Best Cities to Live in Maryland

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Maryland is a land of contrasts: farmland in the north, cities in the south, mountains in the west and beaches in the east. Furthermore, depending on where you are coming from, it can be considered as either the north or the south and has characteristics of both. Where you decide to settle in the Old Line State depends on what type of environment you are most comfortable in, though we can help. Reading up on Maryland’s five best cities to live in should let decide which aspects of the state’s varied character attract you the most.

1. Towson

Maryland’s best city to live in is Towson, a large suburb north of Baltimore. Towson is a great community with many varied neighborhoods, a developed business sector, and plenty of shopping districts. The city is home to Towson University, the second largest public university in the state, which supplies many jobs to the populace. Literature enthusiasts take note: F. Scott Fitzgerald conceived and began writing his classic novel, Tender is the Night, while living in Towson.

2. Bethesda

Northwest of Washington, DC lies #2 Bethesda, a large unincorporated community with sizable government, medical, and R&D economic sectors that make its populace one of the most well educated in the country. The thriving city is home to Bethesda Row, a lively downtown district with many shops and restaurants.

3. Olney

Third in the ranking is Olney, another bedroom community of Washington where many of America’s best and brightest come to settle. The city is home to the Olney Theater, one of only two state theaters in Maryland.

Rounding out the top five are two Howard County suburbs of Baltimore: Colombia (#4) a unique planned community of 10 self-contained villages designed with utopian ideals in mind, and Elkridge (#5), an affluent community with a host of sprawling parks and recreation areas.

Best Cities to Live in Maryland

RankCity
1Towson
2Bethesda
3Olney
4Columbia
5Elkridge
6Ellicott City
7Lutherville Timonium
8Rockville
9Chevy Chase
10Potomac
11Crofton
12Montgomery Village
13Gaithersburg
14Germantown
15Odenton
16Pikesville
17Catonsville
18Silver Spring
19Bel Air
20Nottingham
21Severna Park
22Abingdon
23Owings Mills
24Parkville
25Windsor Mill
26Reisterstown
27Cumberland
28Sykesville
29Rosedale
30Takoma Park
31Randallstown
32Severn
33Gwynn Oak
34Dundalk
35Halethorpe
36Greenbelt
37Glen Burnie
38Annapolis
39Frederick
40Mount Airy
41Middle River
42Pasadena
43Laurel
44Essex
45Bowie
46Westminster
47Baltimore
48Hagerstown
49Elkton
50College Park
51Beltsville
52Upper Marlboro
53Brooklyn
54Suitland
55Fort Washington
56Lanham
57Hyattsville
58Clinton
59District Heights
60Temple Hills
61Capitol Heights
62Oxon Hill
63Waldorf
64Salisbury

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Best Cities To Live Maryland 2019 badge

Methodology

We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).

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