What's it like to live in Salisbury, MD?

Profile written by local expert:

Ben Penserga

While Salisbury continues to grow as the hub of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware metropolitan area, it has never lost touch with the small-town feel fitting of a place that remains predominantly rural. 

Though it is home to the 8,000-plus-student Salisbury University and draws major events such as the National Folk Festival, a 15-minute drive from the heart of downtown will take you to the farm fields of surrounding Wicomico County.

The longtime nickname “The Crossroads of Delmarva” is fitting for Salisbury in many ways, since it sits nestled among Delaware, Maryland and Virginia on a map. It is a melting pot of college students, retirees and families who might all be seen together enjoying a Saturday night at a microbrewery or watching a minor-league baseball game.

Despite its growth over the years, Salisbury is still a place where people will pull over to help a stranger broken down on the side of the road or rally for a community cause.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Salisbury, Maryland is ranked:

#90 in Best Places to Live

#26 in Best Places to Retire

#13 in Fastest-Growing Places




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Salisbury, MD Quick Stats

  • 399,013

    Metro Population

  • $43,170

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 45.1

    Median Age

  • $238,342

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.6%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,012

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 24.6 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Salisbury, MD?

For people who are outdoors-inclined, Salisbury offers nearly a dozen playgrounds or parks, the most prominent being the Salisbury City Park, home of the Salisbury Zoo.

The park area is near the Wicomico River and at the center of the zoo, which houses more than 100 animals and Ben’s Red Swings, a large children’s playground.

The Naylor Mill Forest Trail in Salisbury is more than 90 acres and gives users the chance to walk or bike on dirt trails.

Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex offers eight softball/baseball fields and plays hosts to major national tournaments. Salisbury is also home to the Delmarva Shorebirds, a minor-league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

Salisbury hosts a marathon in the spring. Fall brings Sea Gull Century, a bicycling event beginning and ending on the campus of Salisbury University and taking riders across scenic parts of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Salisbury University also regularly draws many cultural events to the city, while the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art contains one of the most extensive collections of wildfowl carvings in the world.

For fans of beer, Salisbury and the surrounding metro area are home to microbreweries that offer tours and, of course, tastings.

What's the cost of living in Salisbury, MD?

The median sales price for a single-family home in Salisbury is lower than the national average. However, when you expand the scope outside of Salisbury proper and into the greater Salisbury metro area, the average sales price is slightly higher than the national average.

Residents living in the city of Salisbury pay city and Wicomico County property taxes. Vehicles are not taxed.

All Maryland residents are also subject to a sales tax on purchases, except for designated times during the year when some goods are exempt as students are heading back to school.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Salisbury, Maryland.

Value Index

Index Score: 6.1 /10

How we calculate this.

Salisbury offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Salisbury, MD.

What's the weather like in Salisbury, MD?

In the hometown of longtime Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Seidel, Salisbury provides residents the chance to experience all four seasons.

Summers are warm and humid, especially toward the end of the season. September and October are usually when the area experiences nor’easters or the occasional hurricane.

While the winter does include a fair share of precipitation, multiple snowfalls of more than 3 inches per year are a rare occurrence.

What's the best way to get around Salisbury, MD?

Situated between two major highways, Route 13 and Route 50, Salisbury residents and commuters from the greater metro region travel by car.

With the exception of downtown Salisbury during the work week, parking is almost always free across the city and plentiful around large commercial areas and public venues. Most points of interest in Salisbury are near a major roadway and have ample parking.

Over the years, the city has made greater efforts to offer and encourage alternative transportation to cars, especially bicycles. Bike-share programs have been offered to residents, and officials continue to improve roadways and create more bike lanes for riders.

A commuter bus service, Shore Transit, offers residents an opportunity to traverse Salisbury and nearby communities to shop or explore other places in surrounding counties. The Greyhound bus line also maintains a stop in Salisbury for longer-distance travel.

Residents and visitors also have the option to fly in and out of the Salisbury Regional Airport via American Airlines to hubs in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Philadelphia.

Commuting in Salisbury, MD

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

24.6 minutes

2.0 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Salisbury, MD?

Salisbury has a population of about 32,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Salisbury University students inject a certain amount of youth to the area, especially close to campus.

Because Salisbury is considered the commercial hub of the metro area, many professionals are drawn to live in, work in and commute to the city to make a living.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Salisbury as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.