Discover the Poorest Town in Maryland

Written by Justin Sexton
Updated: October 19, 2023
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The United States Census Bureau conducts the American Community Survey (ACS) annually. It provides five-year estimates of communities through different parameters such as their economic, societal, housing, and demographic structures. The latest survey was released in late 2021. According to the latest data, the average American household income is $69,000. The Beaurau uses different sets of money income thresholds- some are income before taxes and excluding capital gains from Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing. Those metrics can vary based on family size. Poverty can also look different based on which part of the United States you’re located. Sixty thousand dollars in North Carolina can help people get further there than sixty thousand dollars in Maryland.

This article will cover the poorest town in Maryland and the top five towns below the poverty line.

Some Of The Top Maryland Cities Below The Poverty Line

The Maryland state flag waving along with the national flag of the United States of America. In the background there is a clear sky. Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States

Maryland state flag


So, what quantifies a city that lives below the poverty line? There’s more to it than being the poorest city income-wise. Via Investopedia, the poverty line is the amount of annualized household income that’s below the point where they would be eligible for welfare benefits. The annualized income is the minimum amount of income needed for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and other necessities.

RankCityPoverty Line Percentage
1College Park26.7%
Some of the top Maryland cities with the highest poverty line rates.

College Park is an interesting city on this list as it has 26.7% of its residents live below the poverty line. About 2,250 employed residents live below the poverty line. College Park has about eighteen percent of individuals younger than eighteen living below the poverty line. However, the annual median income for the city is $66,679.

So, What Is The Poorest Town In Maryland?

The poorest town in Maryland is Federalsburg. Federalsburg’s annual income is $31,532. Their annual income is 65% below the state’s average. Maryland’s average median income is $91,431. Maryland’s average poverty line rate is at 9.2% and Federalsburg’s poverty line percentage is at 28.4%. The state of Maryland has a total of two hundred seventy-three towns.

Federalsburg is just outside the Maryland/Delaware borderline on the Chesapeake peninsula. The two largest demographics that live below the poverty line in Maryland are females in the 25-34 age demographic and females in the 55-64 demographic. Federalsburg is a small town that has 2,842 people living there.

It was originally known as Federalsburg due to the city’s history in the late 1700s. A great number of supporters from the Federalist Party moved into the area during the eighteenth century. Eventually, Federalsburg became an official town in 1823. Some of the industries in the city consisted of saw and grain mills, agriculture, and shipbuilding. Nowadays, people can explore Federalsburg for the three main shopping centers that surround the city. Citizens call it the “Heart of The Eastern” Shore. Like the famous city of Baltimore, people can find some pretty good seafood at Federalsburg.

What Maryland Towns Have The Highest Crime Rates?

Just because a town lives below the poverty line, that doesn’t always mean that the town has a high crime rate. Compared to the other towns, Federalsburg isn’t a top ten Maryland town with the highest crime rate. Per Southwest Journal, here are the top ten cities with the highest crime rates.

CityPopulationViolent Crime Rates per 100kProperty Crime Rates per 100k
Ocean City6,9051,31710,427
The top ten cities with the highest crime rates.

Some of the cities with the highest poverty levels mentioned earlier in the article also have the highest crime rates. Cambridge, Cumberland, Salisbury, and Hagerstown are on the list. Cambridge and Cumberland are the only two cities in this article that are both in the top five lists of being below the poverty line and in the highest crime rates list.


What is the poorest town in Maryland? It’s Federalsburg, Maryland. Federalsburg’s annual income is $31,532. Their annual income is 65% below the state’s average of $91,431. The “Heart of the Eastern Shore” is 28.4%, which is much higher than the state’s poverty average of 9.2%. However, the poverty rate doesn’t always correlate to a high crime rate. The city of Federalsburg only has 2,842 people living there. It’s not even a top ten dangerous city in the state of Maryland. The other cities with a similar crime rate to Federalsburg such as Cambridge and Cumberland are both in the top five lists.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jon Bilous/

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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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