Howard County, Maryland
|Howard County, Maryland|
Location in the state of Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
|Named for||John Eager Howard|
253.55 sq mi (657 km²)
252.04 sq mi (653 km²)
1.51 sq mi (4 km²), 0.60%
1,139/sq mi (439.6/km²)
|Congressional districts||3, 7|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
In 2010, its population was 287,085. Its county seat is Ellicott City. The center of population of Maryland is located on the county line between Howard County and Anne Arundel County, in the unincorporated town of Jessup.
Due to the proximity of Howard County's population centers to Baltimore, the county has traditionally been considered a part of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Recent development in the south of the county has led to some realignment towards the Washington, D.C. media and employment markets. The county is also home to Columbia, a major planned community of 100,000 founded by developer James Rouse in 1967.
Howard County is frequently cited for its affluence, quality of life, and excellent schools. For 2011, it was ranked the third wealthiest county by median household income in the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of the most affluent communities in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, such as Clarksville, Dayton, Glenelg, Glenwood and West Friendship, are located along the Route 32 corridor in Howard County. The main population center of Columbia/Ellicott City was named 2nd among Money magazine's 2010 survey of "America's Best Places to Live." Howard County's schools frequently rank first in Maryland as measured by standardized test scores and graduation rates.
The name of the county honors Colonel John Eager Howard, an officer in the "Maryland Line" of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, commander notably at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1781 among others. He became the fifth Governor of Maryland whose home was the mansion "Belevedere". The mansion was located at the intersection of East Chase and North Calvert Streets, north of Baltimore Town, an area also called "Howard's Woods" where the Washington Monument was later erected and the tomey neighborhood Mount Vernon, Baltimore was developed in the 1820s.  The area of western Anne Arundel County was designated the Howard District when Anne Arundel County was divided in 1839. The Howard District had the same status as a county except that it was not separately represented in the Maryland General Assembly. In 1841 The county built its first courthouse in Ellicott City.  In 1851, the district became erected officially as Howard County.
Howard County is located in the Piedmont Plateau region, with rolling hills making up most of the landscape. It is bounded on the north and northeast by the Patapsco River, on the southwest by the Patuxent River, and on the southeast by a land border with Anne Arundel County. Both the Patapsco and Patuxent run largely through publicly accessible parkland along the county borders. The Patuxent border includes the Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 253.55 square miles (656.7 km2), the smallest county in Maryland, of which 252.04 square miles (652.8 km2) (or 99.40%) is land and 1.51 square miles (3.9 km2) (or 0.60%) is water.
Adjacent counties 
- Anne Arundel County (southeast)
- Baltimore County (northeast)
- Carroll County (north)
- Frederick County (northwest)
- Montgomery County (west)
- Prince George's County (south)
Howard County lies in the humid subtropical climate zone. As one travels west in the county away from the Baltimore area, the winter temperatures get lower and winter snow is more common. Annual rainfall is about 45 inches (1,100 mm) throughout the county. Over a 50 year period from 1950 to 2010, there were 394 National Climatic Data Center reportable events causing 617 injuries, and 99 fatalities. There were 9 reported tornadoes, reaching a maximum of F2 with no recorded fatalities.
The ethnic makeup of the country, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, was the following:
- 62.2% White
- 17.5% Black
- 0.3% Native American
- 14.4% Asian
- 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 3.6% Two or more races
- 2.0% Other races
- 5.8% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
As of the census of 2000, there were 247,842 people, 90,043 households, and 65,821 families residing in the county. The population density was 983 people per square mile (380/km²). There were 92,818 housing units at an average density of 368 per square mile (142/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 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 were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.1% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 9.3% English, 6.6% Italian and 5.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 90,043 households out of which 40.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the county the population was 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 were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $101,003, and the median income for a family was $117,186 in 2009. The per capita income was $44,120. About 2.70% of families and 4.00% of the population were below the poverty line.
Population history 
The following is a population history for Howard County from the U.S. Census Bureau. The ranking compares the population of Howard County to those of the other 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City.
- 1860.......13,338......(2,862 listed as slaves)
- 1900.......16,715......22nd (Calvert and Caroline fewer)
- 1910.......16,106......23rd (Calvert fewer)
- 1920.......15,826......22nd (Calvert and Kent fewer)
- 1930.......16,169......19th (Calvert, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's fewer)
- 1940.......17,175......20th (Calvert, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's fewer)
- 1950.......23,119......18th (Calvert, Caroline, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot fewer)
- 1960.......36,152......14th (Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Worcester fewer)
- 1970.......61,911......11th (Howard passing Cecil, St. Mary's, Wicomico in population)
- 1980......118,572......7th (after only Anne Arundel, Baltimore County and City, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George's)
- 1990......187,328......6th (passing Harford)
Education and public library 
The Howard County Public School System manages 71 schools and serves approximately 49,000 students. The graduation rate from this school district is an above-average 92%, and the county's schools are ranked among the best in the state. Student test scores consistently top the list for all Maryland school districts. Public school construction has kept pace with the county’s growth in recent years in an effort to safeguard against crowded classrooms. Howard High School is currently the largest school in the county with over 1,600 students.
Since 2005, Howard County Library has consistently been ranked among the top 5 libraries in its size category by HAPLR (Hennen's American Public Library Ratings). (Under the library's sponsorship, a campaign called "Choose Civility" started in Howard County in 2006. According to its website, "Choose Civility is an ongoing community-wide initiative, led by Howard County Library, to position Howard County as a model of civility. The project intends to enhance respect, empathy, consideration and tolerance in Howard County." The campaign's distinctive green bumper stickers are often seen in Howard County and neighboring areas.)
Politics and government 
|2008||38.14% 55,393||59.99% 87,120||1.87% 2,720|
|2004||44.69% 59,724||54.07% 72,257||1.25% 1,666|
|2000||44.17% 49,809||51.92% 58,556||3.91% 4,411|
|1996||42.77% 40,849||49.81% 47,569||7.42% 7,090|
|1992||38.67% 38,594||44.85% 44,763||16.47% 16,441|
|1988||56.22% 44,153||43.30% 34,007||0.47% 370|
Howard County has developed a reputation for being reliably Democratic. However, it is slightly more moderate than Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. Howard County usually supports Democrats at the state and federal level, though it voted for Republican Bob Ehrlich in the 2002 gubernatorial election over Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. The last time that Howard County voted for a Republican candidate for President was 1988.
Howard County was governed by a three person Council until Senator James Clark proposed a five person County Council and a County Executive in 1965. The current Howard County Executive is Kenneth Ulman, who was initially elected in 2006. Most of the county is in Maryland's 7th congressional district, represented by Democrat Elijah Cummings. A small portion is in Maryland's 3rd congressional district, represented by Democrat John Sarbanes.
Current and past County Commisioners:
|Thomas B. Hobbs||1851|
|C. Ferdinand Sybert||1931-1934|
|Norman E. Moxley||Democrat||1949-1962||Arthur K Pickett||Democrat||Charles M Scott||Democrat|
|Charles E. Miller||Republican||1962-1974||J. Hubert Black||Republican||1962-1968||David W. Force||Republican||1962-1965|
|Charles E. Miller||Republican||1962-1974||J. Hubert Black||Republican||1962-1968||Ridgley Jones||Democrat||1968-|
Current and past County Executives:
|Omar J. Jones||Democrat||1969–1973|
|Edward L. Cochran||Democrat||1974–1978|
|J. Hugh Nichols||Democrat||1978–1986|
|William E. Eakle||Democrat||1986|
|Charles I. Ecker||Republican||1990–1998|
|James N. Robey||Democrat||1998–2006|
|Kenneth Ulman||Democrat||2006 –|
The current members of the County Council are:
|Member||Mary Kay Sigaty||Democrat||4|
Unemployment has risen to 5.5 percent in 2010 from 1.9 percent in 2000. This rate is 2 percent lower than the State of Maryland, and 4.2 percent lower than the United States. The top ten employers in Howard County are as follows: 
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Howard County Public School System||7,850|
|2||Applied Physics Laboratory||4,400|
|4||Lorien Health Services||2,000|
|6||Howard County General Hospital||1,720|
Culture and attractions 
- Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland
- Blandair, an open space preserve
- Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge
- The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
- The Columbia Orchestra
- Ellicott City Station
- The Enchanted Forest (closed)
- Historic Ellicott City Main Street
- Howard County Center for the Arts
- Howard County Library
- Merriweather Post Pavilion
- Rep Stage
- Robinson Nature Center
- Savage Mill
- Shrine of St. Anthony
- Toby's Dinner Theatre
Unincorporated census-designated places 
Howard County has no incorporated municipalities.
Unincorporated areas are considered as towns by many people and listed in many collections of towns, but they lack local governments or elected leaders. Various organizations, such as the United States Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and local chambers of commerce, define the communities they wish to recognize differently, and since they are not incorporated, their boundaries have no official status outside the organizations in question. The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:
- Ellicott City
- Jessup (a portion is also in Anne Arundel County)
- North Laurel
- Savage-Guilford (a combination of the communities of Savage and Guilford recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)
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. Unincorporated places not listed as Census-Designated Places but known in the area include:
- Hanover (a portion is also in Anne Arundel County)
- Henryton (primarily in Carroll County)
- Marriottsville (a portion is also in Carroll County and Baltimore County)
- Sykesville (primarily in Carroll County)
- West Friendship
Howard County does not have any public or commercial airport facilities. There are two privately owned airstrips, Glenair in Glenwood, Maryland, and Haysfield Airport in Ellicott City, Maryland. Commercial air service is provided at the nearby BWI Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.
Public transportation 
Bus routes that operate in Howard County are managed by multiple services, including Howard Transit, Connect a Ride, The Maryland Transit Administration, Commuter Solutions of Howard County, and Neighbor Ride.
Howard County contains two primary Interstate highways: Interstate 70 which runs east-west across the northern half of the county and Interstate 95 which enters the county in Elkridge and runs north-south to North Laurel, then crossing into Prince Georges County.
Other major routes include U.S. Route 29, which runs from its northern terminus at MD 99 in Ellicott City into Montgomery County, Maryland Route 100 which provides quick access to BWI Airport from Ellicott City and Columbia, and Maryland Route 32 links the northwest suburbs of West Friendship, Glenelg, and Clarksville with Columbia and Fort Meade.
Notable residents and natives 
- Stephen Amidon, author, whose 2000 novel, The New City, is set in a fictionalized Columbia in the 1970s.
- Catherine Asaro, science fiction author, Hugo and Nebula winner, creator of the Skolian Empire series
- Desmond Armstrong, member of US 1990 FIFA World Cup soccer team
- Benjamin Banneker, African-American self-educated scientist, astronomer, inventor, writer, and antislavery publicist, born in Ellicott's Mills, November 9, 1731
- Florence Riefle Bahr, artist and activist
- Leonard Marion Bahr, portrait painter
- Jordan Thomas Bonardi, ex-Spartan patrol leader
- Michael Benton, U.S. diplomat to Denmark
- Jayson Blair, disgraced former New York Times reporter
- Beatrice Capra, amateur tennis player who won several rounds at the US Open in 2010
- Kenneth Catania, MacArthur Foundation Fellow and Professor of Biology at Vanderbilt University
- Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winning author
- Frank Cho, creator of Liberty Meadows comic strip
- James A. Clark, president of the Maryland State Senate from 1979 to 1983
- George Colligan, New York–based jazz pianist
- Cristeta Comerford, White House Executive Chef
- D'Monroe, Broadway and Off-Broadway Actor
- The Dangerous Summer (band), alternative rock band from Ellicott City
- Divine, actor who briefly rented an apartment in Ellicott City as a young adult in the summer of 1968
- Brenda Frese Coach of the 2006 National Champion University of Maryland Terrapins Women's Basketball team
- Willie Germany, NFL defensive back
- Mary Downing Hahn, award winning author of young adult literature
- Greg Hawkes, keyboardist for new wave band [The Cars]
- Mantle Hood, American ethnomusicologist, died in Ellicott City
- Stephen Hunter, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and author
- Ian Jones-Quartey, creator of the webcomic RPG World
- JJ Kincaid, New York City radio personality, got his start DJing at the Columbia Ice Rink.
- Kerry G. Johnson, award winning caricaturist, cartoonist and humorous illustrator
- Thomas Watkins Ligon, 30th Governor of Maryland; died in Ellicott City in 1881 and is buried at St. John's Cemetery
- Laura Lippman, award winning mystery author
- John MacTavish, British Consul to Maryland in the 1840s
- Suzanne Malveaux, CNN Reporter, went to high school in Ellicott City
- Aaron Maybin, American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. Went to high school in Ellicott City
- Aaron McGruder, animator and cartoonist. Creator of The Boondocks
- Brendan Mundorf, professional lacrosse player for the Denver Outlaws
- Edward Norton, Academy Award–nominated actor and grandson of Columbia founder James Rouse, made his professional debut at age 8 at Toby's Dinner Theatre in the Town Center.
- Saint John Neumann, pastor of Saint Augustine Church in Elkridge, 1849–1851
- Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of reddit, went to high school in Ellicott City
- Randy Pausch, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, author of The Last Lecture
- Elise Ray, Olympic gymnast
- Ryan Pinkston, MTV's Punk'd
- James W. Rouse, urban planner, real estate developer and philanthropist. Also grandfather of famous actor and fellow Columbian Edward Norton
- Babe Ruth, baseball player; married at St. Paul's Church in [Ellicott City] to Helen Woodford on October 17, 1914
- SR-71 (band), many of the band's members were from Ellicott City
- Christian Siriano, fashion designer and winner of the fourth season of Project Runway (born in Columbia)
- Linda Tripp, central figure in the Monica Lewinsky scandal
- Terry Virts, astronaut
- Jonathan Ward, actor (Charles in Charge, Mac and Me)
- Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE inventor of the jet engine
- Wayne Wilson, NFL running back
- Void (band), punk band on Dischord Records
See also 
- "Population and Population Centers by State: 2000". Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- "CNN Money Magazine: 2010 Best Places To Live". Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- "APL Environment". Retrieved 2008-02-08.[dead link]
- "Mean Center of Population of the United States". Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- "Howard County History". Howard Life. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "Howard County Buildings". Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "CLARKSVILLE 3 NNE, HOWARD COUNTY, MARYLAND USA". Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "NOAA National Climatic Weather Center Search". Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Howard County, Maryland - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- Joseph R. Mitchell, David Stebenne. New City Upon a Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland. p. 21.
- "Clark Airs Howard Plan". Morning Sun. 12 Feb 1965.
- The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland.
- County of Howard CAFR
- Howard County Budget Office. Howard County 2012 Annual Budget.
- "NASR Airports".
- "Transit Services". Retrieved 6 October 2010.
||Frederick County||Carroll County||Baltimore County|
|Prince George's County||Anne Arundel County|