Table of contents
Updated November 30, 2023 | Infoplease Staff
Maryland flag

Maryland State Information

Capital: Annapolis

Official Name: State of Maryland

Organized as a Territory: 1632

Entered Union & Rank: April 28, 1788 (7th of the original 13 states)

Present Constitution Adopted: September 1867

State Abbreviation: Md./MD

State Area Codes: 240, 301, 410

Fun Facts About Maryland

State Nickname: “Old Line State”, “Free State”

Origin of Name: Maryland is named on behalf of Queen Henrietta Maria (wife of Charles I of England)

Motto: "Fatti maschii parole femine." ("Strong deeds, gentle words.")

Slogan: "More Than You Can Imagine"

State symbols

Bird: Baltimore Oriole (1947)

Boat: The skipjack (1985)

Cat: Calico Cat (2001)

Crustacean: Blue Crab (1989)

Dessert: Smith Island Cake (2008)

Dinosaur: Astrodon johnstoni (1998)

Dog: Chesapeake Bay Retriever (1964)

Drink: Milk (1998)

Exercise: Walking (2008)

Fish: Rockfish (1965)

Fossil Shell: Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae (1994)

Flower: Black-Eyed Susan (1918)

Folk Dance: Square Dance (1994)

Gem: Patuxent River Stone (2004)

Horse: Thoroughbred Horse (2003)

Insect: Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly (1973)

Reptile: Diamondback Terrapin (1994)

Sport: Jousting (1962)

Team Sport: Lacrosse (2004)

Tree: White Oak (1941)

State Song: None currently. Maryland’s previous state song “Maryland, My Maryland” was repealed in 2017 for its condemnation of President Lincoln. The selection of a new song is still pending.


Governor: Wes Moore, D (2023)

Lieut. Governor: Aruna Miller, D (2023)

Secretary of State: Susan C. Lee (2023)

General Treasurer: Dereck E. Davis (2021)

Attorney General: Anthony Brown (2022)

U.S. Representatives:  8

U.S. Senators: Benjamin Cardin, D (2007- ), Chris Van Hollen, D (2017- )

Historical biographies of Congressional members

State website:


Residents: Marylanders

Resident population: 6,164,660 (18th largest state, 2023)

10 Largest Cities: Baltimore, 585,708; Frederick, 78,171; Rockville, 67,117; Gaithersburg, 69,657; Bowie, 58,329; Hagerstown, 43,527; Annapolis, 40,812; College Park, 34,740; Salisbury, 33,050; Laurel, 30,060.

Race/Ethnicity: White Alone (57.3%); Black/African American (31.7%); Hispanic/Latino (11.5%); Asian Alone (7.1%); Two or More Races (3.2%); Native American/American Indian (0.1%)

Religion: Christian (69%); Evangelical Protestant (18%); Mainline Protestant (18%); Catholic (15%); Non-Christian Affiliations (8%); Jewish (3%); Muslim (1%); Buddhist (1%); Unaffiliated (23%); Atheist (3%); Nothing in Particular (17%)

Sex: Male (48.7%); Female (51.3%)

Age: Under 18 (21.8%); 18-64 (61.3%); 65 and over (16.9%). Median Age: 39.6.


GDP: $414.66 billion dollars (15th in the U.S., 2023)

Unemployment: 5.4% (2023)


Land area: 12,193 sq mi (31,579.725 sq km)

Geographic center: Prince Georges (4.5 miles Northwest of Davidsonville)

Number of counties: 24

Largest county by population and area: Montgomery County, 1.05 million (2023); Frederick County, 667 sq mi

State Parks & Recreation Areas: 36

State Forests: 18

See additional census data

Tourism office


See more on Maryland:
Encyclopedia: Maryland
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Monthly Temperature Extremes

Maryland, located in the Mideast region of the United States, shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., the nation's capital. As one of the original 13 states, the state is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north and Delaware to the east. Positioned within the Boston-Atlanta Corridor on the Atlantic seaboard, Maryland has an area of 12,193 square miles, making it the eighth-smallest state in terms of size. However, with a population of 6,164,660 (as of 2022), it ranks as the 18th-most populous state. Annapolis serves as the state capital, while Baltimore City is the largest city in the area. Montgomery and Prince George’s are the most populated counties.

Maryland Geography

With a total area of 12,193 square miles, including 623 square miles of water, Maryland spans approximately 250 miles in length and 100 miles in width. Its borders are defined by the presence of the Chesapeake Bay, a body of water that extends 195 miles and has coastlines in both Maryland and Virginia. The width of the Chesapeake Bay varies between 3 to 20 miles, covering an approximate area of 1,726 square miles. The lowest point in Maryland is at sea level along the Atlantic Ocean, while the highest point is Hoye-Crest on Backbone Mountain, reaching an elevation of 3,360 feet above sea level. Geographically, Maryland has played a significant role in U.S. history as a crucial link between the North and the South. Its northern boundary with Pennsylvania is marked by the renowned Mason and Dixon Line, established in the 1760s to settle disputes between the Penn and Calvert families.

Landscape and Climate

Maryland's topography contains such a diverse range of natural characteristics and natural resources that vary significantly within its area, earning it the nickname “America in Miniature”.

The Coastal Plain of Maryland encompasses approximately half of Maryland's land area and transitions into the Piedmont Plateau region. The Catoctin Ridgeline situated in the west serves as the gateway to the Appalachian Mountain region, comprising of a chain of forested regions, with basins in between. Maryland’s terrain becomes flat, however, towards the Eastern Shore and the east of Chesapeake Bay, with a terrain composed of extensive wetlands. Similarly, towards the Western Shore, west of the Chesapeake, the landscape is mostly flat.

Although the state is home to over 50 different rivers and creeks including the Potomac River and the Deep Creek Lake, the Chesapeake Bay is distinctly the largest body of water in Maryland. Maryland experiences a climate characterized by hot and humid summers, as well as cool winters. Extreme temperatures in the state have reached as high as 109 degrees F, and as low as minus 40 degrees F. Annual precipitation averages around 40 inches (100 cm).


Since the 18th century, botanists have identified over 3000 distinct types of woody and herbaceous plants in Maryland. However, over time, approximately 300 plant species are believed to have become extinct. The Natural Heritage Program of the Wildlife and Heritage Service actively monitors over 1,250 native plants and animals that fall under the category of “extremely rare“.

Maryland boasts a diverse range of wildlife, including over 90 mammal species, 93 reptile and amphibian species and subspecies, more than 400 bird species, and numerous marine and freshwater fish species. With its diverse topography, the state is also home to an unspecified number of insects and other invertebrate species, such as crustaceans, spiders, and mollusks. Out of these numerous creatures, over 300 are categorized as rare, with more than 110 species designated as threatened or endangered in Maryland, and they receive protective measures.

Maryland People and Population

In 2022, the U.S. census recorded a population of 6,164,660 people in Maryland. According to a report published by the Stephen S. Fuller Institute, Maryland’s most populous regions, including Montgomery and Prince George’s County, were among those that recorded two consecutive years of net population loss, with numbers decreasing from 3,403 and 9,283, respectively. However, regions such as Frederick and Loudoun counties saw notable population increases. The reason for large suburban counties to lose population was seen to be an outcome of housing costs in urban areas and, more significantly, the shift to hybrid and remote work during the pandemic. 


According to the 2022 census, the majority of Maryland’s population (61.3%) falls under the 18-64 age group, with 16.9% over 65 years old and 21.8% under the age of 18.

Maryland’s median age of 39.6 is slightly less than the national average of 38.9, but according to reports, Marylanders are “older than they used to be.


Based on the 2022 census data, 51.3% of the population of Maryland is female, while the remaining 48.7% represents the male population.


In 2022, 57.3% of Maryland's population identified as white, while only 48.3% of that figure represents white alone (not Hispanic mixed). African Americans made up 31.7% of that figure, while 11.5% identified as Hispanic or Latino. Moreover, 7.1% identified as Asian, while 3.2% identified with two or more races.


Religion in Maryland is predominantly Christian, with a majority of 69% of the population identifying as such. Among Christians, 15% identify as Catholic, and 18% identify as Evangelical Protestant. Individuals who adhere to non-Christian faiths make up 8% of the population, with 3% identifying as Jewish, while Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu groups each make up 1%. Individuals who report being non-affiliated account for 23% of the population, with 3% considering themselves atheists, while another 17% state that they have "nothing in particular" as their religious affiliation.


The median household income in Maryland for the period of 2017–2021 was reported at $91,431 in 2022, representing a significant increase compared to the national average median income reported at $54,132 Additionally, the per capita income for the same period was reported at $45,915. In 2020, reported that the state had the highest median household income among all states for the year. The Report also noted that Maryland “ranked as second in ratio of millionaire households to total households, where 9.72% had $1 million or more in assets as reported by Phoenix Marketing International's Wealth and Affluent Monitor.”


Based on the 2022 Census, 90.8% of residents in Maryland reported holding a high school diploma, and 41.6% held a higher education degree (bachelor’s degree or higher), ranking it third in the nation in educational attainment.

Maryland is home to 56 accredited institutions, including 40 four-year colleges and 16 two-year colleges, with a combined enrollment of over 360,000 students. The University System of Maryland, along with renowned institutions like Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Naval Academy, offer exceptional educational resources. In the 2018 academic year, Maryland awarded 34,210 bachelor's degrees, 20,660 master's degrees, and 3,060 doctorates and professional degrees.

In addition to traditional campuses, Maryland has nine regional higher education centers that collaborate with community colleges and universities both within and outside the state. These partnerships allow local access to degree programs for students in various regions of Maryland.


With approximately one out of every seven residents in Maryland being an immigrant, the state is home to a large population of foreign-born individuals. In 2018, immigrants accounted for 15% of Maryland's population, among which 451,208 were women, 408,820 were men, and 55,163 were children. More than half of the immigrants in Maryland have become naturalized U.S. citizens, with 489,731 individuals (54% of immigrants) having completed the naturalization process as of 2018. In 2017, there were 146,228 immigrants who were eligible for naturalization. The primary countries of origin for immigrants in Maryland were El Salvador (11%), India (6%), China (5%), Nigeria (5%), and the Philippines (4%). Additionally, 760,379 people in Maryland (13% of the state's population) were native-born Americans with at least one immigrant parent in 2018. 

Maryland Government

The governance of Maryland operates in accordance with the Maryland Constitution, as it is a part of the federal system of the United States. Therefore, the functionality of the state is similar to that of other state governments; it has exclusive authority over matters that fall within the state's boundaries, including state law with limitations imposed by the United States Constitution.  Annapolis, the state capital, serves as the primary location for most government activities, including the Supreme Court and other Maryland state court offices such as the Government Relations and Public Affairs Office. However, several state agencies, cabinet-level offices, and state personnel have their offices in Baltimore, including the Maryland State Department of Education and the Department of Labor. State and county elections are generally held in even-numbered years that are not divisible by four, ensuring a separation between state and federal politics.  Despite a provision for a statewide vote every 20 years to determine whether to convene a constitutional convention, repeated attempts to replace the 1867 document have been unsuccessful. Although the document has been amended around 200 times, it still contains unnecessary details, outdated concerns, and lacks provisions for present-day matters of interest.


Maryland's constitution outlines the roles and responsibilities of five key executive branch officials in the following manner: the governor and lieutenant governor, who run as a team; the attorney general; and the comptroller are the four positions elected statewide. The treasurer, who is the fifth official, is elected through a joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly. The governor serves a four-year term and can be reelected only once for an immediate successive term. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a government reorganization merged numerous separate agencies, boards, and commissions into 12 departments.

Maryland's legislature, known as the General Assembly, consists of two chambers: the Senate, which comprises 47 members, and the House of Delegates, which has 141 members. Members of each chamber serve four-year terms and can be reelected without term limits. Reorganization efforts in the 1960s diminished rural dominance in the legislature and transferred power to counties adjacent to Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The highest judicial body in Maryland is the seven-member Court of Appeals. Below that is an intermediate Court of Special Appeals, as well as circuit and district courts, along with an Orphans' Court responsible for handling wills, estates, and probate matters. Judges are appointed by the governor. However, to retain their positions, they must face an election following their appointment, and in Baltimore, circuit court judges must compete against any opposing candidates. Appeals judges are elected to 10-year terms, while circuit judges serve 15-year terms. 

Political Trends

While Republican candidates have typically found success in the southern region, the majority of voters in Maryland have consistently affiliated themselves with the Democratic Party, making it the dominant force in elections. However, there is support for Republican candidates in the western part of the state, including the Eastern Shore and affluent areas of suburban Maryland. In the 20th century, Maryland has seen 21 Democratic wins and 10 Republican wins. Baltimore City, which hosted multiple presidential-nominating conventions in the 19th century, remains a Democratic stronghold. Moreover, unlike other parts of the South where corruption and coercive measures such as poll taxes were prevalent in the 20th century, Maryland managed to avoid such practices in its elections.

Maryland Economy

Maryland possesses a diverse economy centered around high technology, biosciences, services, manufacturing, and international trade.  The state’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 was $368.68 billion, out of which $293.5 billion was contributed by private sector industries. Maryland's business landscape consists of approximately 171,000 companies that employ nearly 2 million individuals, generating an annual payroll amounting to $134 billion. Moreover, the state is home to approximately 3,935 businesses with 100 or more employees. Prominent corporations headquartered in Maryland include Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Host Hotels & Resorts, McCormick & Company, T. Rowe Price, Under Armour, W. R. Grace, Legg Mason, GEICO, Emergent Biosolutions, United Therapeutics, Colfax, Tessco Technologies, BroadSoft, Coastal Sunbelt, and Phillips Seafood.


Despite its size, Maryland contains a range of agricultural diversity, consisting of a variety of commodities thriving in the state. The state's topography, spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains, creates a suitable environment for various crops and livestock. The sandy coastal areas provide optimal conditions for watermelon and other vegetable crops, while higher elevations offer opportunities for fruit production, such as apples and grapes. The main agricultural product produced in Maryland is the chicken broiler industry, which contributes $1.2 billion to total production. The majority of farmland, over 70 percent, is dedicated to cropland, including significant acreage for corn, soybeans, and wheat. Vegetables cover approximately 29,339 acres, with sweet corn, watermelon, and snap beans being the leading crops. Maryland has also demonstrated success in nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod cultivation, accounting for over 9 percent of the total value of agricultural products sold. 


The largest sectors in Maryland are government, finance, insurance, and real estate, followed by professional and business services. Maryland ranked 15th for net tech jobs in the workforce, employing 211,435 workers, making up 7.8% of total employment. The state housed about 12,871 tech businesses, contributing $36.4 billion to the economy. In 2020, Maryland achieved fourth place in both the Milken Institute's State Technology and Science Index and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's State New Economy Index. It was recognized as the fifth most innovative state by the Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index in 2019 and ranked fourth in the WalletHub Innovation Index the same year. Maryland was also acknowledged as the fifth-top global cybersecurity hub and third in "Innovation & Entrepreneurship" by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2015. The InvestMaryland Program injected $84 million into the state's high-tech sector during Fiscal Year 2012, supporting its growth. 

Arts & Entertainment

One of the most successful initiatives made by the state is the Arts & Entertainment Districts Program, abbreviated as A&E, which serves as a vibrant platform for indulging in dining, shopping, creative pursuits, and exploration. The state takes pride in its five notable A&E districts: Western Maryland, Capital Region, Central Maryland, Southern Maryland, and Eastern Shore. The primary aim of the A&E Districts program is to cultivate, promote, and nurture diverse artistic and cultural hubs within Maryland's communities. These districts strive to preserve a distinct sense of identity, offer unique local experiences, attract tourism, and revitalize the economy while fostering a sense of pride within neighborhoods. The program aligns with Maryland's overarching objective of reinvesting in existing communities and establishing dynamic spaces that contribute to the prosperity of individuals, businesses, and the economy.

Maryland's arts and culture exhibit a rich diversity that extends beyond metropolitan areas, incorporating an eclectic fusion of Southern and Northern American influences influenced by the state's location and distinctive characteristics. Maryland hosts several significant cultural centers, including the American Film Institute in Silver Spring, The Filmore, located within the central offices of Discovery Communications, the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts in Columbia, and The Strathmore, a prestigious institution dedicated to culture and the arts, situated in Bethesda. The Strathmore, established in 1981, comprises two distinct venues known as the "Mansion" and the "Music Center."

Space, Science, and Technology

Maryland has played a significant role in the development of the national space, science, and technology sectors. The state is home to various institutions, organizations, and research facilities that contribute to advancements in these fields. The state’s role in space, science, and technology is marked by its research institutions, collaborations with government agencies like NASA and NIH, and the presence of major aerospace and defense companies.

One notable institute is the Goddard Space Flight Center, a major NASA research center located in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Goddard Center is involved in conducting scientific research, developing and operating space missions, and advancing our understanding of Earth, the solar system, and the universe. The center plays a crucial role in space exploration, satellite technology, and Earth observation.

Maryland is also recognized for its strong presence in the biotechnology and life sciences sectors. The state is at the forefront of genomics research, with institutions like the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) in Bethesda. These institutions contribute to the mapping of the human genome and research related to personalized medicine, genetic disorders, and other areas of biotechnology.

Additionally, Maryland hosts several renowned academic institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, which excel in various scientific disciplines. These institutions drive innovation and research in fields such as engineering, computer science, robotics, and healthcare. Maryland has a strong presence in the defense and aerospace industries. Companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing have a significant presence in the state, contributing to the development and manufacturing of advanced aerospace technologies, including satellites, aircraft, and defense systems.


Maryland's economy benefits significantly from tourism, with 35.2 million visitors in 2021 who spent $16.4 billion. This influx of vacation spending generates approximately $2.1 billion in state and local taxes and supports around 173,700 jobs (direct and indirect), making tourism the 12th largest private-sector employer in Maryland. The state offers a diverse range of popular tourist destinations, including the scenic beaches of the Eastern Shore and the natural beauty of western Maryland.

Baltimore, as a major attraction, features iconic sites such as Harbor Place, the Baltimore Aquarium, Fort McHenry, and the Camden Yards baseball stadium. Ocean City, located on the Atlantic Coast, has been a beloved summer beach destination, particularly since the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1952, which connected the Eastern Shore to more populated areas of Maryland.  Moreover, the state also boasts several sites of interest for military history enthusiasts on account of its historical significance in the American Civil War and the War of 1812. 

Wealth and Poverty

In 2020, Maryland was ranked second in terms of the ratio of millionaire households to total households, with 9.72% of households having $1 million or more in assets, as reported by Phoenix Marketing International's Wealth and Affluent Monitor. With cities such as Bethesda and its proximity to areas like Washington, D.C., and Arlington, V.A., which are known for their exceptionally high real estate values, Maryland stands as a region of significant residential real property worth. Additionally, Maryland had the highest median household income among states in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, despite these positive indicators, poverty remains a significant issue in the state, with nearly 10% of the population living below the poverty line. Even in some of the wealthiest areas, poverty abounds. For instance, in Howard County, one in four families was likely to be financially struggling.

Alarmingly, the percentage of people living in poverty in Maryland increased from 9.0% in 2019 to 10.3% in 2021. Despite this, Maryland still had the third-lowest poverty rate among states in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Child poverty is a particularly concerning issue in Maryland, with recent state government analysis revealing that it is more widespread and severe than previously estimated. The analysis found that over half of public school students now qualify for various anti-poverty programs, with approximately 110,000 newly identified poor students representing a 34% increase. Most of these students reside in suburban counties. 

Maryland Interesting Facts

Famous for its rich history, diverse landscapes, and mouth-watering seafood, Maryland has a charm that's deeply embedded in the fabric of America, including the following fascinating trivia facts.

The Arts Scene

Maryland was the home of a multitude of poets, writers, and novelists, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Upton Sinclair, and the legendary Edgar Allan Poe, whose love affair with the city of Baltimore served as a backdrop to his work.

The Native American Roots of the World-Famous Maryland Crab Cakes

Maryland is renowned globally for its delectable crab cakes. The origins of this culinary delight, however, can be traced back to Native American cuisine in the Chesapeake region, where it is believed to be one of the first recipes adopted by the colonists. Native American women would mix vegetables, cornmeal, and crabmeat together, shaping them into small balls before frying them in hot bear fat. Today, crab cakes have gained immense popularity, with the state's iconic blue crabs generating over $45 million in sales.

It’s Against the Law To Eat While You Swim in Maryland

While Maryland’s crab cakes may be an international delicacy, if you eat one while swimming, you might go to jail!  The state prohibits swimming and eating simultaneously, which includes water-based activities like wading or using inner tubes or swimming aids. The origins of this law remain unclear; it might be helpful to remember this odd rule when in Maryland!

The Maryland Gazette Is the Oldest Continuously Running Newspaper in the Nation

The Maryland Gazette, now known as The Capital, holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving newspaper in the United States. Established in 1727 by William Parks in Annapolis, Maryland, it was the first publication in both Maryland and the South and the sixth in the colonies. Originally a half-folio sheet with double columns, it followed the format of British weekly papers like the Spectator or the Tattler. Over time, it expanded to a full folio, featuring four pages of essays, news, and advertisements. However, publication became irregular after 1730 and eventually ceased in 1734.

Maryland History

Maryland is a place where the past and present meld beautifully, offering a unique historical narrative that stretches from the early colonial period to the modern era. This exploration will take you from Maryland's founding in 1632, through pivotal moments like the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, right up to the contemporary issues shaping the state today.

Pre-Colonial History

Maryland's history can be divided into three periods: Paleoindian, Archaic, and Woodland. During the Paleoindian period (11000 B.C.–9500 B.C.), people lived in mobile bands near rivers, relying on high-quality resources. The Archaic period (9500 B.C.–1250 B.C.) saw increased population, evolving projectile points, and the use of ground stone tools. The Middle Archaic (7000 B.C.–3750 B.C.) witnessed climate changes and settlements focused on inland swamps. The Late Archaic (3750 B.C.–1250 B.C.) saw population growth, estuary and swamp utilization, and new technologies. The Woodland period (1250 B.C.–A.D. 1600) introduced pottery, increased sedentism, and expanded trade. The Late Woodland involved larger villages, warfare, agriculture, and the bow and arrow. These periods demonstrate Maryland's adaptation to environmental changes and technological advancements.

Human occupation in the area dates back to around 10,000 B.C., after the retreat of the Pleistocene ice sheet. The pre-Archaic hunter culture left limited records. By A.D. 1000, the Archaic culture evolved into the Woodland culture, known for concentrated villages and ceremonies. The English support during conflicts helped maintain positive relations during the early colonial period. 

Colonial History

In 1608, Captain John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay and was impressed by its beauty. In 1632, Cecilius Calvert received a charter to establish a haven for Roman Catholics, leading to the founding of Maryland. The settlers focused on farming and trade instead of searching for gold. The Calvert family promoted religious freedom, resulting in the Act of Religious Toleration in 1649. Maryland experienced brief periods of turmoil, including Protestant rebellion in 1689 and crown rule from 1692 to 1715. The capital shifted from St. Mary City to Annapolis in 1694. The dispute with Pennsylvania over the border was settled in 1767 with the Mason and Dixon Line. Maryland played an active role in the American Revolution and ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788. The state also contributed to the formation of the District of Columbia in 1791.

During the War of 1812, Baltimore clippers, acting as privateers, retaliated against British ships amidst harassment on the high seas. In 1814, British troops failed in their attempt to inflict damage on Baltimore after burning government buildings in Washington, D.C., leading to the composition of the national anthem as Francis Scott Key’s, an eyewitness, composed the four eight-line stanzas of "The Star-Spangled Banner”. 

Pre-Civil War History

In the decades preceding the Civil War, Maryland, as a border state, experienced divided loyalties. After the Revolutionary War, a segment of Maryland's planters chose to emancipate their slaves, resulting in a significant population of free black individuals by 1860.

In response to John Brown's raid in 1859, local militias formed defensive forts in areas where slavery was prevalent. When the Civil War broke out, over 50,000 individuals, out of Maryland's total population of 687,000, joined the Union, while approximately 25,000 fought for the Confederacy. The political allegiances of these groups were often influenced by economic interests, with businessmen involved in Southern trade favoring the Confederate cause while local farmers, merchants, and residents of western Maryland aligned with the Union. However, on April 29, 1861, the state’s House of Delegates voted against seceding from the Union.

Maryland played a crucial role in the war due to its close proximity to the nation's capital and its position below the Mason-Dixon line. For this reason, unlike other states, the impact of the Civil War was permanent for Maryland's civilians, regardless of their political affiliations.

Throughout the war, Maryland experienced three significant waves of troop movements, including the Maryland (Antietam) campaign in 1862, the Gettysburg campaign in 1863, and the Battle of Monocacy (also known as "The Battle that Saved Washington") in 1864.

Post-Civil War

Maryland cities, particularly Baltimore, Annapolis, and Cumberland, witnessed substantial growth in the decades leading up to the Civil War, thanks to its seaport and railroad connections, which positioned it as a prominent industrial center during the Industrial Revolution. The manufacturing sector in Maryland benefited from the state's abundant coal, iron ore, and timber resources, as well as its well-developed transportation infrastructure, including railroads, the National Road, and the C&O Canal.

As a result, Maryland experienced prosperity following the Civil War. During the war, the state played an increasingly significant role as a hub for trade, receiving raw materials from the South and Midwest and supplying consumer goods. It is worth noting that the state's industrial growth was primarily influenced by external factors rather than internal control. Moreover, harbors in Baltimore and Annapolis flourished as inland ports, enjoying direct railroad connections to the rapidly expanding Midwest. 

Modern History

In the early 20th century, Maryland experienced a political reform movement driven by the emerging middle class, resulting in the reduction of political patronage and the power of political bosses and machines. Maryland's location, in particular its proximity to the national capitol, shaped its character, transforming its identity to emerge as a prominent center for federal installations, both military and civilian, during World Wars I and II and beyond. For instance, it became the location of the presidential retreat known as Camp David in Catoctin Mountain Park. The Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., experienced significant growth and demographic changes in the 20th century. Maryland witnessed economic growth and diversification in the 20th century, with industries such as manufacturing, technology, biotechnology, and services expanding and enhancing the importance of the state as a political, industrial, and trade hub.

Moreover, infrastructure development played a crucial role in shaping Maryland's growth in the 20th century. The expansion of transportation networks, including highways, airports, and the Baltimore Light Rail, improved connectivity and facilitated commerce and travel within the state. The Maryland suburbs became home to a large number of professionals, government employees, and middle-class families. The state's population also became increasingly diverse in the 20th century, with the influx of immigrants and the growth of minority communities contributing to the state's vibrant arts, cuisine, and cultural scene. Moreover, Maryland was not immune to the social and civil rights movements that swept the nation in the 20th century.

Maryland was not immune to the social and civil rights movements that swept the United States in the 20th century. The state witnessed significant activism and progress in areas such as civil rights, women's rights, and environmental conservation. Key events, Brown vs. Board of Education dealing with the desegregation of schools and the fight for equal rights, shaped Maryland's social landscape. Thurgood Marshall, who was born in Maryland and later became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, played a significant role in arguing the case before the Supreme Court. Even in the 21st century, Maryland continues to be at the forefront of combating significant social issues, such as human trafficking, climate change, and advocating for civil rights, including those of the LGBTQ+ community and individuals with disabilities.

People Also Ask...

If you are interested in more information about the state of Maryland, then keep reading — we have compiled answers to the most common FAQs below. Plus, take our quiz to learn more about how Baltimore, Maryland, shaped a poet's dark odes with Edgar Allan Poe's Life and Times.

Is the State of Maryland a Good State To Live In?

Maryland can indeed be a great state to live in. It boasts a rich history, diverse culture, excellent educational institutions, and a high standard of living, making it an attractive destination for both individuals and families.

Which State Is MD in USA?

MD is the United States Postal Service abbreviation for the state of Maryland. It is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country.

What State Is Maryland Known As?

Maryland is often known as the "Free State" due to its historical role in the abolition of slavery. It's also sometimes referred to as "America in Miniature" because of its varied topography.

Famous Maryland Natives and Residents


The 50 States of America | U.S. State Information
Sources +
See also: