Frederick County, Maryland
Downtown Frederick in June 2014
Location in the State of Maryland
|Founded||June 10, 1748|
|• Executive||Jan Gardner|
|• Total||1,730 km2 (667 sq mi)|
|• Land||1,700 km2 (660 sq mi)|
|• Water||19 km2 (7.2 sq mi)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT|
|Area codes||301, 240|
|Congressional districts||6th, 8th|
Frederick County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. Like other outlying sections of the Washington metropolitan area, Frederick County has experienced a rapid population increase in recent years. It borders the southern border of Pennsylvania and the northeastern border of Virginia.
The county is home to Catoctin Mountain Park (encompassing the presidential retreat Camp David) and to the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick. Notable persons from here include Francis Scott Key, Chris Rose, Zach Taylor, Matt Bennett, Thomas Johnson, Roger B. Taney, and Barbara Fritchie.
In 1776 following Independence, Frederick County was divided into three parts. The westernmost portion became Washington County, named after George Washington, the southernmost portion became Montgomery County, named after another Revolutionary War general, Richard Montgomery. The northern portion remained Frederick County.
In 1837 a part of Frederick County was combined with a part of Baltimore County to form Carroll County which is east of current day Frederick County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 667 square miles (1,730 km2), of which 660 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 7.2 square miles (19 km2) (1.1%) is water. It is the largest county in Maryland in terms of land area.
Frederick County straddles the boundary between the Piedmont Plateau Region and the Appalachian Mountains. The county's two prominent ridges, Catoctin Mountain and South Mountain, form an extension of the Blue Ridge. The Middletown Valley lies between them.
Attractions in the Frederick area include the Clustered Spires, a monument to Francis Scott Key, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Monocacy National Battlefield and South Mountain battlefields, and the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The summary statistics for Frederick County from the 2000 U.S. Census are provided to compare and contrast with the more current data from the 2010 Census. The following table includes the total persons, sex and self-designated ethnicity based on 2000 Census; additional details are archived at the Maryland State Government website.
2000 Census total population: 195,277
Male: 96,079 (49.2%) Female: 99,198 (50.8%)
Ethnicity as percent total population: White: 176,965 (90.6%) Black or African American: 13,605 (7.0%) American Indian and Alaskan: 1,083 (0.6%) Asian: 4,066 (2.1%) Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 156 (0.1%) Some other ethnicity: 2,434 (1.2%) The total (all races) of those self-identifying as Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.4%, and those persons who were white alone made up 88.1%.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 233,385 people, 84,800 households, and 61,198 families residing in the county. The population density was 353.5 inhabitants per square mile (136.5/km2). There were 90,136 housing units at an average density of 136.5 per square mile (52.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 81.5% white, 8.6% black or African American, 3.8% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 2.9% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. The total (all races) of those self-identifying as Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.3%, and those persons who were white alone made up 77.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.3% were German, 17.4% were Irish, 12.1% were English, 7.2% were Italian, and 6.3% were American.
Of the 84,800 households, 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.8% were non-families, and 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.17. The median age was 38.6 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $81,686 and the median income for a family was $95,036. Males had a median income of $62,494 versus $46,720 for females. The per capita income for the county was $35,172. About 3.2% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
The United States Census Bureau estimates Frederick County's population at 245,322, marking a 5.1% increase since 2010. The racial makeup was estimated to be the following in 2014: 75% White (47.0% Non-Hispanic White), 9.7% Black, 4.6% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 2.8% Two or more races, and 8.7% were Hispanic or Latino, of any race.
Until 2014, Frederick County was governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in the state of Maryland.
Effective December 1, 2014, Frederick County transitioned to a "charter home rule government". The voters approved this governmental change on November 6, 2012 election with 62,469 voting for the transition and 37,368 voting against.
A county executive is responsible for providing direction, supervision, and administrative oversight of all executive departments, agencies, and offices. A county council will also be elected, made up of seven members: five based on district and two at-large.
|Jan H. Gardner||Democrat||2014—|
|Jerry Donald||Democrat||1||Braddock Heights, Middletown, Brunswick||2014|
|Steve McKay||Republican||2||Monrovia, Urbana, New Market, Mount Airy||2018|
|M.C. Keegan-Ayer||Democrat||3||Frederick, Clover Hill||2014|
|Jessica Fitzwater||Democrat||4||Frederick, Ballenger Creek, Linganore||2014|
|Michael Blue||Republican||5||Myersville, Emmitsburg, Thurmont||2018|
The Frederick County State's Attorney, elected November 2, 2010, is Republican Charlie Smith. Smith was reelected in 2018.
The sheriff of Frederick County is Republican Chuck Jenkins.
The Executive Director for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development is Helen Propheter. The Office of Economic Development is located at 118 North Market Street, Suite 300, Frederick, MD 21701.
Frederick County's fire and rescue service is handled by a combination career and volunteer service delivery system. Frederick County employs over 450 career firefighters. Volunteers of the 26 volunteer fire and rescue corporations number approximately 300 active operational members. Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services, including Advanced Life Support are handled by career staffing supplemented by volunteers. Frederick County has a Maryland State Police Medevac located at the Frederick Municipal Airport and is designated "Trooper 3". Trooper 3 handles calls all throughout the state, but provides immediate assistance to local police, fire and rescue services.
Historically a strong Republican county, Frederick County has trended toward the Democratic Party in recent elections. No Democratic presidential candidate had carried Frederick County since Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide until Joe Biden won the county in 2020, although it just narrowly voted for Republicans John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016. McCain edged out Barack Obama by only 1,157 votes out of over one hundred thousand cast in the 2008 election.
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment of Frederick County|
|Independents, unaffiliated, and other||44,775||24.25%|
In state-level elections, Republicans in Frederick rebounded to more historical levels in the 2010 Maryland Gubernatorial & Senatorial Elections, giving the Republican Ehrlich/Kane ticket 55% to Democrat O'Malley/Brown's 45. Frederick voters also supported Republican Senate challenger Eric Wargotz over incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski by a margin of 51–46, even as Mikulski was winning statewide by a landslide 61–37. Despite its conservative reputation, Frederick County voted in favor of Maryland Question 6, which legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland. In the 2014 Maryland Gubernatorial race Republican Larry Hogan won Frederick County strongly with 63 percent of the vote compared to Democrat Anthony Brown's 35 percent. In the 2018 elections, despite increased support for Hogan, the Democrats experienced significant gains, securing a majority on the County Council and winning District 3B in the House of Delegates. The election also saw incumbent U.S. Senator Ben Cardin win Frederick County with 51.7% of the vote.
The Frederick County Sheriff's Office provides court protection, jail management, and morgue operation for the entire county. It provides police patrol and detective services within the unincorporated areas of Frederick County. The entire county entails a population of 222,938 residents within 662.88 square miles (1,717 km2). Frederick City, Brunswick, Mt.Airy, Emmitsburg, and Thurmont have municipal police departments. Middletown contracts with the Sheriff's Office for its policing.
The following table includes the number of incidents reported for each type of offense.
|Crimes and incidents reported|
|Homicide (criminal and non-criminal)||1|
|Assault (aggravated and simple)||30|
|Motor Vehicle Theft||3|
|Per capita money income in past 12 months (2013 dollars), 2009-2013||$36,917||$36,354|
|Median household income, 2009-2013||$84,570||$73,538|
|Persons below poverty level, percent, 2009-2013||6.1%||9.8%|
|Private nonfarm establishments, 2013||5,955||135,4211|
|Private nonfarm employment, 2013||83,799||2,182,2601|
|Private nonfarm employment, percent change, 2012-2013||1.1%||1.4%|
|Nonemployer establishments, 2012||16,843||442,314|
|Total number of firms, 2007||21,430||528,112|
|Black-owned firms, percent||5.9%||19.3%|
|Asian-owned firms, percent||3.3%||6.8%|
|Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007||3.6%||4.9%|
|Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000)||3,003,696||41,456,097|
|Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000)||1,252,142||51,276,797|
|Retail sales, 2007 ($1000)||3,066,281||75,664,186|
|Retail sales per capita, 2007||$13,629||$13,429|
|Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000)||356,482||10,758,428|
|Building permits, 2013||1,220||17,918|
According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the following are the principal employers in Frederick County. This list excludes U.S. post offices and state and local governments, but includes public institutions of higher education.
(including Frederick National Laboratory
for Cancer Research)
|Frederick Memorial Healthcare System||2,696|
|Wells Fargo Home Mortgage||1,881|
|Leidos Biomedical Research||1,836|
|Frederick Community College||1,055|
|State Farm Insurance||900|
|Mount St. Mary's University||511|
|Wegmans Food Markets||445|
|Stulz Air Technology Systems||375|
|YMCA of Frederick County||350|
|Homewood Retirement Centers||300|
|Toys "R" Us||260|
Frederick County leads Maryland in milk production; the county's dairy herds account for one-third of the state's total. However, the dairy market is unstable, and the Frederick County, like the state more broadly, has lost dairy farms.
The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:
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