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Charles County, Maryland

Charles County, Maryland
Flag of Charles County, Maryland
Seal of Charles County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Charles County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1658
Named for Charles Calvert
Seat La Plata
Largest community Waldorf
 • Total 643 sq mi (1,665 km2)
 • Land 458 sq mi (1,186 km2)
 • Water 185 sq mi (479 km2), 29%
 • (2010) 146,551
 • Density 320/sq mi (124/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .gov.charlescountymdwww

Charles County is a county located in the southern central portion of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 146,551.[1] The county seat is La Plata.[2] The county was named for Charles Calvert (1637–1715), third Baron Baltimore.

Charles County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
    • Hunters Brooke Arson 1.1
  • Law and government 2
    • Board of Commissioners 2.1
  • Geography 3
    • Adjacent counties 3.1
    • Major highways 3.2
    • National protected area 3.3
  • Demographics 4
    • 2010 4.1
    • 2000 4.2
  • Economy 5
    • Top employers 5.1
  • Education 6
    • Public schools 6.1
    • Colleges and universities 6.2
  • Communities 7
    • Towns 7.1
    • Census-designated places 7.2
    • Unincorporated communities 7.3
  • Notable residents 8
  • Sports 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Charles County was created in 1658 by an Order in Council. There was an also an earlier Charles County from 1650 to 1653, sometimes referred to in historic documents as Old Charles County.[3][4][5]

In April 1865, John Wilkes Booth made his escape through Charles County after shooting President Abraham Lincoln. He was on his way to Virginia.

On April 28, 2002, a tornado cut through the County and destroyed much of downtown La Plata.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.[6] Among which, are the distinguished Green Park and the historical Pleasant Hill, home of the Green and Spalding Families.

Hunters Brooke Arson

On December 4, 2004, an arson took place in the development of Hunters Brooke which is located a few miles southeast of Indian Head. It later became the largest residential arson[7] in the history of the state of Maryland.[8][9][10]

Law and government

Charles County is reliably Democratic, although not as overwhelmingly so as other parts of Maryland's Washington, D.C. suburbs.

Board of Commissioners

Charles County is governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in Maryland. There are five commissioners. As of 2011, they are:

Position Name Affiliation District
  President Candice Quinn Kelly Democratic At-Large
  Vice-President Reuben B. Collins, II Democratic District 3
  Commissioner Ken Robinson Democratic District 1
  Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. Democratic District 2
  Commissioner Bobby Rucci Democratic District 4

Charles County is entirely located within the 5th Congressional District, which also includes Calvert, St. Marys, and parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. The current representative is Democratic House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 643 square miles (1,670 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 185 square miles (480 km2) (29%) is water.[11]

In its western wing, along the southernmost bend in Maryland Route 224, Charles County contains a rare instance where the traveler is due north, east, south, and west of the same state—Virginia.[12]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area



The ethnic makeup of the country, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, was the following:


As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 120,546 people, 41,668 households, and 32,292 families residing in the county. The population density was 262 people per square mile (101/km²). There were 43,903 housing units at an average density of 95 per square mile (37/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.51% White, 26.06% Black or African American, 0.75% Native American, 1.82% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 2.08% from two or more races. 2.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 11.6% were of German, 10.8% Irish, 10.2% English, 9.3% American and 5.3% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 41,668 households out of which 41.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.00% were married couples living together, 14.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.50% were non-families. 17.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.70% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 33.20% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 7.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $62,199, and the median income for a family was $67,602 (these figures had risen to $80,573 and $89,358 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[18]). Males had a median income of $43,371 versus $34,231 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,285. About 3.70% of families and 5.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.70% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2010 the county population's racial makeup was 48.38% Non-Hispanic whites, 40.96% blacks, 0.65% Native Americans, 2.98% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islanders, 0.17% Non-Hispanics of some other race, 3.20% Non-Hispanics reporting more than one race and 4.27% Hispanic.


Top employers

According to the County's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[19] the top employers by number of employees in the county are:
# Employer # of Employees Percentage of Total County Employment
1 Charles County Board of Education 3,430 4.35%
2 Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center 3,404 4.49%
3 Charles County Government 1,638 2.16%
4 Civista Medical Center 850 1.12%
5 College of Southern Maryland 819 1.08%
6 Wal-Mart/Sam's Club 592 0.78%
7 The Facchina Group of Companies 550 0.73%
8 Safeway 475 0.63%
9 Target 400 0.53%
10 McDonald's 396 0.52%
11 Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative 386 0.51%
12 Genesis Health Care 312 0.41%
13 Bloomin' Brands (formerly OSI Restaurant Partners) 300 0.40%
14 Charles County Nursing Home 255 0.34%
15 Darden Restaurants 253 0.33%
16 Macy's 250 0.33%


Public schools

Colleges and universities



Census-designated places

The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:

Unincorporated communities

Notable residents


Club League Venue Established Championships
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs ALPB, Baseball Regency Furniture Stadium 2008 0

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "The Counties of Maryland" 630. The Archives of Maryland Online. pp. 122–124. Retrieved November 16, 2007. 
  4. ^ Maryland Geological Survey (1911). "Prince Georges County". The Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 21–22. Retrieved November 16, 2007. 
  5. ^ Maryland Geological Survey (1906). "Maryland Geological Survey: General Reports". The Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 474–477. Retrieved April 5, 2008. 
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Courson, Paul; Joanthan Wild (December 21, 2004). "Two more arrested in Maryland fires". Washington, Dc: CNN. p. 1. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ Witte, Brian (January 3, 2005). "Maryland Hunts for Motives Behind State's Largest Residential Arson". Insurance Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  10. ^ Hancock, David (Dec 18, 2004). "3 More Charged In Maryland Arson". LA PLATA, Md: CBS NEWS. p. 1. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ This oddity of political geography happens in other places in Maryland.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  18. ^ Charles County, Maryland - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
  19. ^ "Charles County, Maryland Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2013". / Charles County Government. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896". Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External links

  • Official website
    • Charles County Commissioners' Office
  • Charles County at the Wayback Machine (archived June 1, 2012)

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