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Maryland State Guide

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Maryland is located in the north-eastern and Mid-Atlantic parts of the country. Maryland is commonly referred to as the "Free State", the "Old Line" and the "Chesapeake Bay State". The state is bordered to the south and west by West Virginia, Virginia, and Washington, D.C; Pennsylvania to its north and to the east by Delaware. Annapolis is the capital city of Maryland. Maryland became a 7th state of the United States on April 28, 1788 [1].

Maryland Fast Facts:

Capital city: Annaplois
Largest city: Baltimore
Sate Bird: Baltimore Oriole
State Tree: Wye Oak
State Flower: Black Eyed Susan
State Song: Maryland My Maryland
State Insect: Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly
State Dog: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

History of Maryland

In the early 17th century, Captain John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay and the British set up their post on Kent Island. Ark and Dove founded the city of St. Mary. During that time period, Maryland's law allowed slavery. In the late 17th century, Annapolis was designated the capital city of the state.

In the 1730s, the Cresap's War or the Conojocular War broke out as a conflict for border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. The war led to various violent incidents and magnified through the first half of the 18th century and military forces were deployed to tackle the situation. Later in the 2nd half of the century, Mason-Dixon Line was made the northern boundary of the state. In 1788, Maryland became the 7th state to adopt the United States Constitution.

The 19th century brought in several revolutionary changes and developments in the state. During this century, after the Revolutionary War, the state underwent economic changes and system reformation that curtailed much of the slavery system. Construction of federally funded nationally highway, public schools and railroads started in Maryland during the 19th century. In the 2nd half of the century, around 1864, slavery was abolished. In the later years, the present day Maryland Constitution was adopted.

Maryland Timeline History

1608 - The Chesapeake Bay was explored by Capt. John Smith
1729 - Established Baltimore Town by charter
1742 - Maryland's first Baptist church built at Chestnut Ridge, Baltimore County
1771 - America's first brick theater opened in Annapolis
1782 - Established Washington College at Chester town
1788 - Maryland obtain statehood
1794 - Baltimore suffered first of many yellow fever epidemics
1796 - Import of slaves was forbidden by Maryland law and only allowed voluntary slave emancipation
1824-1829 - Chesapeake and Delaware Canal constructed that connected to Chesapeake Bay with Delaware River
1851 - Second State Constitution adopted
1868 - State Oyster Police authorized
1879 - Fist time in the state, telephone exchange introduces in Baltimore
1892 - Started State Weather Service
1902 - Compulsory school attendance law passed
1908 - The state enacted primary elections and campaign reform
1920 - Merit system was introduced for State employees, replaced many politically filled positions in State government
-Women voted for first time in Maryland
1926 - Baltimore made changes by equalizing pays for black and white teachers
1943 - "Work or fight" law enacted
1946 - First in state, Montgomery County Junior College opened.
1956 - For the first time, voting machines were used for elections throughout State
1971 - State adopted open housing legislation

Geography of Maryland

Geography Fast Facts:

Total Area - 12,406.68 square miles
Longitude - 75o03′ W to 79o29′ W
Latitude - 37o53′ N to 39o43′ N
Largest city - Baltimore
Highest point - Hoye-Crest- 3,360 ft (1024 m)
Mean point - 350 ft (110 m)
Lowest point - Atlantic Ocean sea level
Time Zone Mountain - Eastern: UTC −5/−4
Maryland is the mid-Atlantic state of the United States covering a total area of 12,406.68 square miles (32,133.2 km2), of which 9,707.24 square miles are land area [2]. It is the 9th smallest state of the nation and is bordered to the south and west by West Virginia, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania to its north and to the east by Delaware. Baltimore is the largest city of Maryland. Baltimore is the largest city of Maryland. The major rivers of Maryland are Patapsco River, Potomac River, Patuxent River and Susquehanna River.

Topography of Maryland

Maryland is aptly described as “America in miniature” owing to its varied topography within its border. The topography of the state consists of-

  • In the east, sandy dunes with sea grass.
  • Around Chesapeake Bay, it comprises of low marshlands teeming with wildlife and large bald cypress.
  • The Piedmont region features the gently rolling hills of oak forests.
  • In the west are the pine groves in the mountains.

Maryland's eastern half consists of the cities of Salisbury, Ocean City, and Annapolis. This region rests on the Atlantic Coastal Plain and features flat topography.

The Piedmont region consists of western and northern greater Baltimore, Gaithersburg, Westminster, Hagerstown and Frederick.

Western Maryland is a region of higher elevations, comprising of Garrett and Allegany counties including cities such as Frostburg, Cumberland and Oakland.

The Chesapeake Bay plays significant role to the geography and economic life of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay watershed encompasses major portion of the state's waterways, except some small regions of far end of western Garrett County, the eastern part of Worcester County and a tiny part of the northeast corner of the state.

Maryland Flora and Fauna

Maryland has healthy and abundant flora and fauna. The annual plentiful precipitation across the entire state promotes the growth of many plants. Some of the important plant species of the state include, white oak, black-eyed Susan, seagrass, reeds and some foreign species, such as the Crape Myrtle, live oak, hardy palm trees and Italian Cypress. Additionally, some invasive plant species of kudzu, multi-flora rose, tree of heaven and Japanese stilt-grass are also cultivated in the state.

Some of the major fauna of Maryland include white tailed deer, black bears, rare wild horses, foxes, bobcats, coyote, otters and raccoons. The state's amphibian and reptile population is the Diamondback Terrapin turtle. The Baltimore Oriole is the state bird of Maryland.

Maryland Mountain Peaks

  • Hoye-Crest (3,360 ft / 1,024 m) - the highest point in Maryland
  • Roth Rock Roth Rock (3,212 ft / 979 m)
  • Wild Turkey Rock Wild Turkey Rock (3,209 ft / 978 m)
  • Allegheny Heights Allegheny Heights (3,189 ft / 972 m)
  • Conneway Hill Conneway Hill (3,179 ft / 969 m)
  • Eagle Rock Eagle Rock (3,123 ft / 952 m)
  • Marsh Hill Marsh Hill (3,110 ft / 948 m)
  • Roman Nose Hill Roman Nose Hill (3,015 ft / 919 m)
  • Roman Nose Mountain Roman Nose Mountain (3,005 ft / 916 m)
  • High Rock High Rock (2,986 ft / 910 m) Big Savage Mountain Big Savage Mountain (2,982 ft / 909 m)
  • Zehner Hill Zehner Hill (2,979 ft / 908 m)
  • Lewis Knob Lewis Knob (2,969 ft / 905 m)
  • George Hill George Hill (2,956 ft / 901 m)
  • Whites Knob Whites Knob (2,949 ft / 899 m)
  • Callis Hill Callis Hill (2,933 ft / 894 m)
  • The Little Mountain The Little Mountain (2,927 ft / 892 m)
  • Meadow Mountain Meadow Mountain (2,917 ft / 889 m)
  • Sampson Rock Sampson Rock (2,917 ft / 889 m)
  • Upper Ford Hill Upper Ford Hill (2,913 ft / 888 m)

Forests in Maryland

Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages, restores and safeguards the state's forests, trees and resources. The department is dedicated to promote building up new forests so as to enhance the growth of native plants and animals. Additionally, DNR maintains a strict vigilance to reduce all deteriorating effects to the forests and its resources from insects, wildfire, land conversion, disease and any other negative agents.


Given below are the State Forests in Maryland:

State Forests in Western Maryland

  • Garrett State Forest - It is 8,042 acres forest, located in Garrett County.
  • Green Ridge State Forest - It is 46,560 acres forest, located in the eastern Allegany County.
  • Potomac State Forest - It is 9,915 acres forest, located in the southeastern Garrett County.
  • Savage River State Forest - It is 54,594 acres forest, located in central and eastern Garrett County.

State Forests in Central Maryland

  • Elk Neck State Forest - It is 3,571 acres forest, located in Cecil County.
  • Stoney Demonstration Forest - It is 54,594 acres forest, located in central and eastern Garrett County.

State Forests in Southern Maryland

  • Cedarville State Forest - It is 3,783 acres forest, located in Prince George’s and Charles Counties.
  • Doncaster Demonstration Forest - It is 1,953 acres forest, located in Charles County.
  • St. Inigoes State Forest - It is 938 acres forest, located in St. Mary’s County
  • Salem State Forest - It is 902 acres forest, located in St. Mary’s County.

State Forests in Eastern Maryland

  • Chesapeake Forest Lands - It is 65,305 acres on 240 separate tracts and extends throughout 8 counties of the state's lower Eastern Shore.
  • Pocomoke State Forest - It is 16,976 acres forest, located in Worcester County.

Contact Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
1-877-620-8DNR (8367)
Call toll-free in Maryland at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367)
Out of State: 410-260-8DNR (8367)
TTY users call via the MD Relay 711

Learn more: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Climate of Maryland

Maryland has a varied climate because of the variations in elevation, water proximity and down slope winds. Humid subtropical climate comprising of hot and humid summer seasons and milder cool winter months is prominent in the eastern region of Maryland. Some average seasonal snowfall happens in the Piedmont region. Humid continental climate also influences the regions around the Cumberland Valley.

The East Coasts are regions rich in precipitation. Maryland’s annual precipitation ranges from 35 to 45 inches which intensifies as the elevation increases. Average rainfall is spread throughout the state during rainy seasons. The state's coastal areas and western mountains receive average annual snowfall. Due to the proximity to the Atlantic Coast, the state lies fairly exposed to tornadoes, tropical cyclones and hurricanes.

Demographics of Maryland

Maryland is a small state in the United States with an estimated population of 5,976,407 as of 2014 estimation by the U.S Census Bureau, which reflected an increase of 3.5% since the year 2010. The population density of the state is 594.8 person per square mile which is the highest in the nation [3]. Maryland’s center of population is situated in the unincorporated community of Jessup.

Maryland Racial Distribution-

  • White alone - 60.5%
  • Black or African American - 30.1%
  • Asian - 6.1%
  • Native American or Alaska Native - 0.6%
  • Native Hawaiian & other Pacific Islander - 0.1%
  • Two or More Races - 2.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino - 9.0%

The Baltimore Metropolitan Area and Washington Metropolitan Area are most populated regions where most people of the state reside. The Eastern Shore, southern Maryland and the western counties are rural and less populous, but encompass important cities, such as Princess Anne, Ocean City, and Salisbury on the Eastern Shore; Prince Frederick, Lexington Park and Waldorf in Southern region; and Frostburg, Cumberland, and Hancock in Western part of the state. The top ancestries of Maryland as reported by its residents include German, English, Irish, American, Italian, Polish, Salvadoran and Sub-Saharan African.

Maryland Population Quick Facts:

  • Population, 2014 - 5,976,407
  • Population, 2013 - 5,938,737
  • Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014 - 3.5%
  • Persons under 5 years, percent, 2013 - 6.2%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2013 - 22.7%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2013 - 13.4%
  • Female persons, percent, 2013 - 51.5%

Some of the largest religious groups in Maryland are-

  • The Catholic Church
  • Evangelical Protestants
  • The United Methodist Church
  • Judaism
  • The Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Ahmadiyya Muslim

Economy of Maryland

The economy of Maryland is fast growing. The state's median household income is the highest in the nation. The major sectors that contribute to the economic growth of the state include Information technology, aerospace and defense, telecommunications, biosciences and services, high technology, health care, information, broadcasts, finance, real estate, renting, manufacturing and international trade.

Economy Fast Facts in 2013-[4]

  • Gross domestic product (GDP)(millions of current dollars), 2013 - $342,382
  • Real personal income (thousands of chained dollars), 2012 - $268,936,251
  • Real per capita personal income (chained dollars), 2012 - $45,702

Some of the major employers of the state include-Chart

  • BAE Systems
  • General Motors
  • IBM
  • Johns Hopkins Institutions
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Marriott, McCormick
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Southwest Airlines and Verizon

Agriculture in Maryland

  • The top 5 agricultural products based on revenue generated include broilers (young chickens), dairy products, greenhouse and nursery products, soybeans and corn for grain.

  • Greenhouse and nursery products generate most of the state’s crop income.

  • The main vegetable crops produced are tomatoes and sweet corn.

  • Apple is the major fruit produced in Maryland.

  • The major farm income of the state is incurred from livestock and its products.

  • The state's major livestock products are broilers and dairy products.

  • Other important livestock products include eggs, beef cattle, turkeys and hogs.

Industries in Maryland

  • The major manufactured products of the state are computer and electronic products, including computer components, medical devices, communications equipment.

  • Ranked 2nd in the state manufacturing sector is food processing (alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, spices, poultry products, bread)

  • Ranked 3rd in the state manufacturing sector is chemical production.

  • The state’s most important mined product is crushed stone.

  • Limestone, sand and gravel, marble, coal, clay, natural gas, Portland cement and peat are other valuable mined products in Maryland.

  • Maryland leads the nation in the production of blue crabs.

Transportation in Maryland

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) overviews the entire transportation network of the state to ensure safe and easy commuting of people and goods. Maryland encompasses 16 Interstate Highways entirely or partially within the state, of which 6 are primary and 10 are auxiliary Interstates. I-95 is Maryland’s longest primary Interstate. The Cycle Maryland program is initiated to promote the people of the state to incorporate bicycling in their daily activities and also to make it as a healthy transportation alternative.

Air transport is an essential gateway of Maryland and serves the locals and tourists from all over the world. It is the major mode that offers all round effective intercity and interstate connectivity. The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes and oversees all flight operations in Arizona.

The railways are also one of the main transportation modes in Maryland that serve people from all walks of life and also important for cargo transfer. Amtrak is a railroad system which is publicly financed and serves the nation as intercity passenger train service. Amtrak operates over 300 trains daily and links over 500 destinations in 46 states.

Maryland has some important canals that serve many sea ports and are the vital hubs for major export and import of goods and cargo movement and distribution across the state, the United States and also throughout the world. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is one major canal that serves as an important route for cargo movement across Maryland and beyond.

Learn more: Transportation in Maryland

Government of Maryland

The Government of Maryland is guarded by the Constitution of Maryland. Maryland became a 7th state of the United States on April 28, 1788. The government of Maryland is divided into three distinct branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. Annapolis is the state capital, where most of the important business of government takes place.

There are 5 main executive officers, appointed by the Constitution of Maryland. The executive officers include the governor, lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller and the treasurer. The Governor of Maryland is elected by Maryland gubernatorial election held every four years.

Maryland State Legislative branch is the body of the state government of Maryland and is also known as the General Assembly. It is divided into two separate bodies, namely Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate.

Under the Constitution of Maryland, the Judicial branch applies and interprets laws and regulations to ensure justice in the state. The judicial system of Maryland is served by numerous efficient professionally trained judges and is the largest in the United States. The Maryland Court system comprises of the Court of Appeals, the Court of Special Appeals, Circuit Courts and District Courts.

Learn more: Government of Maryland

Education in Maryland

Maryland is well known throughout the nation in providing superior education and has been ranked 1st in many aspects of education. Maryland State Department of Education administers and manages the functioning of Maryland's primary and secondary education. The State Board of Education appoints the State Superintendent of Schools, for a four-year terms, who is the state’s highest ranked educational official.

Learning Facility

Maryland public colleges and universities are-

  • Bowie State University, Bowie
  • Coppin State University, Baltimore
  • Frostburg State University, Frostburg
  • Morgan State University, Baltimore
  • Salisbury University, Salisbury
  • St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City
  • Towson University, Towson
  • United States Naval Academy, Annapolis
  • University of Baltimore, Baltimore
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; Princess Anne
  • University of Maryland University College, Adelphi
  • University of Maryland, Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore
  • University of Maryland, Environmental Science, Cambridge
  • USM Hagerstown, Hagerstown
  • Universities at Shady Grove, Rockville
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda

Maryland private colleges and Universities are-

  • Capitol Technology University, Laurel
  • Goucher College, Towson
  • Hood College, Frederick
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore
  • Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore
  • Maryland University of Integrative Health, Laurel
  • McDaniel College, Westminster
  • Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburg
  • Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore
  • St. John's College, Annapolis
  • Stevenson University, Stevenson
  • Sojourner-Douglass College, Baltimore
  • Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park
  • Washington College, Chestertown

Maryland sports quick facts-

  • Jousting is Maryland's official state sport

  • Lacrosse is Maryland's official team sport

  • National Football League teams - The Baltimore Ravens and The Baltimore Colts

  • Major League Baseball franchise - The Baltimore Orioles

  • Minor league baseball teams –

    -one independent league baseball team
    -the Baltimore Blast indoor soccer team
    -two indoor football teams
    -three low-level outdoor soccer teams
    -the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse

  • Horse Race - The Preakness Stakes

Interesting Facts about Maryland

  • Patuxent River Stone is Maryland State Gem.

  • Calico Cat is Maryland State Cat.

  • Blue Crab is Maryland State Crustacean.

  • Thoroughbred Horse is Maryland State Horse.

  • Square Dance is Maryland State Folk Dance.

  • Milk is Maryland State drink

  • United State's first dental school opened at the University of Maryland.

  • Baltimore's Inner Harbor is home to the National Aquarium.

  • Oysters are harvested using methods such as dredging and tonging.


  1. Maryland Statehood
  2. Maryland Area
  3. Maryland Demographics
  4. Economy Fast Facts

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