List of counties in Maryland

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"Maryland counties" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Maryland County, Liberia.

There are twenty-four counties and county-equivalents in the U.S. state of Maryland. Though an independent city rather than a county, the City of Baltimore is considered the equal of a county for most purposes and is a county-equivalent. Many of the counties in Maryland were named for relatives of the Barons Baltimore who were the proprietors of the Maryland colony from its founding in 1634 through 1771. The Barons Baltimore were Catholic, and George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, originally intended that the colony be a haven for English Catholics, though for most of its history Maryland has had a majority of Protestants.[1]

The last new county formation in Maryland occurred when Garrett County was formed in 1872 from portions of Allegany County.[2] However, there have been numerous border changes since that time, most recently when portions of the city of Takoma Park that had previously been part of Prince George's County were absorbed into Montgomery County in 1997.[3]

Outside of Baltimore (which is an independent city) the county is the default unit of local government. Under Maryland law, counties exercise powers reserved in most other states at the municipal or state levels, so there is little incentive for a community to incorporate. Many of the state's most populous and economically important communities, such as Bethesda, Silver Spring, Columbia, and Towson are unincorporated and receive their municipal services from the county. In fact, there are no incorporated municipalities at all in Baltimore County or Howard County. The county-equivalent is also the provider of public schools - school districts as a separate level of government do not exist in Maryland.

The City of Baltimore generally possesses the same powers and responsibilities as the counties within the state. It is an entity nearly surrounded by but separate from the County of Baltimore, which has its county seat in Towson.

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry.[4] Maryland's code is 24, which when combined with any county code would be written as 24XXX. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.

Alphabetical listing[edit]

FIPS code
County seat
Allegany County001Cumberland1789Formed from part of Washington County.From the Lenape Indian word oolikhanna, which means "beautiful stream"74,012430 sq mi
(1,114 km2)
State map highlighting Allegany County
Anne Arundel County003Annapolis1650Formed from part of St. Mary's County.Anne Arundell was the maiden name of the wife of Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Between 1654 and 1658 it was known as Providence County by Puritan settlers550,488588 sq mi
(1,523 km2)
State map highlighting Anne Arundel County
Baltimore County005Towson1659Formed from unorganized territoryCecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, first proprietor of the Maryland colony817,455682 sq mi
(1,766 km2)
State map highlighting Baltimore County
Baltimore City510Baltimore City1851Founded in 1729. Detached in 1851 from Baltimore CountyCecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, first proprietor of the Maryland colony621,34292 sq mi
(238 km2)
State map highlighting Baltimore City
Calvert County009Prince Frederick1654Formed as Patuxent County from unorganized territory. Renamed Calvert County in 1658The Calvert family; prior to 1658 it was called Patuxent County, after the Patuxent Indians, a branch of the Algonquians89,628345 sq mi
(894 km2)
State map highlighting Calvert County
Caroline County011Denton1773From parts of Dorchester County and Queen Anne's CountyLady Caroline Eden, daughter of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore32,718326 sq mi
(844 km2)
State map highlighting Caroline County
Carroll County013Westminster1837From parts of Baltimore County and Frederick CountyCharles Carroll of Carrollton, a representative to the Continental Congress and signatory of the Declaration of Independence167,217452 sq mi
(1,171 km2)
State map highlighting Carroll County
Cecil County015Elkton1672From parts of Baltimore County and Kent CountyCecil is an Anglicized form of the first name of Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore101,696418 sq mi
(1,083 km2)
State map highlighting Cecil County
Charles County017La Plata1658From unorganized territoryCharles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, second proprietor of the Maryland colony150,592643 sq mi
(1,665 km2)
State map highlighting Charles County
Dorchester County019Cambridge1668From unorganized territoryDorchester in Dorset, England; the Earl of Dorset was a friend of the Calvert family32,551540 sq mi
(1,399 km2)
State map highlighting Dorchester County
Frederick County021Frederick1748From part of Prince George's CountyFrederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore, final proprietor of the Maryland colony239,582667 sq mi
(1,728 km2)
State map highlighting Frederick County
Garrett County023Oakland1872From part of Allegany CountyJohn Work Garrett, president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad29,854656 sq mi
(1,699 km2)
State map highlighting Garrett County
Harford County025Bel Air1773From part of Baltimore CountyHenry Harford, illegitimate son of Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore248,622527 sq mi
(1,365 km2)
State map highlighting Harford County
Howard County027Ellicott City1851From parts of Anne Arundel County and Baltimore CountyJohn Eager Howard, an American Revolutionary War officer and governor of Maryland299,430254 sq mi
(658 km2)
State map highlighting Howard County
Kent County029Chestertown1642From unorganized territoryThe English county of Kent20,191414 sq mi
(1,072 km2)
State map highlighting Kent County
Montgomery County031Rockville1776From part of Frederick CountyRichard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general1,004,709507 sq mi
(1,313 km2)
State map highlighting Montgomery County
Prince George's County033Upper Marlboro1696From parts of Calvert County and Charles CountyPrince George of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne of Great Britain881,138498 sq mi
(1,290 km2)
State map highlighting Prince George's County
Queen Anne's County035Centreville1706From parts of Talbot CountyAnne, Queen of Great Britain48,595510 sq mi
(1,321 km2)
State map highlighting Queen Anne's County
Saint Mary's County037Leonardtown1637From unorganized territory. Was named Potomac County between 1654 and 1658.The Virgin Mary, first county named in a colony intended to be a haven for Catholics108,987611 sq mi
(1,582 km2)
State map highlighting Saint Mary's County
Somerset County039Princess Anne1666From unorganized territory.Mary, Lady Somerset, sister-in-law of Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore26,253611 sq mi
(1,582 km2)
State map highlighting Somerset County
Talbot County041Easton1662From part of Kent CountyGrace, Lady Talbot, sister of Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore38,098477 sq mi
(1,235 km2)
State map highlighting Talbot County
Washington County043Hagerstown1776From part of Frederick CountyGeorge Washington, first President of the United States149,180468 sq mi
(1,212 km2)
State map highlighting Washington County
Wicomico County045Salisbury1867From parts of Somerset County and Worcester CountyThe Wicomico River; in Lenape, wicko mekee indicated "a place where houses are built," possibly in reference to a settlement100,647400 sq mi
(1,036 km2)
State map highlighting Wicomico County
Worcester County047Snow Hill1742From part of Somerset CountyMary Arundell, the wife of Sir John Somerset, son of the 1st Marquess of Worcester, and sister of Anne Arundell, the wife of Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore51,578695 sq mi
(1,800 km2)
State map highlighting Worcester County


Counties of Maryland.

Defunct counties[edit]

CountyYears of existenceEtymology
Old Charles County1650–1654Charles I, King of England
Durham County1669–1672The English County Durham
Old Worcester County1672–1685Mary Arundell, the wife of Sir John Somerset, son of the 1st Marquess of Worcester,
and sister of Anne Arundell, wife of Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore


  1. ^ Brugger, Robert J. (1988). Maryland: A Middle Temperament, 1634–1980. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 0-8018-3399-X
  2. ^ a b c d e "Counties". Maryland Manual Online. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  3. ^ Brown, Deneen (June 28, 1997). "As Unification Nears, Takoma Park Residents Still a Divided People". The Washington Post. pp. A1. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  4. ^ "FIPS Publish 6-4". National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  5. ^ "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  6. ^ a b c National Association of Counties. "NACo - Find a county". Retrieved 2008-04-30. [dead link]
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  8. ^ "Maryland QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-06-22.