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Howard County, Maryland

Howard County is a county located in the central part of U.S. State of Maryland, between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C

The county was named for John Eager Howard, an officer in the American Revolutionary War and Governor of Maryland. As of 2000, the population is 247,842. Its county seat is Ellicott City.

This county is a part of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and government
3 Geography
4 Demographics
5 Cities and towns


Howard District was formed in 1838 by the splitting of Anne Arundel County. It had the same status as a county except for not being represented in the Maryland General Assembly. In 1851 it became an official county.

Law and government

Howard County was granted a charter form of government in 1968.


Its largest city is Columbia (though, in fact, this in not an incorporated city under Maryland law; in fact, Howard County has no incorporated municipalities). The northern portion of Howard County is part of the suburban region around Baltimore; the southern is more oriented toward Washington, D.C The county is approximately the area where the two cities' suburbs overlap.

Unincorporated areas are also considered as towns by many people, but they lack local government. The United States Census Bureau recognizes the following Census-Designated Places in Howard County:

  1. Columbia
  2. Elkridge
  3. Ellicott City
  4. Jessup (This CDP is shared between Howard and Anne Arundel Counties.)
  5. North Laurel
  6. Savage-Guilford

Other entities, such as the United States Postal Service, use a different selection of local place names. In all these cases, since the places are unincorporated, the boundaries are determined by the classifying authority.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 657 km² (254 mi²). 653 km² (252 mi²) of it is land and 4 km² (2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.60% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 247,842 people, 90,043 households, and 65,821 families residing in the county. The population density is 380/km² (983/mi²). There are 92,818 housing units at an average density of 142/km² (368/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 74.33% White, 14.42% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 7.68% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. 3.02% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 90,043 households out of which 40.00% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% are married couples living together, 9.50% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% are non-families. 20.80% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.60% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.71 and the average family size is 3.18.

In the county the population is spread out with 28.10% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 34.40% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $74,167, and the median income for a family is $85,422. Males have a median income of $57,959 versus $40,412 for females. The per capita income for the county is $32,402. 3.90% of the population and 2.50% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 3.80% are under the age of 18 and 6.90% are 65 or older.

Cities and towns