Cecil County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 101,108. The county seat is Elkton. The county was named for Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (1605–1675), the first Proprietary Governor of the Province (colony) of Maryland. It is the only Maryland county that is part of the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area. Cecil County has existed since the late 1600s, though it continued to grow in population and town size.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 418 square miles (1,080 km), of which 346 square miles (900 km) is land and 72 square miles (190 km) (17%) is water.
Cecil County is in the northeast corner of Maryland, bounded on the north and east by the Mason–Dixon line with Pennsylvania and Delaware. The western border is defined by the lower reaches of the Susquehanna River and the northernmost coves, flats and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. On the south, the county is bounded by the Sassafras River and Kent County, Maryland. The county is part of the Delmarva Peninsula as well as Maryland’s “Eastern Shore.”
Topographically, Cecil County straddles the border between the rolling hills of the Piedmont Plateau north of U.S. Route 40 and the flatlands of the Atlantic Coastal Plain to the south. The highest and most rugged hills are found in the northwestern and north-central parts of the county, reaching 534 feet (163 m) just south of the Mason–Dixon line near Nottingham, Pennsylvania and just east of U.S. Route 1. The lowest elevation is sea level along the Chesapeake Bay.
Cecil County is primarily rural, with denser development around the county seat of Elkton and along U.S. Route 40. The county is bisected from east to west by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, which connects the Delaware River to the Chesapeake Bay by way of the Elk River. The canal passes through the town of Chesapeake City, where a high-level bridge facilitates the passage of large ships beneath Maryland Route 213.
Cecil County is also bisected east-to-west by Interstate 95, known as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway in Maryland. The highway provides a major artery for traffic between the Baltimore-Washington area to the southwest and the Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey regions to the northeast. The Office of Management and Budget has designated Cecil County as part of the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 85,951 people, 31,223 households, and 23,292 families residing in the county. The population density was 247 people per square mile (95/km²). There were 34,461 housing units at an average density of 99 per square mile (38/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.4% White, 3.9% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. 1.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.9% were of German, 16.1% Irish, 13.8% English, 13.8% American and 6.5% Italian ancestry.
There were 31,223 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.6% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the county, the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $50,510, and the median income for a family was $56,469. Males had a median income of $40,350 versus $28,646 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,384. About 5.4% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.
Maryland state planning data suggest that the population of the county could double in the next thirty years, reaching 160,000 by 2030.
As of the 2010 Census, the racial makeup of Cecil County was 87.4% Non-Hispanic white, 6.2% black, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% Non-Hispanics of some other race, 1.8% Non-Hispanics of two or more races and 3.4% Hispanics.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 101,108 people, 36,867 households, and 26,681 families residing in the county. The population density was 292.0 inhabitants per square mile (112.7/km). There were 41,103 housing units at an average density of 118.7 per square mile (45.8/km). The racial makeup of the county was 89.2% white, 6.2% black or African American, 1.1% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.4% of the population.
Of the 36,867 households, 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.6% were non-families, and 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.13. The median age was 38.9 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $64,886 and the median income for a family was $75,742. Males had a median income of $54,379 versus $39,933 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,640. About 6.3% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.2% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
Cecil County is home to a small Amish community in the Cecilton area that was founded in 1999. Amish families moved to the area from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania because of increasing costs and the declining amount of farmland there.