Kent County, Maryland

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Kent County, Maryland
Kent County
KentCountyCourthouseMD 2015.jpg
Kent County Courthouse in Chestertown
Seal of Kent County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Kent County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded December 30, 1642
Named for Kent
Seat Chestertown
Largest town Chestertown
 • Total 413 sq mi (1,070 km2)
 • Land 277 sq mi (717 km2)
 • Water 136 sq mi (352 km2), 33%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 19,820
 • Density 73/sq mi (28/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Kent County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, its population was 20,197,[1] making it the least populous county in Maryland. Its county seat is Chestertown.[2] The county was named for the county of Kent in England.[3] The county is located on Maryland's Eastern Shore.


In 1642, the governor and council appointed commissioners for the Isle and County of Kent. This act appears to have led to the establishment of Kent County. In 1675, the first county seat was New Yarmouth. The seat was briefly moved upriver to Quaker Neck, and then to the site of modern Chestertown. Before the American Revolution New Town on Chester, now Chestertown, was a port entry for the counties of Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne's.[4]

The county has a number of properties which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

In 1793, the county had its first newspaper, called Apollo, or Chestertown Spy. It was succeeded by local papers such as the Chestertown Gazette.

Washington College, the oldest college in Maryland, is located in Kent County.

Government and politics[edit]

Kent County was granted home rule in 1970 under a state code. Kent County is the most politically competitive county on Maryland's eastern shore. In 2004, Republican George W. Bush won it with 52% of the vote to Democrat John Kerry's 46%. In the 2008 United States Presidential Election, Barack Obama won Kent County by 48 votes more than John McCain.[6] In 2012 Republican Mitt Romney won Kent County by 28 votes over Democrat Barack Obama.

The Sheriff of Kent County is John Price IV.

The commissioners of Kent County are - Ronald H. Fithian (D) President, William W. Pickrum (D) and William A. Short (R)


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 413 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 277 square miles (720 km2) is land and 136 square miles (350 km2) (33%) is water.[7]

According to the Maryland Geological Survey, the highest point in Kent County is 102 ft above sea level, approximately 2.25 mi west of Coleman's Corner (shown on maps as "Coleman"), just northeast of the mouth of Still Pond Creek.[8]

Kent County is the smallest county in Maryland. It has a 209-mile shoreline, including Eastern Neck Island. The Chesapeake Bay is on the west, Sassafras River on the north, and the Chester River on the south. The eastern border with Delaware is part of the Mason–Dixon line.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Kent County in Maryland and Kent County in Delaware are two of twenty-two counties or parishes in the United States with the same name to border each other across state lines. The others are Union Parish, Louisiana and Union County, Arkansas, Big Horn County, Montana and Big Horn County, Wyoming, Sabine County, Texas and Sabine Parish, Louisiana, Bristol County, Massachusetts and Bristol County, Rhode Island, Escambia County, Alabama and Escambia County, Florida, Pike County, Illinois and Pike County, Missouri, Teton County, Idaho and Teton County, Wyoming, Park County, Montana and Park County, Wyoming, San Juan County, New Mexico and San Juan County, Utah, and Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana. respectively. (Note, despite the different spellings, the source of the name is the same for Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana—the Vermillion River which flows through both counties.)

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 12,836
1800 11,771 −8.3%
1810 11,450 −2.7%
1820 11,453 0.0%
1830 10,501 −8.3%
1840 10,842 3.2%
1850 11,386 5.0%
1860 13,267 16.5%
1870 17,102 28.9%
1880 17,605 2.9%
1890 17,471 −0.8%
1900 18,786 7.5%
1910 16,957 −9.7%
1920 15,026 −11.4%
1930 14,242 −5.2%
1940 13,465 −5.5%
1950 13,677 1.6%
1960 15,481 13.2%
1970 16,146 4.3%
1980 16,695 3.4%
1990 17,842 6.9%
2000 19,197 7.6%
2010 20,197 5.2%
Est. 2014 19,820 [9] −1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2014[1]


According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:


A farm in Kent County, Maryland

As of the census of 2000, there were 19,197 people, 7,666 households, and 5,136 families residing in the county. The population density was 69 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 9,410 housing units at an average density of 34 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.64% White, 17.41% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.04% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 2.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.7% were of English, 14.2% German, 12.4% Irish and 11.3% American ancestry.

There were 7,666 households out of which 26.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.70% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.00% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.80% under the age of 18, 10.90% from 18 to 24, 23.70% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 19.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,869, and the median income for a family was $46,708. Males had a median income of $31,899 versus $24,513 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,573. About 9.30% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.00% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.


  • Kent County High School
  • Kent County Middle School
  • Galena Elementary School
  • Judy Center (Pre-school)
  • Henry Highland Garnett Elementary School
  • Millington Elementary School
  • Rock Hall Elementary School
  • Worton Elementary School
  • Kent School
  • Chestertown Christian Academy
  • Echo Hill Outdoor School
  • Radcliffe Creek School
  • Washington College
  • Chesapeake College (supported in part by the county government, but located in Wye Mills, Md.)


This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:


Census-designated places[edit]

The United States Census Bureau recognizes the following Census-designated places in Kent County:

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Other unincorporated places not listed as Census-Designated Places but known in the area include:


  • The newspaper of record is the Kent County News.
  • Kent County Public Schools were some of the last in the country to fully integrate, but this was because of construction delays in opening the desegregated high school, which opened in the fall of 1969. Primary grade feeder schools in the Kent County system were integrated before the opening of the centrally located high school.
  • Kent County, Maryland, is one of the few counties in the United States to border its namesake in another state—in this case, Kent County, Delaware.
  • In 1790 Kent County contained the centre of population of the United States, according to the US Census Bureau. It is on the edge of a cornfield at 39.16.30 N 76.11.12 W.

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. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 173. 
  4. ^ Clark, Charles; Robert Swain, Jr. (1950). The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. 917–938. 
  5. ^ Staff (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ "CNN Maryland Results 2008 election". 
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Maryland Geological Survey". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°14′N 76°06′W / 39.23°N 76.10°W / 39.23; -76.10