Leisure World, Maryland

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Leisure World, Maryland
Census-designated place
Montgomery County Maryland Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Rossmoor Highlighted.svg
Coordinates: 39°6′14″N 77°4′16″W / 39.10389°N 77.07111°W / 39.10389; -77.07111Coordinates: 39°6′14″N 77°4′16″W / 39.10389°N 77.07111°W / 39.10389; -77.07111
Country  United States of America
State  Maryland
County Montgomery
 • Total 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
 • Land 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 436 ft (133 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 8,749
 • Density 6,918.0/sq mi (2,671.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 20906
Area code(s) 301, 240
FIPS code 24-68675
GNIS feature ID 1867299

Leisure World is a census-designated place and unincorporated area in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It is an age-restricted, gated development primarily inhabited by retirees. It was formerly known as the Rossmoor census-designated place for the 2000 census, at which time it had a population of 7,569.


In 1963, developer Ross Cortese applied for a zoning amendment in order to build a 1,000-acre community of semi-detached homes, townhouses, and apartment buildings south of Norbeck, Maryland.[2] Cortese's company had acquired the option to buy the 1,000 acres of land, formerly known as the Nash tract, for $5,000,000, and Cortese expected it would cost another $750,000 to build the development according to the plans.[2] The development would be restricted to residents who are at least 52 years old.[2] Cortese planned to build clubhouses, a swimming pool, riding stables, an auditorium, a shopping center, medical facilities, a hotel for guests, an 18-hole golf course, and an 8-acre lake at the site.[2] Sixty-five percent of the area would be undeveloped green space.[2] The entire site would be surrounded by a wall, and full-time security guards would restrict access.[3] According to the plans, co-op homes would be available for between $15,000 and $18,000, payable with a $1,000 down payment and monthly payments thereafter of between $140 and $180.[2] Cortese had already built Rossmore Leisure World at Seal Beach, California, in 1961,[4][5] and he was then building Leisure World Laguna Hills in Laguna Hills, California, and another Leisure World in Walnut Creek, California.[2]

The Montgomery County Council approved the zoning amendment by a vote of 3 to 1, with 3 other members abstaining.[6][3] The one dissenting council member was Kathryn E. Diggs, who said she was skeptical that the development would be economically successful.[3] Local citizen groups opposed building the development because they preferred the area to remain zoned for low-density development.[6] The Council had been planning to extend Connecticut Avenue through the area, but the Council put that action on hold because of the proposed development.[7] Within a few months, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission approved 28,000 feet of water and sewer lines for the development.[8]

The architecture firm of Collins & Kronstadt designed the housing units and the community buildings.[9]


As an unincorporated area, Leisure World's boundaries are not officially defined, but are unofficially defined by a fence around the community.

Leisure World is, however, recognized by the United States Census Bureau as a census-designated place,[10] and by the United States Geological Survey as a populated place located at 39°6′14″N 77°4′16″W / 39.10389°N 77.07111°W / 39.10389; -77.07111 (39.103825, -77.070982).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the place has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), all land.



Of the population between 2011 and 2015, 23% speak a language other than English at home.[10]

As of 2015, of people age 25 or older, 92% had graduated high school, and 46% had earned a bachelor's degree. [10]

Of residents age 16 or older, 26% were working in the civilian labor force. Their mean travel time to work was 33 minutes. The median household income was $53,175. Of the population, 7% were below the poverty level.[10]


As of the census of 2010,[10] there were 8,749 people living in 5,803 households in the area. The average household size was 1.57. The population density was 7,997 people per square mile.[10]

The racial makeup of the area was 75% White, 17% African American, 0.1% Native American, 4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7% of the population. 71% were white and not Hispanic or Latino.[10]

The population included 1,444 veterans. Foreign-born persons consisted of 23% of the population.[10]

In the area the population was spread out with 4.5% under the age of 18, 22.6% from age 18 to 64, and 72.9% who were 65 years of age or older. Of the population, 62.5% were female.[10]


As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 7,569 people, 4,857 households, and 1,792 families residing in the area. The population density was 6,918.0 people per square mile (2,681.1/km²). There were 5,347 housing units at an average density of 4,887.1/sq mi (1,894.0/km²). The racial makeup of the area was 83.15% White, 11.57% African American, 0.04% Native American, 1.74% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.43% of the population.

There were 4,857 households out of which 3.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 3.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 63.1% were non-families. 61.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 56.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.53 and the average family size was 2.33.

In the area the population was spread out with 5.2% under the age of 18, 1.8% from 18 to 24, 6.8% from 25 to 44, 9.7% from 45 to 64, and 76.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 77 years. For every 100 females there were 52.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 50.9 males.

The median income for a household in the area was $45,945, and the median income for a family was $63,773. Males had a median income of $54,408 versus $36,038 for females. The per capita income for the area was $37,761. About 1.0% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ "Leisure World CDP QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Willmann, John B. "Proposed Community Seen As Area Test of Yen For Adult Togetherness: Community Proposed For Adults 52 and Over". The Washington Post. January 11, 1964. p. E1.
  3. ^ a b c "Zoning Approved in Montgomery For Norbeck Retirement Housing". The Washington Post. August 19, 1964. p. B4.
  4. ^ Brooks, Dorethea M. "New Plan For Senior Citizens Includes Housing, Medical Care, Social Life". The Chicago Defender. August 5, 1961. p. 4.
  5. ^ "Project for Aged Has Health: California Unit Is Offering Drugs and Medical Care". The New York Times. August 13, 1961. p. R6.
  6. ^ a b "Retirement Age Project Endorsed". The Washington Post. June 27, 1964. p. C5.
  7. ^ Kopper, Philip D. "Montgomery Council Girds For Session". The Washington Post. August 16, 1964. p. B6.
  8. ^ "Retirement 'Village' Gets Under Way". The Washington Post. December 4, 1964. p. B4.
  9. ^ Willmann, John. "Seniors Are Exclusive". The Washington Post. September 27, 1964. p. E2.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Leisure World CDP, Maryland". QuickFacts. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

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