Charles County, Maryland

Summary

Charles County is a county in Southern Maryland. As of the 2020 census, the population was 166,617.[1] The county seat is La Plata.[2] The county was named for Charles Calvert (1637–1715), third Baron Baltimore. Charles County is part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Southern Maryland region.[3]

Charles County
Thomas Stone House
Flag of Charles County
Official seal of Charles County
Map of Maryland highlighting Charles County
Location within the U.S. state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°29′N 77°01′W / 38.48°N 77.01°W / 38.48; -77.01
Country United States
State Maryland
FoundedApril 13, 1658
Named forCharles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore
SeatLa Plata
Largest communityWaldorf
Area
 • Total643 sq mi (1,670 km2)
 • Land458 sq mi (1,190 km2)
 • Water185 sq mi (480 km2)  29%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total166,617 Increase
 • Density260/sq mi (100/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district5th
Websitewww.charlescountymd.gov

HistoryEdit

Charles County was created in 1658 by an Order in Council. There was also an earlier Charles County from 1650 to 1653, sometimes referred to in historic documents as Old Charles County.[4][5][6]

In April 1865, John Wilkes Booth made his escape through Charles County after shooting President Abraham Lincoln. He was on his way to Virginia. He stopped briefly in Waldorf (then called Beantown) and had his broken leg set by local Doctor Mudd, who was later sent to prison for helping him. Boothe then proceeded to hide in the Zekiah Swamp in Charles County, avoiding search parties for over a week until he and his accomplice were able to successfully cross the Potomac River.

In 1926, a tornado ripped through the county leaving 17 dead (including 13 schoolchildren). On April 28, 2002, another tornado (rated an F-4) destroyed much of downtown La Plata killing 3 and injuring over 100 people.[7]

The county has numerous properties on the National Register of Historic Places.[8] Among them are Green Park and Pleasant Hill, home of the Green and Spalding Families.

On December 4, 2004, an arson took place in the development of Hunters Brooke, a few miles southeast of Indian Head. The Hunters Brooke Arson was the largest residential arson[9] in Maryland history.[10][11][12]

Politics and governmentEdit

Owing to the considerable voting power of its large number of freedmen following the Civil War,[13] and later its growth as a suburban area, Charles County was for a long time solidly Republican. The only Democrat to carry Charles County until 1956 was Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, although Alf Landon and Wendell Willkie defeated Roosevelt in the next two elections by a combined margin of just 50 votes. Since the turn of the millennium, Charles County has become reliably Democratic, although not as overwhelmingly so as other parts of Maryland's Washington, D.C. suburbs.[14] Charles County is one of only two counties in the nation to have voted for Al Gore in 2000 after voting for Bob Dole in 1996, along with Orange County, Florida.[15]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment of Charles County[16]
Party Total Percentage
Democratic 71,916 61.40%
Republican 24,399 20.83%
Independents, unaffiliated, and other 20,819 17.77%
Total 117,134 100.00%
United States presidential election results for Charles County, Maryland[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 25,579 28.58% 62,171 69.47% 1,748 1.95%
2016 25,614 32.71% 49,341 63.01% 3,348 4.28%
2012 25,178 33.47% 48,774 64.84% 1,270 1.69%
2008 25,732 36.69% 43,635 62.22% 760 1.08%
2004 28,442 48.84% 29,354 50.40% 445 0.76%
2000 21,768 48.82% 21,873 49.05% 951 2.13%
1996 17,432 48.66% 15,890 44.36% 2,501 6.98%
1992 17,293 44.97% 14,498 37.70% 6,663 17.33%
1988 20,828 63.57% 11,823 36.09% 113 0.34%
1984 16,132 60.97% 10,264 38.79% 64 0.24%
1980 11,807 53.62% 8,887 40.36% 1,326 6.02%
1976 7,792 45.00% 9,525 55.00% 0 0.00%
1972 9,665 67.34% 4,502 31.37% 186 1.30%
1968 4,645 38.50% 4,247 35.20% 3,173 26.30%
1964 3,455 34.55% 6,546 65.45% 0 0.00%
1960 4,560 45.41% 5,482 54.59% 0 0.00%
1956 5,088 56.41% 3,931 43.59% 0 0.00%
1952 4,334 56.13% 3,338 43.23% 49 0.63%
1948 2,703 58.49% 1,878 40.64% 40 0.87%
1944 2,755 59.50% 1,875 40.50% 0 0.00%
1940 2,716 49.71% 2,692 49.27% 56 1.02%
1936 2,623 49.64% 2,597 49.15% 64 1.21%
1932 1,851 42.35% 2,473 56.58% 47 1.08%
1928 2,522 57.44% 1,860 42.36% 9 0.20%
1924 2,215 56.59% 1,491 38.09% 208 5.31%
1920 2,585 60.54% 1,642 38.45% 43 1.01%
1916 1,374 48.06% 1,363 47.67% 122 4.27%
1912 1,573 59.45% 918 34.69% 155 5.86%
1908 1,643 57.23% 1,167 40.65% 61 2.12%
1904 1,659 57.80% 1,180 41.11% 31 1.08%
1900 2,268 61.93% 1,368 37.36% 26 0.71%
1896 2,117 59.99% 1,372 38.88% 40 1.13%
1892 1,279 53.49% 1,051 43.96% 61 2.55%


Board of CommissionersEdit

Charles County is governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in Maryland. There are five commissioners. As of 2018, they are:

Position Name Affiliation District
  President Reuben Collins Democratic At-Large
  Commissioner Gilbert Bowling Democratic District 1
  Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart Democratic District 2
  Commissioner Thomasina Coates Democratic District 3
  Commissioner Bobby Rucci Democratic District 4

Charles County is entirely within the 5th Congressional District, which also includes Calvert, St. Mary's, and parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. The current representative is Democratic House Majority Leader and (former House Minority Whip) Steny H. Hoyer.

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 643 square miles (1,670 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 185 square miles (480 km2) (29%) water.[19]

In its western wing, along the southernmost bend in Maryland Route 224, Charles County contains a place due north, east, south, and west of the same state—Virginia.[20]

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areaEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
179020,613
180019,172−7.0%
181020,2455.6%
182016,500−18.5%
183017,7697.7%
184016,023−9.8%
185016,1620.9%
186016,5172.2%
187015,738−4.7%
188018,54817.9%
189015,191−18.1%
190017,66216.3%
191016,386−7.2%
192017,7058.0%
193016,166−8.7%
194017,6128.9%
195023,41532.9%
196032,57239.1%
197047,67846.4%
198072,75152.6%
1990101,15439.0%
2000120,54619.2%
2010146,55121.6%
2020166,61713.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]
1790-1960[22] 1900-1990[23]
1990-2000[24] 2010[25] 2020[26]

2020 censusEdit

Charles County, Maryland - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[25] Pop 2020[26] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 70,905 56,832 48.38% 34.11%
Black or African American alone (NH) 59,201 80,850 40.40% 48.52%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 877 995 0.60% 0.60%
Asian alone (NH) 4,296 5,624 2.93% 3.38%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 87 147 0.06% 0.09%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 243 957 0.17% 0.57%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 4,683 9,535 3.20% 5.72%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 6,259 11,677 4.27% 7.01%
Total 146,551 166,617 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 censusEdit

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 146,551 people, 51,214 households, and 38,614 families residing in the county.[27] The population density was 320.2 inhabitants per square mile (123.6/km2). There were 54,963 housing units at an average density of 120.1 per square mile (46.4/km2).[28] The racial makeup of the county was 50.3% white, 41.0% black or African American, 3.0% Asian, 0.7% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.3% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.3% of the population.[27] In terms of ancestry, 12.6% were German, 10.8% were Irish, 8.7% were English, 6.3% were American, and 5.1% were Italian.[29]

Of the 51,214 households, 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.6% were non-families, and 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.24. The median age was 37.4 years.[27]

The median income for a household in the county was $88,825 and the median income for a family was $98,560. Males had a median income of $62,210 versus $52,477 for females. The per capita income for the county was $35,780. About 3.7% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.[30]

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[31] of 2000, there were 120,546 people, 41,668 households, and 32,292 families residing in the county. The population density was 262 people per square mile (101/km2). There were 43,903 housing units at an average density of 95 per square mile (37/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 68.51% White, 26.06% Black or African American, 0.75% Native American, 1.82% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 2.08% from two or more races. 2.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 11.6% were of German, 10.8% Irish, 10.2% English, 9.3% American and 5.3% Italian ancestry.

There were 41,668 households, out of which 41.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.00% were married couples living together, 14.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.50% were non-families. 17.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.70% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 33.20% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 7.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $62,199, and the median income for a family was $67,602 (these figures had risen to $80,573 and $89,358 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $43,371 versus $34,231 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,285. About 3.70% of families and 5.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.70% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2010, the county population's racial makeup was 48.38% Non-Hispanic whites, 40.96% blacks, 0.65% Native Americans, 2.98% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islanders, 0.17% Non-Hispanics of some other race, 3.20% Non-Hispanics reporting more than one race and 4.27% Hispanic.

EconomyEdit

Top employersEdit

According to Charles County's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[32] its top employers are:

# Employer # of Employees Percentage of Total County Employment
1 Charles County Board of Education 3,430 4.35%
2 Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center 3,404 4.49%
3 Charles County Government 1,638 2.16%
4 University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center 850 1.12%
5 College of Southern Maryland 819 1.08%
6 Wal-Mart/Sam's Club 592 0.78%
7 The Facchina Group of Companies 550 0.73%
8 Safeway 475 0.63%
9 Target 400 0.53%
10 McDonald's 396 0.52%
11 Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative 386 0.51%
12 Genesis Health Care 312 0.41%
13 Bloomin' Brands (formerly OSI Restaurant Partners) 300 0.40%
14 Charles County Nursing Home 255 0.34%
15 Darden Restaurants 253 0.33%
16 Macy's 250 0.33%

EducationEdit

Public schoolsEdit

Colleges and universitiesEdit

TransportationEdit

Charles County is served by numerous state highways and one U.S. Highway:

Major highwaysEdit

CommunitiesEdit

TownsEdit

Census-designated placesEdit

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

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

Notable peopleEdit

SportsEdit

Club League Venue Established Championships
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs ALPB, Baseball Regency Furniture Stadium 2008 0

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Charles County, Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Maryland. com Staff. "Southern Maryland". Maryland.com. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  4. ^ "The Counties of Maryland". 630. The Archives of Maryland Online: 122–124. Retrieved November 16, 2007. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Maryland Geological Survey (1911). "Prince George's County". The Johns Hopkins Press: 21–22. Retrieved November 16, 2007. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Maryland Geological Survey (1906). "Maryland Geological Survey: General Reports". The Johns Hopkins Press: 474–477. Retrieved April 5, 2008. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "An account of deadly 1926 La Plata tornado". Baltimore Sun. November 19, 2009.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  9. ^ United States Attorney for the District of Maryland (March 1, 2006). "Violent Crime Program 2005 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  10. ^ Courson, Paul; Joanthan Wild (December 21, 2004). "Two more arrested in Maryland fires". Washington, Dc: CNN. p. 1. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  11. ^ Witte, Brian (January 3, 2005). "Maryland Hunts for Motives Behind State's Largest Residential Arson". Insurance Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  12. ^ Hancock, David (December 18, 2004). "3 More Charged In Maryland Arson". CBS NEWS. LA PLATA, Md. p. 1. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ "JOSH KURTZ: FORGET PRINCE GEORGE'S – CHECK OUT KING CHARLES FOR POLITICAL INTRIGUE". Center Maryland. June 2, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  15. ^ "The 2016 Streak Breakers". Sabato Crystal Ball. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Summary of Voter Activity Report" (PDF). Maryland State Board of Elections. August 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  18. ^ "Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV". U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  20. ^ This oddity of political geography happens in other places in Maryland.
  21. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  22. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  23. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  24. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  25. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Charles County, Maryland". United States Census Bureau.
  26. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Charles County, Maryland". United States Census Bureau.
  27. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  28. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  29. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  30. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  31. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  32. ^ "Charles County, Maryland Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2013" (PDF). Charles County Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  33. ^ "Grayton Populated Place Profile / Charles County, Maryland Data".
  34. ^ "Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896". Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  35. ^ "Blac Chyna - Before She Was Famous - Michael McCrudden". Michael McCrudden. May 11, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017.

External linksEdit

  • Official website
    • Charles County Commissioners' Office
  • Charles County at the Wayback Machine (archived June 1, 2012)
  • Hamilton Family papers, at the University of Maryland libraries. A prominent Charles County family with records from 1803 to 1923.
  • Paul Dennis Brown Family papers, at the University of Maryland libraries. A prominent Charles County family with records from 1879 to 1973. Documents civil engagement, agriculture, and history of life in Charles County.

Coordinates: 38°29′N 77°01′W / 38.48°N 77.01°W / 38.48; -77.01