Measuring Maryland's Progress

 

The Maryland demographics data dashboards provide a snapshot of the varying socio-economic characteristics that continue to influence both fiscal and social policies across the State. Key indicators include population growth, international migration, racial composition, median household income, educational attainment, and poverty rates. Together these indicators illustrate that Maryland remains among the most diverse and affluent states in the nation with high income and educational attainment levels and an overall low poverty rate. Also, Maryland remains a welcoming State for both foreign-born and new Americans. The following points summarize key findings with respect to the State’s demographic makeup.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

 

Updated

Population

 

Maryland ranks nineteenth in terms of population, with approximately 6.0 million people.  The Baltimore-National Capital regions account for 82.3% of the State’s residents.  The remaining three regions of the State (Western Maryland, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore) account for 17.7% of State residents.

 

Since 1950, the State’s population center has shifted toward the National Capital and Southern Maryland regions and away from the Baltimore region.  In 1950, the Baltimore region comprised 62.2% of the State population compared to 45.8% in 2015.  In contrast, the National Capital region’s share of the State population increased from 18.0% in 1950 to 36.5% in 2015.  In addition, the Southern Maryland region’s share of the State population increased from 2.8% in 1950 to 6.0% in 2015. 

 

 

 

December 2016

Population Change

 

Managing growth remains a key issue as Maryland’s population continues to expand.  From 2000 to 2015, the State population increased by 710,000 people, representing a 13.4% increase over the 15-year period.  More recently, since the 2010 Census, the State population has increased by 3.8%.  Population growth throughout Maryland has not been uniform.  The largest growth occurred in Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore, and the north central region of the State.  Baltimore City and some rural counties realized either marginal growth or reductions in population.

 

St. Mary’s County led the State in the pace of population growth between 2000 and 2010 with a growth rate of 22.3%.  Seven other counties (Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Queen Anne’s, and Wicomico) had growth rates of at least 15.0%.  Baltimore City was the only jurisdiction that lost population during this period.  More recently, since the 2010 Census, Howard, Montgomery, and Charles counties led the State in population growth, and seven counties experienced population declines.

 

December 2016

Foreign-born Population

 

Maryland remains one of the most diverse states in the nation, encompassing people from approximately 160 different countries speaking over 100 languages.  For example, 14.9% of Maryland residents are foreign born compared to 13.3% at the national level.  Among the states, Maryland has the ninth highest percentage of residents who are foreign born.

 

The foreign-born population in Maryland is concentrated in the National Capital region.  Over 30% of the population in Montgomery County consists of foreign-born residents; with the share totaling approximately 20% in Howard and Prince George’s counties.  In comparison, Western Maryland has the lowest concentration of foreign-born residents.

 

 

 

December 2016

 

 

 


International Migration

 

Maryland’s population growth is primarily attributable to natural increases and international immigration.  Maryland continues to experience population losses from net internal migration, which reflects the movement of people among the states.  These losses are offset by a high level of international immigration.  Over the last five years, nearly 150,000 foreign-born individuals have entered the State, residing primarily in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

 

A portion of international immigration consists of individuals who are not authorized to legally enter the United States.  The number of unauthorized immigrants residing in Maryland has increased from 35,000 in 1990 to approximately 250,000 in 2014.  In comparison, the number of unauthorized immigrants residing in Virginia has increased from 50,000 in 1990 to approximately 300,000 in 2014.

 

December 2016

Racial Composition – Share of State Population by Race/Ethnicity

 

The gains in the State’s population have come entirely from growth in minority groups.  Since 2010, the State’s minority population has increased by 9.9%, whereas the White population has decreased by 1.3%.  The State’s Hispanic population has increased by 20.4%, the Asian population has increased by 18.7%, and the African American population has increased by 4.9%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2016

Racial Composition

 

Racial minorities comprise 48.0% of the State’s population compared to 38.4% nationally.  African Americans are the largest racial minority in Maryland, comprising 29.4% of the State’s population, whereas Hispanics account for 9.5% followed by Asians at 6.4%.  Four of Maryland’s jurisdictions have a majority-minority population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2016

 

Racial Composition – Age 4 and Under

 

In the near future, individuals from minority groups will comprise the largest share of the State’s population with younger generations reflecting greater racial and ethnic diversity.  Currently, statewide, a majority of children age 4 and under come from a minority group.  These children represent the majority in eight of Maryland’s jurisdictions.  In Prince George’s County, over 90% of children age 4 and under are from a minority group, followed by Baltimore City (76.3% of children age 4 and under) and Montgomery County (67.6% of children age 4 and under).  In comparison, only around one-third of individuals age 65 and over are from a minority group.

 

 

December 2016

Income Levels

 

Maryland continues to be one of the most affluent states in the nation with a high median household income.  Maryland had the highest median household income in the nation based on a five-year average for 2010 through 2014.  The median household income for Maryland jurisdictions ranged from $36,700 in Somerset County to $110,100 in Howard County.  Montgomery County had the second highest median household income at $98,700, and Calvert County had the third highest at $95,400.  Four counties (Allegany, Dorchester, Garrett, and Somerset) and Baltimore City had income levels below 70% of the statewide average.

 

 

 

December 2016

Educational Attainment

 

With a high concentration of college-educated residents, Maryland remains an attractive location for economic growth.  In Maryland, 37.3% of State residents have at least a bachelor’s degree compared to 29.3% at the national level and 35.8% in neighboring Virginia.  However, the educational attainment of Maryland residents varies significantly by county.  Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore have the lowest percent of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher.  In Caroline County, only 13.9% of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.  Meanwhile, over 60% of residents in Howard County have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

 

 

 

 

December 2016

Educational Attainment

 

The educational attainment of Maryland residents also varies by race and ethnicity.  Over 60% of Asians have at least a bachelor’s degree compared to 42.0% for White residents, 26.5% for African Americans, and 20.6% for Hispanics.  In addition, over 40% of the State’s foreign-born population have at least a bachelor’s degree compared to 36.5% of the native-born population.  However, over 20% of the foreign-born population have less than a high school education compared to only 8.9% of native-born individuals.

 

 

 

December 2016

Poverty Rates

 

Maryland has one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation at 10.0% compared to 15.6% nationally.  However, due to income disparities across the State and among racial/ethnic groups, many areas of Maryland continue to be impacted by high poverty levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2016

 

 

 

This page revised December 7, 2016.