Wicomico County, Maryland

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Wicomico County, Maryland
Pemberton Hall (Salisbury MD) from NW 1.JPG
Flag of Wicomico County, Maryland
Flag
Seal of Wicomico County, Maryland
Seal
Map of Maryland highlighting Wicomico County
Location in the U.S. state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1867
Named for Wicomico River
Seat Salisbury
Largest city Salisbury
Area
 • Total 400 sq mi (1,036 km2)
 • Land 374 sq mi (969 km2)
 • Water 26 sq mi (67 km2), 6.4%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 102,577
 • Density 274/sq mi (106/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.wicomicocounty.org

Wicomico County (/wˈkɒmɪk/[1]) is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,733.[2] The county seat is Salisbury.[3] The county was named for the Wicomico River, which in turn derives from Algonquian language words wicko mekee, meaning "a place where houses are built," apparently referring to an Indian town on the banks.

Wicomico County is included in the Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The newspaper of record is The Daily Times.

History[edit]

Wicomico County was created from Somerset and Worcester counties in 1867.

Politics and government[edit]

Wicomico County was granted a charter form of government in 1964.

In the period after the Reconstruction era, Wicomico County became solidly Democratic due to its strong support for secession and state efforts to disenfranchise most blacks by raising barriers to voter registration. Independent insurgent white groups worked to intimidate and discourage black voters, especially in rural areas.[4]

Maryland was a one-party state, like others in the South, until after the passage of civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s to protect the right to vote. No Republican carried Wicomico County until 1928, when Herbert Hoover won due to anti-Catholic sentiment in the heavily Protestant county against Democratic candidate Al Smith. The popular general Dwight D. Eisenhower carried Wicomico in 1952. Since the late 20th century, white conservatives, the majority in the county, have increasingly joined the Republican Party. In this same period, African-American voters have tended to favor the Democratic Party, which supported their civil rights movement at the national level, as have other minorities.

No Democratic presidential candidate has won Wicomico County since Lyndon Johnson’s landslide in 1964, as white conservatives increasingly moved into the Republican Party.[5] Bill Clinton, a son of the South, came within 384 votes of beating Bob Dole in 1996. Barack Obama attracted a much higher proportion of the county vote in 2008 and 2012, likely among younger people, the educated, and other minorities.

Presidential Elections Results[6]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 52.2% 22,198 42.4% 18,050 5.4% 2,299
2012 51.5% 21,764 46.5% 19,635 2.0% 860
2008 52.2% 21,849 46.4% 19,436 1.4% 569
2004 58.7% 21,998 40.4% 15,137 1.0% 368
2000 51.4% 16,338 45.5% 14,469 3.1% 988
1996 46.5% 12,687 45.1% 12,303 8.4% 2,296
1992 44.8% 13,560 37.9% 11,481 17.3% 5,231
1988 63.2% 16,272 36.6% 9,413 0.3% 70
1984 66.3% 16,124 33.5% 8,160 0.2% 48
1980 51.3% 11,229 43.1% 9,431 5.7% 1,245
1976 52.8% 10,537 47.2% 9,412
1972 69.7% 13,115 29.3% 5,510 1.0% 190
1968 47.2% 8,707 29.2% 5,392 23.6% 4,356
1964 46.1% 7,448 53.9% 8,695
1960 54.1% 8,671 45.9% 7,350
1956 63.9% 9,377 36.1% 5,289
1952 60.6% 9,061 39.3% 5,878 0.2% 26
1948 48.1% 5,062 51.5% 5,415 0.4% 39
1944 47.0% 5,040 53.0% 5,674
1940 39.5% 4,741 59.9% 7,198 0.6% 73
1936 38.2% 4,545 61.1% 7,273 0.8% 95
1932 35.4% 3,812 64.1% 6,895 0.5% 48
1928 59.0% 5,923 40.8% 4,095 0.2% 15
1924 43.8% 2,604 51.6% 3,068 4.6% 271
1920 45.4% 4,225 54.3% 5,054 0.3% 30
1916 42.9% 2,539 55.5% 3,285 1.7% 98
1912 35.3% 2,038 55.0% 3,176 9.7% 558
1908 43.9% 2,273 53.1% 2,751 3.1% 158
1904 44.5% 2,179 52.9% 2,593 2.6% 128
1900 44.2% 2,376 52.0% 2,793 3.8% 205

County council[edit]

The legislative functions of government are vested in the County Council. The County Council consists of seven members, five of whom are elected from single-member districts; the other two are elected at-large. This method tends to produce a council with members weighted toward the majority population, and members need to ensure they do not under-represent the minority. As of 2014, Councilman John Cannon is the current Council President.[7]

Wicomico County Council
District Name Party
  District 1 Ernest F. Davis Democratic
  District 2 Marc Kilmer Republican
  District 3 Larry W. Dodd Republican
  District 4 John Hall Republican
  District 5 Joseph Holloway Republican
  At-Large John T. Cannon Republican
  At-Large Matthew Holloway Republican

County executive[edit]

The County Executive[8] oversees the executive branch of the County government that consists of a number of offices and departments. The executive branch is charged with implementing County law and overseeing the operation of County Government. The position of County Executive was established by a modification in the County's Charter in 2006.

Wicomico County Executive
Name Party From To
  Richard M. Pollitt, Jr. Democratic 2006 2014
  Robert L. Culver, Jr. Republican 2014

Sheriff[edit]

Law enforcement in the county is provided by the Wicomico County sheriff's office. The sheriff, Mike Lewis, a Republican, is an elected official. Municipal police agencies exist in the town of Delmar and the cities of Fruitland and Salisbury.

Wicomico County Sheriff's Deputy Patrol

State's attorney[edit]

The Wicomico County State's Attorney is responsible for prosecuting the felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases occurring in the county. The current State's Attorney is Ella Disharoon, Esq.[9]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 400 square miles (1,000 km2), of which 374 square miles (970 km2) is land and 26 square miles (67 km2) (6.4%) is water.[10]

The county's boundary with Delaware is composed of the Mason-Dixon line and the Transpeninsular Line. The intersection of these two historical lines is the midpoint of the Transpeninsular Line, fixed by Mason and Dixon between 1763 and 1767. The midpoint is located about 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Salisbury, near the center of the Delmarva Peninsula. The county is generally flat, characteristic of the region, with a few small hills in the northeast. The lowest elevation is at sea level and the highest elevation is 98 ft (30 m).

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 15,802
1880 18,016 14.0%
1890 19,930 10.6%
1900 22,852 14.7%
1910 26,815 17.3%
1920 28,165 5.0%
1930 31,229 10.9%
1940 34,530 10.6%
1950 39,641 14.8%
1960 49,050 23.7%
1970 54,236 10.6%
1980 64,540 19.0%
1990 74,339 15.2%
2000 84,644 13.9%
2010 98,733 16.6%
Est. 2016 102,577 [11] 3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2015[2]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[16] of 2010, there were 98,733 people, 37,220 households, and 24,172 families residing in the county. The population density was 261.7 people per square mile (101/km²). There were 41,192 housing units at an average density of 109.2 per square mile (42.2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.7% White, 24.2% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 1.90% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. 4.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The largest ancestry groups in Wicomico County are 23% African American, 14% English American, 13% German, 12% Irish and 4% Italian.[17]

There were 37,220 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 25% of households had individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out with 6.2% under age 5, 6.2% age 5 to 9, 6.1% 10 to 14, 9.1% from 15 to 19, 9.5% from 20 to 24, 6.4% from 25 to 29, 5.8% from 30 to 34, 5.7% from 35 to 39, 6.1% from 40 to 44, 7.1% from 45 to 49, 7.1% from 50 to 54, 6.3% from 55 to 59, 5.4% from 60 to 64, 4.1% from 65 to 69, 2.8% from 70 to 74, 2.4% from 75 to 79, 1.9% from 80 to 84, and 1.8% over the age of 85. The median age was 35.7 years. For every 100 females there were 91.00 males. Females made up 52.3% of the population, while males made up the remaining 47.7%.

As of the census of 2000 The median income for a household in the county was $39,035, and the median income for a family was $47,129. Males had a median income of $32,481 versus $23,548 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,171. About 8.70% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 98,733 people, 37,220 households, and 24,172 families residing in the county.[18] The population density was 263.7 inhabitants per square mile (101.8/km2). There were 41,192 housing units at an average density of 110.0 per square mile (42.5/km2).[19] The racial makeup of the county was 68.7% white, 24.2% black or African American, 2.5% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.5% of the population.[18] In terms of ancestry, 15.7% were English, 15.1% were German, 13.6% were Irish, 6.0% were American, and 5.6% were Italian.[20]

Of the 37,220 households, 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.1% were non-families, and 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.01. The median age was 35.7 years.[18]

The median income for a household in the county was $50,752 and the median income for a family was $62,150. Males had a median income of $42,408 versus $34,544 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,505. About 7.8% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.[21]

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Wicomico County Public Schools operates public schools in the county.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Economy[edit]

Perdue Farms, Inc., a multi-national poultry and grain corporation, is headquartered in Salisbury, the county seat of Wicomico County. Piedmont Airlines is headquartered in unincorporated Wicomico County,[22] at the airport and near the City of Salisbury.[23] Other major employers in Wicomico County include: Salisbury University, Verizon, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, The Knowland Group, and Pepsi Bottling of Delmarva.

Other industries in Wicomico County include electronic component manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, and agriculture.

Media[edit]

Periodicals[edit]

  • Metropolitan Magazine - monthly magazine
  • Salisbury Independent - weekly newspaper
  • Salisbury Star - monthly newspaper

Television[edit]

Communities[edit]

Salisbury

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weiner,Tim. "Ex-Director of C.I.A. Disappears While Canoeing on Choppy River", The New York Times, 1996-04-30. Retrieved on 2009-04-25.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; "How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century"; America Magazine published in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016.
  6. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
  7. ^ "County Council Members". Wicomico County government. December 8, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "County Executives". Maryland State Archives. December 5, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "State's Attorney's Office | Wicomico County, MD - Official Website". www.wicomicocounty.org. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  10. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ "Wicomico County, MD Ancestry & Family History". Podunk, Inc. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  19. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  20. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  21. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  22. ^ "Career Opportunities." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  23. ^ "About Piedmont." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  24. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  25. ^ Nothing is Strange with You: The Life and Crimes of Gordon Stewart Northcott. Bloomington, Indiana: Xlibris Corporation. 2008. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°22′N 75°38′W / 38.37°N 75.63°W / 38.37; -75.63