Frederick County, Maryland

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Frederick County, Maryland
Frederick County
Frederick city.jpg
Downtown Frederick in June 2014
Flag of Frederick County, Maryland
Seal of Frederick County, Maryland
Nickname(s): "Frederick"
Map of Maryland highlighting Frederick County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded June 10, 1748
Seat Frederick
Largest city Frederick
 • Total 667 sq mi (1,728 km2)
 • Land 660 sq mi (1,709 km2)
 • Water 7.2 sq mi (19 km2), 1.1%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 243,675
 • Density 353/sq mi (136/km²)
Congressional districts 6th, 8th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Frederick County is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 240,336.[1] The county seat is Frederick.[2]

Frederick County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. As a result, the county has experienced a rapid population increase in recent years.[3][4] The county is sometimes associated with Western Maryland, depending on the definition used. It borders the southern border of Pennsylvania and the northeastern border of Virginia.

The county is home to Catoctin Mountain Park (encompassing the presidential retreat Camp David) and to the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick. It has also been the home to several celebrated historical figures like Francis Scott Key, Thomas Johnson, Roger B. Taney, and Barbara Fritchie.


The namesake of Frederick County and its county seat is unknown, but it probably was either Frederick, Prince of Wales or Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore.[5]


Frederick County was created in 1748 from parts of Prince George's County and Baltimore County.

In 1776, Frederick County was divided into three parts. The westernmost portion became Washington County, named after George Washington, the southernmost portion became Montgomery County, named after another Revolutionary War general, Richard Montgomery. The northern portion remained Frederick County.

In 1837 a part of Frederick County was combined with a part of Baltimore County to form Carroll County which is east of current day Frederick County.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]

Law, government, and politics[edit]

Until 2014, Frederick County was governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in the state of Maryland.

Charter government[edit]

Effective December 1, 2014, Frederick County transitioned to a "charter home rule government".[7] The voters approved this governmental change on the November 6, 2012 election with 62,469 voting for the transition and 37,368 voting against.[8]

A county executive is responsible for providing direction, supervision, and administrative oversight of all executive departments, agencies, and offices. A county council will also be elected, made up of seven members: five based on district and two at-large.[8]

Jan H. Gardner was elected the first Frederick County Executive in 2014.[9]

County Executive
  Name Affiliation Term
  Jan H. Gardner Democratic 2014—

The members of the first Frederick County Council for the term beginning 2014 are:[10][11]

County Council
  Name Affiliation District Region First Elected
  Bud Otis Republican At-large At-large 2014
  Billy Shreve Republican At-large At-large 2014
  Jerry Donald[12] Democratic 1 Braddock Heights, Middletown, Brunswick 2014
  Tony Chmelik Republican 2 Monrovia, Urbana, New Market, Mount Airy 2014
  M.C. Keegan-Ayer Democratic 3 Frederick, Clover Hill 2014
  Jessica Fitzwater Democratic 4 Frederick, Ballenger Creek, Linganore 2014
  Kirby Delauter Republican 5 Myersville, Emmitsburg, Thurmont 2014

The Frederick County State's Attorney, elected November 2, 2010, is Republican Charlie Smith. Smith was reelected in 2014.[10]

The sheriff of Frederick County is Republican Chuck Jenkins.[10]

The Executive Director for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development is Laurie Boyer.

Frederick County has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1964 when it voted for Lyndon B. Johnson. In 2004 George W. Bush defeated John Kerry 59-39%.[13] Democrats came closer in 2008, when John McCain defeated Barack Obama by a mere 1,157 votes (49.62–48.58).[14] Nevertheless, Republicans in Frederick rebounded to more historical levels in the 2010 Maryland Gubernatorial & Senatorial Elections, giving the Republican Ehrlich/Kane ticket 55% to Democrat O'Malley/Brown's 45. Frederick voters also supported Republican Senate challenger Eric Wargotz over incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara A Milkulski by a margin of 51–46, even as Mikulski was winning statewide by a landslide 61-37. Despite its conservative reputation, Frederick County voted in favor of Maryland Question 6, which legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland. In the 2014 Maryland Gubernatorial race Republican Larry Hogan won Frederick County strongly with 63% of the vote compared to Democrat Anthony Brown's 35%[15]

Frederick County's fire and rescue service is handled by a combination career and volunteer service delivery system. Frederick County employs over 300 firefighters. Volunteers of the 26 volunteer fire and rescue corporations number approximately 750 active operational members. Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services, including Advanced Life Support are handled by both volunteers and the career staff. Frederick County has a Maryland State Police Medevac located at the Frederick Municipal Airport and is designated "Trooper 3". Trooper 3 handles calls all throughout the state, but provides immediate assistance to local police, fire and rescue services.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 667 square miles (1,730 km2), of which 660 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 7.2 square miles (19 km2) (1.1%) is water.[16] It is the largest county in Maryland in terms of land area.[17]

Frederick County straddles the boundary between the Piedmont Plateau Region and the Appalachian Mountains. The county's two prominent ridges, Catoctin Mountain and South Mountain, form an extension of the Blue Ridge. The Middletown Valley lies between them.

Attractions in the Frederick area include the Clustered Spires, a monument to Francis Scott Key, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Monocacy National Battlefield and South Mountain battlefields, and the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 30,791
1800 31,523 2.4%
1810 34,437 9.2%
1820 40,459 17.5%
1830 45,789 13.2%
1840 36,405 −20.5%
1850 40,987 12.6%
1860 46,591 13.7%
1870 47,572 2.1%
1880 50,482 6.1%
1890 49,512 −1.9%
1900 51,920 4.9%
1910 52,673 1.5%
1920 52,541 −0.3%
1930 54,440 3.6%
1940 57,312 5.3%
1950 62,287 8.7%
1960 71,930 15.5%
1970 84,927 18.1%
1980 114,792 35.2%
1990 150,208 30.9%
2000 195,277 30.0%
2010 233,385 19.5%
Est. 2014 243,675 [18] 4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
1790-1960[20] 1900-1990[21]
1990-2000[22] 2010-2014[1]

Frederick County has experienced a rapid increase in population in recent years, including that of minority groups.[3][4] As of the census[23] of 2010, there were 233,385 people, 84,800 households, and 61,198 families residing in the county. The population density was 295 people per square mile (114/km²). There were 90,136 housing units at an average density of 110/square mile (43/km²). The ethnic makeup of the county was 81.5% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.8% Asian, 0.045% Pacific Islander, 2.9% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. 7.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. According to Census 2000 24.7% were of German, 12.9% American, 12.3% Irish and 10.1% English ancestry.


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the ethnic makeup of the county was as follows:


There were 84,800 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 96.85 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 94.02 men.


The United States Census Bureau has reported the following data for Frederick County.[24]

Metric Frederick County Maryland
Per capita money income in past 12 months (2013 dollars), 2009-2013 $36,917 $36,354
Median household income, 2009-2013 $84,570 $73,538
Persons below poverty level, percent, 2009-2013 6.1% 9.8%
Private nonfarm establishments, 2013 5,955 135,4211
Private nonfarm employment, 2013 83,799 2,182,2601
Private nonfarm employment, percent change, 2012-2013 1.1% 1.4%
Nonemployer establishments, 2012 16,843 442,314
Total number of firms, 2007 21,430 528,112
Black-owned firms, percent 5.9% 19.3%
Asian-owned firms, percent 3.3% 6.8%
Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007 3.6% 4.9%
Women-owned firms 31.1% 32.6%
Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000) 3,003,696 41,456,097
Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000) 1,252,142 51,276,797
Retail sales, 2007 ($1000) 3,066,281 75,664,186
Retail sales per capita, 2007 $13,629 $13,429
Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000) 356,482 10,758,428
Building permits, 2013 1,220 17,918

According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the following are the principal employers in Frederick County. This list excludes U.S. post offices and state and local governments, but includes public institutions of higher education.[25]

Employer Employees
(Nov. 2014)[25]
Fort Detrick
(including Frederick National Laboratory
for Cancer Research)
Frederick Memorial Healthcare System 2,696
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage 1,881
Leidos Biomedical Research 1,836
Bechtel 1,578
Frederick Community College 1,055
State Farm Insurance 900
Walmart/Sam's Club 700
AstraZeneca 595
Lonza Walkersville 520
Hood College 519
Mount St. Mary's University 511
UnitedHealthcare 500
McDonald's 499
Giant Food 490
Way Station 480
Costco Wholesale 452
Life Technologies 450
NVR 450
Wegmans Food Markets 445
Home Depot 444
Plamondon Companies 400
Stulz Air Technology Systems 375
Weis Markets 363
RR Donnelley 359
YMCA of Frederick County 350
Canam Steel 333
Giant Eagle 330
Homewood Retirement Centers 300
Toys "R" Us 260
Trans-Tech 260

Frederick County leads Maryland in milk production; the county's dairy herds account for one-third of the state's total.[26] However, the dairy market is unstable, and the Frederick County, like the state more broadly, has lost dairy farms.[27]


Map of urban areas in Frederick County
Frederick, the county seat and largest community in Frederick County.




Census-designated places[edit]

The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Frederick County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b "Population Change in Suburban Maryland" (PDF). George Mason University. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Metropolitan sprawl puts urban in suburban". 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Frederick County, Maryland – Government". Maryland State Archives. March 5, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  7. ^ "Charter Government Transition". Frederick County, MD Government. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Depies, Lori (18 March 2013). "Charter Government and Transition: What it means to you and to Frederick County" (PDF). Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  9. ^ McManus, Kevin (November 5, 2014). "Gardner Elected Frederick County's First Executive". WFMD-AM (Frederick, Maryland: Aloha Station Trust, LLC). 
  10. ^ a b c "Election Summary Report Gubernatorial General Election, Frederick County, Maryland, November 4, 2014: Summary For Jurisdiction Wide, All Counters, All Races, Unofficial Results, Early Voting, Polling Place, and Absentee 1 Canvass" (PDF). Frederick County Board of Elections. November 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ "2014 Council Districts" (pdf). Frederick County Board of Elections. November 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ Rodgers, Bethany (15 November 2014). "Donald takes County Council seat by 25 votes". Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  13. ^ 2004 election results
  14. ^ 2008 election results
  15. ^
  16. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Frederick News-Post Local Section". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved March 16, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  23. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  24. ^ State & County QuickFacts, Frederick County, Maryland, United States Census Bureau.
  25. ^ a b Major Employers in Frederick County, Maryland, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
  26. ^ Maryland at a Glance: Agriculture, Maryland Manual (April 2015).
  27. ^ Associated Press, Frederick County Dairy Farm Closes Its Doors (October 1, 2012).


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°28′N 77°24′W / 39.47°N 77.40°W / 39.47; -77.40