Carroll County, Maryland

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Carroll County, Maryland
Flag of Carroll County, Maryland
Seal of Carroll County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Carroll County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1837
Named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Seat Westminster
Largest community Eldersburg
 • Total 453 sq mi (1,173 km2)
 • Land 448 sq mi (1,160 km2)
 • Water 5.1 sq mi (13 km2), 1.1%
 • (2010) 167,134
 • Density 373/sq mi (144/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 8th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Carroll County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 167,134.[1] Its county seat is Westminster.[2]

Carroll County is included in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. While predominantly rural, the county has become increasingly suburban in recent years.


Carroll County was created in 1837[3] from parts of Baltimore and Frederick Counties, see Hundred (division). It was named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737–1832), signer of the American Declaration of Independence.[4]

During the American Civil War, the population of Carroll County was sharply divided between supporters of the Union and the Confederacy.[5] In 1863, there were significant troop movements through the county as part of the Gettysburg campaign. On June 29, 1863, the cavalry skirmish known as Corbit's Charge was fought in the streets of Westminster, when two companies of Delaware cavalry attacked a much larger Confederate force under General J.E.B. Stuart.

In 2013 the Carroll County Board of Commissioners voted to make English the official language of the county.[6]


Farm in Carroll County, Maryland

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 453 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 448 square miles (1,160 km2) is land and 5.1 square miles (13 km2) (1.1%) is water.[7]

Topographically, Carroll County is located within the Piedmont Plateau region, with characteristic upland terrain of rolling hills and deciduous forest. The most prominent relief is Parr's Ridge, which bisects the county from southwest to northeast. The highest point is in the northeastern part of the county on Dug Hill along Deep Run Road.

Carroll County is bordered on the north by the Mason-Dixon Line with Pennsylvania, and on the south by Howard County across the South Branch of the Patapsco River. About half of the eastern border, with Baltimore County, is formed by the North Branch of the Patapsco River and by Liberty Reservoir, though the northern half near Manchester and Hampstead is a land border. Carroll County is bordered on the west by Frederick County, across the Monocacy River and Sam's Creek. Other major streams in the county include Big Pipe Creek, Little Pipe Creek, and Double Pipe Creek, Bear Branch, and the headwaters of the Gunpowder Falls. The Piney Run Reservoir is in the southern part of the county.

Three railroad lines cross Carroll County. The old Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Old Main Line crosses the southern part of the county from east to west, with former stations in Sykesville and Mount Airy. The original Western Maryland Railway (WM) main line track runs southeast to northwest through Carrollton, Westminster, New Windsor, and Union Bridge. The old Baltimore and Hanover Railroad (later acquired by WM) runs further to the east through Hampstead, Millers, and Lineboro. Two of these railroad lines are now operated by CSX Transportation; the former WM main line is now operated by Maryland Midland Railway.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 17,241
1850 20,616 19.6%
1860 24,533 19.0%
1870 28,619 16.7%
1880 30,992 8.3%
1890 32,376 4.5%
1900 33,860 4.6%
1910 33,934 0.2%
1920 34,245 0.9%
1930 35,978 5.1%
1940 39,054 8.5%
1950 44,907 15.0%
1960 52,785 17.5%
1970 69,006 30.7%
1980 96,356 39.6%
1990 123,372 28.0%
2000 150,897 22.3%
2010 167,134 10.8%
Est. 2013 167,564 0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]


The 2010 U.S. Census reported the following racial and ethnic demographic details of the county:


As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 150,897 people, 52,503 households, and 41,109 families residing in the county. The population density was 336 people per square mile (130/km²). There were 54,260 housing units at an average density of 121 per square mile (47/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.69% White, 2.28% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 30.5% were of German, 14.0% Irish, 11.1% United States or American, 10.7% English and 7.3% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 52,503 households out of which 39.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.50% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.70% were non-families. 17.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.70% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 23.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,021, and the median income for a family was $66,430 (these figures had risen to $78,912 and $90,376 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[13]). Males had a median income of $44,191 versus $30,599 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,829. About 2.70% of families and 3.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.00% of those under age 18 and 4.90% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2007, Carroll County was the tenth wealthiest county in the country in its population range of 65,000 to 250,000[14]

As of the 2010 census the population was 167,134. The racial makeup was 91.20% Non-Hispanic whites, 3.19% blacks, 0.20% Native Americans, 1.45% Asians, 0.03% Pacific Islanders, 0.09% Non-Hispanics of some other race, 1.33% Non-Hispanics reporting two or more races and 2.61% Hispanics.


JoS. A. Bank Clothiers has its headquarters in an unincorporated area in the county, near Hampstead.[15][16]

Carroll County Public Schools is the largest employer in Carroll County.


Carroll County is governed by five county commissioners, a "commission" being the traditional form of county government in Maryland.

Several times in the past, Carroll County voters have rejected charter amendments that would call for a government consisting of a County Executive and a County Council.

Carroll County differs from most counties in the Baltimore-Washington area in that it is strongly Republican.


In 2004 Carroll County voters approved legislation that will expand the number of County Commissioners from three to five. The five Commissioners will be elected from five Commissioner districts, as opposed to three Commissioners elected at-large. The change occurred with the 2010 elections, since the Maryland General Assembly did not agree on the districts in time for the 2006 elections.

Commissioners elected in 2010—all Republican[17]—were:

  • Stephen Wantz, Commissioner, District 1 [18]
  • Richard Weaver, Commissioner, District 2[19]
  • Dennis Frazier, Commissioner, District 3[20]
  • Richard Rothschild, Commissioner, District 4[21]
  • Doug Howard, Commissioner, District 5[22]



Supporting the commissioners is a cabinet, composed of the following departments:[24]

  • Administrative Services
  • Citizen Services (Jolene G. Sullivan, Director)
  • Comptroller (Rob Burk, Comptroller)
  • County Attorney (Timothy C. Burke, County Attorney)
  • Economic Development (Lawrence F. Twele, Director)
  • Land Use, Planning, and Development (Phil Hagar, Director)
  • Management and Budget (Ted Zaleski, Director)
  • Office of Public Safety Support Services (Scott R. Campbell, Administrator)
  • Public Works (Thomas J. Rio, Director)


The current elected Sheriff is Kenneth L. Tregoning.[25]


The Carroll County Public Schools School system is the ninth largest school district in the state of Maryland.

McDaniel College, a small private liberal arts college, is located in Westminster.


The newspaper of record is the Carroll County Times.


Law enforcement[edit]

Law enforcement services for the county are provided by the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, as well as several municipalities having their own police forces. In addition to providing police services, the Sheriff's Office also acts as an agent of the courts: serving warrants, enforcing child support laws, ensuring courthouse security, transporting prisoners, etc. On October 4, 2007, the County Commissioners voted to create a police department for the county. The police department would handle primary law enforcement duties while the Sheriff's office would continue to act under the arm of the courts. This move would give the Commissioners power to appoint or fire the chief of police instead of having a popularly elected Sheriff being in charge of all law enforcement. This move falls in line with Maryland's more populated counties who have such a dual system of law enforcement (Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Howard and Baltimore Counties), as Carroll County has begun to have a population increase. Municipal departments, such as Westminster Police, would be unaffected by the change. [1]

Family support services[edit]

General counseling, trauma-based therapy, support for victims of domestic violence, in-home aide for the adult disabled, and other assistance to Carroll County families and individuals are offered by Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland (FCS),[26][27] a private nonprofit organization with offices in Westminster, Maryland.[28][29] FCS also operates an adult day care center in Westminster.[30][31] Some services are offered without charge; others are offered on a sliding-fee scale based on income.


This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:



Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Carroll County Government". Carroll County Government. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 70. 
  5. ^ Fields, Barbara (1985). Slavery and Freedom on Middle Ground. Binghampton, New York: Yale Historical Publications. pp. 11–13. ISBN 0300023405. 
  6. ^ Kunkle, Fredrick (January 24, 2013). "Carroll County makes English the official language". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Carroll County, Maryland - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  14. ^ "Incomes, Earnings, and Poverty Data". 
  15. ^ "Career Opportunities." JoS. A. Bank Clothiers. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  16. ^ "Town of Hampstead Zoning Map." Town of Hampstead. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  17. ^ "Carroll’s first five-member board will consist of all Republicans". Carroll County Times. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Commissioner Stephen Wantz: District 1". Carroll County Government. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Commissioner Richard Weaver: District 2". Carroll County Government. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "Commissioner Dennis Frazier: District 3". Carroll County Government. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Commissioner Richard Rothschild: District 4". Carroll County Government. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Commissioner Doug Howard: District 5". Carroll County Government. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Cabinet". Carroll County Government. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "Police Departments". Carroll County Government. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  26. ^ "Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  27. ^ "Family & Children's Services of Central Maryland - Welcome". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  28. ^ "Carroll County - Westminster Counseling Office". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Carroll County - West End Place". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  31. ^ "Microsoft Word - Sun Article WEP Montessori.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  32. ^ "Francis Scott Key". Find A Grave. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Isaac Newton Roop". Find A Grave. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°34′N 77°01′W / 39.57°N 77.02°W / 39.57; -77.02