Dorchester County, Maryland

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Coordinates: 38°25′N 76°05′W / 38.42°N 76.08°W / 38.42; -76.08

Dorchester County, Maryland
Dorchester County Courthouse.jpg
Dorchester County Courthouse
Seal of Dorchester County, Maryland
Seal
Map of Maryland highlighting Dorchester County
Location in the U.S. state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1669
Named for Earl of Dorset
Seat Cambridge
Largest city Cambridge
Area
 • Total 983 sq mi (2,546 km2)
 • Land 541 sq mi (1,401 km2)
 • Water 442 sq mi (1,145 km2), 45%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 32,384
 • Density 33/sq mi (13/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.docogonet.com

Dorchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,618.[1] Its county seat is Cambridge.[2][3] The county was formed in 1669 and named for the Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts (the founding family of the Maryland colony).[4]

Dorchester County comprises the Cambridge, MD Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. It is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Dorchester County 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.

History[edit]

Many of the residents of Dorchester County make their living as farmers or working on the water. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries provide harvests of crabs, oysters, and many fish species to both commercial and recreational fisherman. Dorchester County, Maryland was the birthplace of Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery and afterward worked to guide other refugee slaves to freedom in the North.[5]

Dorchester County has been hit by two deadly tornadoes. The first one occurred on June 23, 1944 in Cambridge, where 2 people were killed and 33 were injured. The other was on May 8, 1984 in Hurlock, where one death and 6 injuries were reported.[6] Both storms caused between 500,000 and 5 million dollars in damage.[7][8]

Politics, government and law[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[9]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 55.3% 8,413 41.0% 6,245 3.7% 567
2012 51.6% 7,976 47.0% 7,257 1.4% 211
2008 53.5% 8,168 45.3% 6,912 1.3% 194
2004 58.5% 7,801 40.6% 5,411 1.0% 127
2000 51.3% 5,847 45.9% 5,232 2.8% 313
1996 43.1% 4,337 45.9% 4,613 11.0% 1,104
1992 45.0% 4,934 35.9% 3,933 19.1% 2,090
1988 62.6% 6,343 36.6% 3,709 0.9% 88
1984 67.1% 6,699 31.7% 3,160 1.2% 122
1980 48.9% 5,160 46.5% 4,908 4.6% 482
1976 51.3% 4,768 48.7% 4,528
1972 75.0% 6,859 23.4% 2,136 1.7% 154
1968 41.4% 4,183 26.8% 2,714 31.8% 3,217
1964 53.9% 5,327 46.1% 4,564
1960 48.2% 4,626 51.8% 4,964
1956 60.9% 5,809 39.1% 3,733
1952 52.6% 5,524 45.9% 4,823 1.5% 152
1948 44.9% 3,751 54.0% 4,507 1.1% 93
1944 47.1% 4,241 52.9% 4,764
1940 39.0% 3,953 60.1% 6,088 0.9% 87
1936 41.3% 3,735 58.6% 5,293 0.1% 11
1932 43.1% 3,466 56.5% 4,547 0.5% 39
1928 74.2% 6,333 25.5% 2,180 0.3% 22
1924 50.8% 3,356 46.1% 3,047 3.2% 209
1920 51.4% 4,218 48.1% 3,950 0.5% 42
1916 46.4% 2,468 51.7% 2,750 1.9% 102
1912 44.8% 2,387 47.1% 2,509 8.1% 433
1908 47.9% 2,627 50.5% 2,769 1.6% 89
1904 55.0% 2,680 42.9% 2,087 2.1% 102
1900 53.9% 3,366 43.8% 2,733 2.3% 143

Dorchester County operates under the Charter Home Rule form of government, and the affairs of the County are managed by five County Council Members. Each is elected from a single-member district 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.[10]

The white population of Dorchester has historically voted very conservatively. Along with rock-ribbed Unionist Garrett County, located in Appalachia, its white majority was one of only two Maryland counties to vote for Barry Goldwater in 1964. During the following election, Dorchester was the only county in the state where segregationist George Wallace outpolled either Nixon or Humphrey. In the late 20th century, white conservatives in the South shifted from the Democratic to the Republican Party. Since then the only Democratic presidential nominee to carry Dorchester County was southern native son Bill Clinton in 1996.

The county has trended less conservative in recent years, with Democrat Barack Obama coming within five percentage points of beating Mitt Romney in the presidential election 2012; Obama won nationally. In earlier times, unlike highly secessionist Wicomico, Worcester, Queen Anne’s and Cecil counties]],[11] Dorchester was a swing county in the late 19th century due to the voting power of its freedman population, who strongly supported the Republican Party. The conservative whites voted Democratic for William Jennings Bryan in 1908, after Maryland had passed laws raising barriers to voter registration among blacks, resulting in a dramatic drop in their voting until after passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.[12]

Law enforcement[edit]

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.[13]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 983 square miles (2,550 km2), of which 541 square miles (1,400 km2) is land and 442 square miles (1,140 km2) (45%) is water.[14] It is the largest county in Maryland by total area.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 15,875
1800 16,346 3.0%
1810 18,108 10.8%
1820 17,759 −1.9%
1830 18,686 5.2%
1840 18,843 0.8%
1850 18,877 0.2%
1860 20,461 8.4%
1870 19,458 −4.9%
1880 23,110 18.8%
1890 24,843 7.5%
1900 27,962 12.6%
1910 28,669 2.5%
1920 27,895 −2.7%
1930 26,813 −3.9%
1940 28,006 4.4%
1950 27,815 −0.7%
1960 29,666 6.7%
1970 29,405 −0.9%
1980 30,623 4.1%
1990 30,236 −1.3%
2000 30,674 1.4%
2010 32,618 6.3%
Est. 2016 32,258 [15] −1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790-1960[17] 1900-1990[18]
1990-2000[19] 2010-2015[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[20] 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.

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.[21]

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.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,618 people, 13,522 households, and 8,894 families residing in the county.[22] The population density was 60.3 inhabitants per square mile (23.3/km2). There were 16,554 housing units at an average density of 30.6 per square mile (11.8/km2).[23] The racial makeup of the county was 67.6% white, 27.7% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.5% of the population.[22] In terms of ancestry, 17.0% were American, 13.9% were English, 11.4% were German, and 11.1% were Irish.[24]

Of the 13,522 households, 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.2% were non-families, and 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 43.3 years.[22]

The median income for a household in the county was $45,151 and the median income for a family was $56,662. Males had a median income of $40,814 versus $30,184 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,139. About 9.5% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.[25]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

  • 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
  • Mace's Lane Middle School
  • North Dorchester Middle School
  • Cambridge South Dorchester High School
  • North Dorchester High School

Sister counties[edit]

Media[edit]

The local newspapers are The Daily Banner and The Dorchester Star (a free, weekly publication). A regional newspaper, The Star Democrat, serves several counties including Dorchester.

Dorchester County is included in the coverage area of local television stations WBOC, WMDT and WRDE. It also receives coverage from television stations based in Baltimore and Washington, D.C..

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ Dorchester County, Maryland - Government. Msa.maryland.gov. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 108. 
  5. ^ Footner, Hulbert. Maryland Man and the Eastern Shore.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2006-07-27. 
  7. ^ [http://www.docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/nwr/073/nwr-073-01-0001.pdf, Library, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  8. ^ May 8, 1984, Tornado History Project
  9. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
  10. ^ Dorchester County, Maryland - Overview & History
  11. ^ Levine, Mark V.; "Standing Political Decisions and Critical Realignment: The Pattern of Maryland Politics, 1872-1948", The Journal of Politics, volume 38, no. 2 (May, 1976), pp. 292-325
  12. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, pp. 220-221 ISBN 0786422173
  13. ^ Dorchester County, Maryland - Dorchester County Sheriff's Department
  14. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  21. ^ Dorchester County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau Archived 2011-07-09 at WebCite
  22. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  23. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  24. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  25. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 

External links[edit]