118 1.5% $415,598 $75,198 $1,153 0.0136
18 Taneytown 7,234 4.2% $362,419 $78,333 $797 0.0087
19 Brunswick 7,781 5.9% $361,416 $104,700 $1,059 0.0104
20 Frederick 78,390 4.3% $434,950 $89,981 $1,614 0.0199
21 Gaithersburg 69,016 5.5% $498,395 $104,544 $1,925 0.0302
22 Frostburg 7,118 7.3% $164,894 $44,658 $768 0.0024
23 Riverdale Park 7,284 3.6% $457,160 $105,250 $1,547 0.0243
24 Laurel 29,581 5.9% $443,952 $92,035 $1,831 0.0284
25 New Carrollton 13,580 10.9% $385,956 $76,386 $1,689 0.0122
26 Westminster 20,099 4.4% $423,805 $71,286 $1,335 0.0244
27 Mount Rainier 8,262 4.4% $471,063 $64,170 $1,406 0.0329
28 Hyattsville 20,851 2.8% $396,591 $90,329 $1,734 0.0475
29 Aberdeen 16,422 3.6% $314,123 $74,555 $1,229 0.0293
30 College Park 34,416 6.7% $418,488 $76,973 $1,838 0.0475
31 Greenbelt 24,646 8.6% $273,558 $82,019 $1,788 0.0282
32 Fruitland 5,603 11.1% $227,517 $61,205 $1,577 0.0359
33 Elkton 15,830 4.9% $327,018 $58,593 $1,287 0.0603
34 Cumberland 19,041 9.1% $139,025 $45,915 $712 0.0392
35 Hagerstown 43,374 7.7% $260,493 $48,481 $977 0.0278
36 Baltimore 584,548 6.9% $179,189 $58,349 $1,235 0.0471
37 Bladensburg 9,574 14.9% $315,966 $58,619 $1,608 0.0319
38 Salisbury 32,960 9.9% $241,424 $53,309 $1,189 0.0369
39 Cambridge 13,058 7.2% $242,774 $44,114 $956 0.0495

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.