Dorchester County, Maryland
|Dorchester County, Maryland|
Location in the state of Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
982.92 sq mi (2,546 km²)
557.54 sq mi (1,444 km²)
425.38 sq mi (1,102 km²), 43.28%
58/sq mi (22.5/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Dorchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland on its Eastern Shore. It became a county in 1669 and is the largest county on the Eastern Shore. It is bordered by the Choptank River to the north, Talbot County to the northwest, Caroline County to the northeast, Wicomico County to the southeast, Sussex County, Delaware, to the east, and the Chesapeake Bay to the west. Dorchester County uses the slogan, "The Heart of Chesapeake Country," due to its geographical location and the heart-like shape of the county on a map. In 2010, its population was 32,618. It was named for the Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts (the founding family of the Maryland colony). Its county seat is Cambridge. 
Law and government 
Dorchester County operates under the Charter Home Rule form of government and the affairs of the County are managed by five County Council Members, one from each of the five Council districts defined within the County. Meetings of the County Council are held weekly. The agenda and the minutes of each week’s proceedings are public record.
Law enforcement 
The county is policed by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office (DCSO), the Maryland State Police, and the DNR Police. The DCSO is a full service agency, currently headed by Sheriff James W. Phillips Jr..
Life and History 
Many of the residents of Dorchester County make their living as farmers or working on the water. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries provide bountiful harvests of crabs, oysters, and many fish species to commercial and recreational fisherman alike. Dorchester County, Maryland is the birthplace of Harriet Tubman, known widely for her work of guiding slaves to freedom. 
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 982.92 square miles (2,545.8 km2), the largest county in Maryland, of which 557.54 square miles (1,444.0 km2) (or 56.72%) is land and 425.38 square miles (1,101.7 km2) (or 43.28%) is water. There are an abundance of salt marshes and tidal streams found within Dorchester County.
Adjacent counties 
- Caroline County (north)
- Sussex County, Delaware (northeast)
- Wicomico County (east)
- Somerset County (southeast)
- Talbot County (northwest)
National protected area 
Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:
- 67.6% White
- 27.7% Black
- 0.3% Native American
- 0.9% Asian
- 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 1.9% Two or more races
- 1.2% Other races
- 3.5% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,674 people, 12,706 households, and 8,500 families residing in the county. The population density was 55 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 14,681 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 69.45% White, 28.39% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.1% were of American, 12.7% English, 9.8% German and 8.2% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 12,706 households out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.50% were married couples living together, 15.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.10% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 25.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,077, and the median income for a family was $41,917. Males had a median income of $29,014 versus $22,284 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,929. 13.80% of the population and 10.10% of families were below the poverty line. 18.10% of those under the age of 18 and 14.20% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
As of 2010 the racial makeup of the county was 66.16% Non-Hispanic whites, 27.70% blacks, 0.34% Native Americans, 0.92% Asians, 0.03% Pacific Islanders, 0.09% Non-Hispanics from some other race, 1.64% Non-Hispanics reporting two or more races and 3.64% Hispanic or Latino.
Public schools 
- Dorchester County School of Technology
- Choptank Elementary School
- Hurlock Elementary School
- Maple Elementary School
- Sandy Hill Elementary School
- South Dorchester K-8
- Vienna Elementary School
- Warwick Elementary School
- Maces Lane Middle School
- North Dorchester Middle School
- Cambridge South Dorchester High School
- North Dorchester High School
Cities and towns 
This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:
- 1 City:
- Cambridge (incorporated 1793)
- 8 Towns:
Sister counties 
- - Düren (district), since 2005
See also 
- Dorchester County, Maryland - Overview & History
- Dorchester County, Maryland - Dorchester County Sheriff's Department
- Footner, Hulbert. Maryland Man and the Eastern Shore.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Dorchester County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
||Talbot County||Caroline County||Sussex County, Delaware|
|Chesapeake Bay||Wicomico County|