Baltimore County is third-most populous county located in the U.S. state of Maryland and is part of the Baltimore metropolitan area and Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area (a combined statistical area). Baltimore County is part of the Northeast megalopolis, which stretches from Virginia northward to Boston. Baltimore County hosts a diversified economy, with particular emphasis on education, government, and health care.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county covers 682 square miles (1,770 km), of which 598 square miles (1,550 km) are land and 83 square miles (210 km) (12%) are water. It is the third-largest county in Maryland by land area. The larger portion of the terrain is undulating, with bold hills often rising to a height of 800 feet (240 m) above tide water. The highest elevation is approximately 960 feet (290 m) above sea level, along the Pennsylvania state line near Steltz. The lowest elevation is sea level along the shoreline of Chesapeake Bay.
Much of Baltimore County is suburban, straddling the border between the Piedmont plateau to the northwest and in the southern and southeastern regions of the county bordering the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic coastal plain. Northern Baltimore County is primarily rural, with a landscape of rolling hills and deciduous forests characteristic of the Southeastern mixed forests and shares the geography with its neighbors to the east and west, Carroll County and Harford County, and going north across the historic Mason–Dixon line into Adams County and York County in south-central Pennsylvania.
As of the census of 2000, 754,292 people, 299,877 households and 198,518 families resided in the county. The population density was 1,260 people per square mile (487/km²). 313,734 housing units at an average density of 524 per square mile (202/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 74.39% White, 20.10% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 3.17% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races and 1.43% from two or more races. 1.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.4% were of German, 10.8% Irish, 7.3% English, 7.0% Italian, 6.1% US or American and 5.4% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. A large Jewish population migrated from Park Heights into the communities of Pikesville, Owings Mills and Reisterstown, referred to by Jewish residents as “100,000 Jews in three zip codes”. According to the North American Jewish Data Bank as of 2011 Baltimore County is 7.5% Jewish with a Jewish population of around 60,000 people.
Of 299,877 households, 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.40% were married couples living together, 12.80% had a female householder with no husband present and 33.80% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.00.
The age distribution shows 23.60% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. Every 100 females were accompanied by 90.00 males. Every 100 females age 18 and over were accompanied by 86.00 males.
The household median income was $50,667, and the median income for a family was $59,998. Males had a median income of $41,048 versus $31,426 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,167. About 4.50% of families and 6.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 6.50% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 Census the population of Baltimore County was 62.80% Non-Hispanic Whites, 26.05% Blacks, 0.33% Native American, 4.99% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.59% Some other race and 2.40% reporting more than one race. 4.19% of the Population was Hispanic.
As of the 2010 United States Census, 805,029 people, 316,715 households, and 205,113 families resided there. The population density was 1,345.5 inhabitants per square mile (519.5/km). The 335,622 housing units supported an average density of 561.0 per square mile (216.6/km). The racial makeup of the county was 64.6% white, 26.1% black or African American, 5.0% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 1.6% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 20.7% were German, 14.6% were Irish, 8.7% were English, 7.4% were Italian, 5.8% were Polish and 5.0% were American.
Of the 316,715 households, 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.2% were non-families, and 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.04. The median age was 39.1 years.
The household median income was $63,959 and the median income for a family was $78,385. Males had a median income of $53,104 versus $43,316 for females. The per capita income for the county was $33,719. About 5.3% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.