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Caroline County, Maryland facts for kids

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Caroline County
Caroline County
The Caroline County Courthouse in July 2012
The Caroline County Courthouse in July 2012
Flag of Caroline County
Official seal of Caroline County
Map of Maryland highlighting Caroline County
Location within the U.S. state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Maryland
Founded 1774
Named for Caroline Eden
Seat Denton
Largest town Denton
 • Total 326 sq mi (840 km2)
 • Land 319 sq mi (830 km2)
 • Water 6.5 sq mi (17 km2)  2.0%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 99/sq mi (38/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st

Caroline County is a rural county located in the U.S. state of Maryland on its Eastern Shore. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,066. Its county seat is Denton.

Caroline County is bordered by Queen Anne's County to the north, Talbot County to the west, Dorchester County to the south, Kent County, Delaware, to the east, and Sussex County, Delaware, to the southeast.


Caroline County was created in 1774 from parts of Dorchester and Queen Anne's counties. The county derives its name from Lady Caroline Eden, wife of Maryland's last colonial governor, Robert Eden.

Until the completion of these buildings, court was held at Melvill's Warehouse, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) above Pig Point. Elections and other business transactions were completed there, and the town became the center of the county. The first court session was held on March 15, 1774, at Melvill's Warehouse. In 1777, court was moved to Bridgetown (now Greensboro), but in the interest of convenience, court was moved back to Melvill's.

Disagreements arose concerning the permanent location of the county seat. The General Assembly reached a compromise in 1785 and ordered that 2 acres (0.81 ha) of land at Melvill's Landing should be purchased for a courthouse and jail. In 1790, the county court and its belongings moved to Pig Point. The Caroline County Courthouse was completed in 1797.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service is developing a site in the southern half of Caroline County dedicated to interpreting the Underground Railroad as part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 326 square miles (840 km2), of which 319 square miles (830 km2) is land and 6.5 square miles (17 km2) (2.0%) is water. It is the second-smallest county by total area in Maryland. Notable waterways include the Choptank River and Tuckahoe Creek, as well as the man-made Williston Lake.

Caroline County currently ranks seventh nationally in terms of land protected under the Ag Preservation Program.

Its eastern border is the Mason–Dixon line.

Caroline is the only Eastern Shore county not to touch either the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, it is the only county on the Eastern Shore without an Interstate or United States Highway within its borders.

Tuckahoe State Park, Holiday Park Campgrounds and Martinak State Park are located in Caroline County.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 9,506
1800 9,226 −2.9%
1810 9,453 2.5%
1820 10,108 6.9%
1830 9,070 −10.3%
1840 7,806 −13.9%
1850 9,692 24.2%
1860 11,129 14.8%
1870 12,101 8.7%
1880 13,766 13.8%
1890 13,903 1.0%
1900 16,248 16.9%
1910 19,216 18.3%
1920 18,652 −2.9%
1930 17,387 −6.8%
1940 17,549 0.9%
1950 18,234 3.9%
1960 19,462 6.7%
1970 19,781 1.6%
1980 23,143 17.0%
1990 27,035 16.8%
2000 29,772 10.1%
2010 33,066 11.1%
2015 (est.) 32,579 −1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 33,066 people, 12,158 households, and 8,702 families residing in the county. The population density was 103.5 inhabitants per square mile (40.0/km2). There were 13,482 housing units at an average density of 42.2 per square mile (16.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.8% white, 13.9% black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 3.1% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 21.7% were German, 15.6% were Irish, 12.3% were English, and 6.9% were American.

Of the 12,158 households, 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.4% were non-families, and 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.12. The median age was 38.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $58,799 and the median income for a family was $65,801. Males had a median income of $45,944 versus $33,927 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,294. About 8.0% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.


Caroline County is one of three Maryland counties that does not have an Interstate or U.S. Highway running through it. Caroline's "major artery" is Maryland Route 404, four lanes in some parts but two lanes in others. It is chiefly used in the summertime by non-local beachgoers heading to Ocean City, Maryland, or Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

  • MD Route 16.svg Maryland Route 16
  • MD Route 287.svg Maryland Route 287
  • MD Route 302.svg Maryland Route 302
  • MD Route 304.svg Maryland Route 304
  • MD Route 306.svg Maryland Route 306
  • MD Route 307.svg Maryland Route 307
  • MD Route 308.svg Maryland Route 308
  • MD Route 311.svg Maryland Route 311
  • MD Route 312.svg Maryland Route 312
  • MD Route 313.svg Maryland Route 313
  • MD Route 314.svg Maryland Route 314
  • MD Route 315.svg Maryland Route 315
  • MD Route 317.svg Maryland Route 317
  • MD Route 328.svg Maryland Route 328
  • MD Route 331.svg Maryland Route 331
  • MD Route 404.svg Maryland Route 404
  • MD Route 454.svg Maryland Route 454
  • MD Route 480.svg Maryland Route 480



Census-designated places

The United States Census Bureau recognizes three Census-designated places in Caroline County:

Unincorporated communities

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