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Washington County, Maryland

Washington County is a county located in the U.S. State of Maryland.

As of 2000, the population is 131,923. It was named for the Revolutionary War general (and later President of the United States) George Washington. Its county seat is Hagerstown.

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

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


The western part of Maryland (including the present Washington County) was incorporated into Prince George's County in 1696. This county included six current counties, and by repeated splitting, new ones were generated. The first was Frederick from Prince George's in 1748.

Washington County was formed in 1776 by the splitting of Frederick County. At the same time, another county, Montgomery County, was also split off from Frederick County and named for another general, Richard Montgomery. Washington County as created included the areas later to become Allegany County (split off in 1789) and Garrett County (included in Allegany County when it was split off in 1789, later split from Allegany County), so included the entire westernmost part of the state of Maryland.


Washington County includes eight municipalities: 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 Washington County:
  1. Cavetown
  2. Chewsville
  3. Fort Ritchie
  4. Fountainhead-Orchard Hills
  5. Halfway
  6. Highfield-Cascade
  7. Keedysville
  8. Leitersburg
  9. Maugansville
  10. Mount Aetna
  11. Mount Lena
  12. Paramount-Long Meadow
  13. Robinwood
  14. Rohrersville
  15. Saint James
  16. San Mar
  17. Wilson-Conococheague
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 1,211 km² (468 mi²). 1,187 km² (458 mi²) of it is land and 24 km² (9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.01% water.

Law and government

Washington County is still governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in Maryland.

County Executive

The county commissioners exercise such executive powers as exist in the government of the county.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 131,923 people, 49,726 households, and 34,112 families residing in the county. The population density is 111/km² (288/mi²). There are 52,972 housing units at an average density of 45/km² (116/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 89.71% White, 7.77% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 49,726 households out of which 31.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.00% are married couples living together, 10.70% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.40% are non-families. 26.00% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.10% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.46 and the average family size is 2.96.

In the county the population is spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 104.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 104.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $40,617, and the median income for a family is $48,962. Males have a median income of $34,917 versus $24,524 for females. The per capita income for the county is $20,062. 9.50% of the population and 7.00% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 12.30% are under the age of 18 and 9.50% are 65 or older.

Cities and towns