Washington County, Maryland

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For counties with a similar name, see Washington County (disambiguation).
Washington County, Maryland
Washington County
Burnside's Bridge in Washington County, site of heavy combat during the Battle of Antietam
Flag of Washington County, Maryland
Seal of Washington County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Washington County
Location in the U.S. state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded September 6, 1776
Named for George Washington
Seat Hagerstown
Largest city Hagerstown
 • Total 467 sq mi (1,210 km2)
 • Land 458 sq mi (1,186 km2)
 • Water 9.6 sq mi (25 km2), 2.0%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 149,585
 • Density 320/sq mi (124/km²)
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.washco-md.net

Washington County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 147,430.[1] Its county seat is Hagerstown.[2] Washington County was the first county in the United States to be named for the Revolutionary War general (and later President) George Washington. Washington County is one of three Maryland counties recognized by the Appalachian Regional Commission as being part of Appalachia.[3]

The county borders southern Pennsylvania to the north, Northern Virginia to the south, and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to the south and west.

Washington County is included in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. Washington County has experienced a population boom, and is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, due to an influx of people from Washington and Baltimore.


The Washington County seal from 1950 to 1988.

The western portions of Maryland (including present Washington County) were incorporated into Prince George's County in 1696. This original county included six current counties. The first to be created was Frederick, separated from Prince George's County in 1748.

Washington County was formed on September 6, 1776 by the division of Frederick County. At the same time, a portion of Frederick County became part of the newly created Montgomery County along with portions from Prince George's County and Charles' County, and was named for General Richard Montgomery. Washington County as created included land later to become Allegany County (created in 1789) and Garrett County (included in Allegany County when it was created in 1789, but separated from Allegany County in 1872). Washington County thus originally included the entire western part of the state.[4]

A number of properties in the county are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 467 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 9.6 square miles (25 km2) (2.0%) is water.[6]

Washington County is located in the Appalachian Mountains, stretching from the Ridge-and-Valley Country in the west to South Mountain in the east, which is an extension of the Blue Ridge. Much of the county lies in the broad Hagerstown Valley between these two zones; the valley is part of the Great Appalachian Valley that continues southward into Virginia and West Virginia as the Shenandoah Valley and northward into Pennsylvania as the Cumberland Valley.

The county is bordered to the north by the Mason–Dixon line with Pennsylvania, to the south by the Potomac River and the states of Virginia and West Virginia, to the west by Sideling Hill Creek and Allegany County, Maryland, and to the east by Frederick County and South Mountain.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Law and government[edit]

Washington County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic
2012 57.5% 36,074 39.9% 25,042
2008 55.5% 34,169 42.6% 26,245
2004 63.8% 36,917 35.2% 20,387
2000 58.9% 27,948 38.4% 18,221
1996 50.9% 21,434 39.1% 16,481
1992 47.6% 21,977 35.7% 16,495
1988 63.8% 25,912 35.5% 14,408
1984 66.7% 27,118 32.8% 13,329
1980 52.4% 22,901 36.1% 14,118
1976 55.9% 20,194 44.1% 15,902
1972 69.3% 24,234 28.7% 10,039
1968 47.1% 16,050 33.1% 11,266
1964 39.1% 12,756 60.9% 19,858
1960 53.3% 17,828 46.7% 15,632

County government[edit]

Washington County's 'leader' is known as the County Administrator. Currently, Greg Murray serves as the Administrator. However, Washington County's County Commissioners exercise executive powers as they exist in the government of the county.

The County Commissioners in Washington County comprise the traditional form of county government in Maryland. Current members include: Terry Baker, President, John F. Barr, Vice-President and LeRoy E. Myers, Jeffrey A. Cline and William J. Wivell.[7]

State representation[edit]

Washington County is represented by two senators in the Maryland State Senate. Member George C. Edwards (R), serves the 1st district in Maryland and Andrew A. Serafini (R), serves in the 2nd district. The county also is represented in Maryland General Assembly's other primary division, the Maryland House of Delegates. Delegates who stand for Washington County include: Mike McKay (R) for District 1C, Neil Parrot (R) for District 2A (the other 2A seat is vacant) and Brett Wilson (R) for District 2B.[8]

Federal representation[edit]

The county is located within Maryland's 6th congressional district. The representative of the district currently is John Delaney (D).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 15,822
1800 18,650 17.9%
1810 18,730 0.4%
1820 23,075 23.2%
1830 25,268 9.5%
1840 28,850 14.2%
1850 30,848 6.9%
1860 31,417 1.8%
1870 34,712 10.5%
1880 38,561 11.1%
1890 39,782 3.2%
1900 45,133 13.5%
1910 49,617 9.9%
1920 59,694 20.3%
1930 65,882 10.4%
1940 68,838 4.5%
1950 78,886 14.6%
1960 91,219 15.6%
1970 103,829 13.8%
1980 113,086 8.9%
1990 121,393 7.3%
2000 131,923 8.7%
2010 147,430 11.8%
Est. 2015 149,585 [9] 1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2015[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2010, there were 147,430 people, 49,726 households, and 34,112 families residing in the county. The population density was 315 people per square mile (111/km²). There were 52,972 housing units at an average density of 116 per square mile (45/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.71% White or Caucasian, 7.77% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In the Census 2000, 32.1% identified as being of German ancestry, 21.4% American, 8.8% Irish, and 8.4% English ancestry.

There were 49,726 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.00% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.40% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 104.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.00 males.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 147,430 people, 55,687 households, and 37,506 families residing in the county.[14] The population density was 322.1 inhabitants per square mile (124.4/km2). There were 60,814 housing units at an average density of 132.8 per square mile (51.3/km2).[15] The racial makeup of the county was 85.1% white, 9.6% black or African American, 1.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.5% of the population.[14] In terms of ancestry, 31.7% were German, 14.1% were Irish, 9.8% were English, 8.5% were American, and 5.1% were Italian.[16]

Of the 55,687 households, 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.6% were non-families, and 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.01. The median age was 39.7 years.[14]

The median income for a household in the county was $52,994 and the median income for a family was $65,811. Males had a median income of $47,622 versus $34,225 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,588. About 7.7% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.[17]


In 2000, the median income for a household in the county was $40,617, and the median income for a family was $48,962. Males had a median income of $34,917 versus $24,524 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,062. About 7.00% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.30% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the following were the major employers in the county (excluding post offices, state government, and local governments, but including public institutions of higher education):[18]

Employer Employees
(Nov. 2014)[18]
Meritus Health 2,730
Citi 2,700
First Data 2,322
Volvo Group 1,350
The Bowman Group 718
FedEx Ground 648
Staples Inc. 597
Hagerstown Community College 594
Merkle Response Management Group 545
Arc of Washington County 500
Direct Mail Processors 500
Walmart/Sam's Club 500
Sierra Nevada Corp. 486
Giant Food Stores/
Martin's Food Markets
Weis Markets 400
Brook Lane Health Services 395
Lehigh Phoenix 360
A.C.&T 350
Susquehanna Bancshares 345
Dot Foods 312
JLG Industries 300
Home Depot 296
Lowe's 276
Thompson's Gas & Electric Service 275
United Parcel Service (UPS) 274
CertainTeed 250
Darden Restaurants 250
Sheetz 250
Tractor Supply 250
Homewood Retirement Centers 249
NMS Healthcare of Hagerstown 240
Horizon Goodwill Industries 229
C. William Hetzer 225
FedEx Freight 225

Parks and recreation[edit]

Sideling Hill man-made mountain pass on I-68/U.S. 40 near Hancock

National parks[edit]

State parks[edit]

Museums, historic sites, and other points of interest[edit]


Washington County Public Schools administers public schools in the county. See Washington County Public Schools – School Directory for a detailed listing of elementary, middle, high, and other schools.

High schools[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]





Census-designated places[edit]

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

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable residents and natives[edit]

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. ^ "Counties in Appalachia - Appalachian Regional Commission". www.arc.gov. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  4. ^ [1], Washington County, Maryland History and Genealogy, 2006. Retrieved 2008.
  5. ^ Staff (2008-04-24). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.washco-md.net/commissioners/commiss_home.shtm
  8. ^ http://dls.state.md.us/data/libandinfser/libandinfser_docandpub/RosterByCounty.pdf
  9. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  15. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  16. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  17. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  18. ^ a b Major Employers in Washington County, Maryland, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (Nov. 2014 data).

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Washington County (Maryland).

Coordinates: 39°36′N 77°49′W / 39.60°N 77.81°W / 39.60; -77.81