Smith Island is an island on the Chesapeake Bay, on the border of Maryland and Virginia territorial waters in the United States.
Smith Island lies approximately 10 miles west of Crisfield, Md across the Tangier Sound portion of the Chesapeake Bay. The island consists of three communities, Ewell, Tylerton and Rhodes Point, which all sit on the Maryland portion of the island. The Virginia portion is currently uninhabited, although once contained many homes of early settlers.
The island has been shrinking in size for centuries, because of a combination of its low elevation and storm erosion. In the last 150 years, Smith Island has lost over 3,300 acres (13 km) of wetlands because of erosion and post-glacial subsidence into the Chesapeake Bay.
In order to prevent the island from being lost to erosion, restoration efforts will be ongoing for the next 50 years to restore 1,900 acres (8 km) of submerged aquatic vegetation and 240 acres (1 km) of wetlands.
The community is located in a small town-area in the central part of the island, spread across the three inhabited locations of Ewell, Rhodes Point and Tylerton, all located in the state of Maryland. The northern part of Smith Island also includes the Martin National Wildlife Refuge. The southernmost portion of the island consisting of marsh lies in Accomack County, Virginia.
As of the census of 2010, there were 276 people residing in the CDP. The population density was 81.7 people per square mile (31.6/km²). There were 218 housing units at an average density of 57.5/sq mi (22.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 99.6% White, 0.82% African American, 0.27% Native American, and 0.82% from two or more races. 51% of Smith Island’s residents were English, 4% Greek, 3% Irish, 3% Scottish, and 3% French.
There were 167 households out of which 19.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.5% were married couples living together, 4.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.69.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 14.6% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 22.3% from 25 to 44, 34.6% from 45 to 64, and 23.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $26,324, and the median income for a family was $29,375. Males had a median income of $26,250 versus $28,750 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $25,469. About 14.4% of families and 37.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.9% of those under age 18 and 67.9% of those age 65 or over.