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Carroll County, Maryland facts for kids

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Carroll County
Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster
Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster
Flag of Carroll County
Official seal of Carroll County
Map of Maryland highlighting Carroll 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 January 19, 1837
Named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Seat Westminster
Largest community Eldersburg
 • Total 453 sq mi (1,170 km2)
 • Land 448 sq mi (1,160 km2)
 • Water 5.1 sq mi (13 km2)  1.1%
 • Total 172,891
 • Density 381.7/sq mi (147.36/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 8th

Carroll County is located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2020 census, the population was 172,891. Its county seat is Westminster.

Carroll County is included in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. While predominantly rural, the county has become increasingly suburban in recent years.


Carroll County was created in 1837 from parts of Baltimore and Frederick Counties, see Hundred (division). It was named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737–1832), signer of the American Declaration of Independence.

During the American Civil War, the population of Carroll County was sharply divided between supporters of the Union and the Confederacy. In 1863, there were significant troop movements through the county as part of the Gettysburg campaign. On June 29, 1863, the cavalry skirmish known as Corbit's Charge was fought in the streets of Westminster, when two companies of Delaware cavalry attacked a much larger Confederate force under General J.E.B. Stuart.

In 2013 the Carroll County Board of Commissioners voted to make English the official language of the county.


Farm in Carroll County, Maryland

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 453 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 448 square miles (1,160 km2) is land and 5.1 square miles (13 km2) (1.1%) is water.

Topographically, Carroll County is located within the Piedmont Plateau region, with characteristic upland terrain of rolling hills and deciduous forest. The most prominent relief is Parr's Ridge, which bisects the county from southwest to northeast. The highest point is in the northeastern part of the county on Dug Hill along Deep Run Road.

Carroll County is bordered on the north by the Mason–Dixon line with Pennsylvania, and on the south by Howard County across the South Branch of the Patapsco River. About half of the eastern border, with Baltimore County, is formed by the North Branch of the Patapsco River and by Liberty Reservoir, though the northern half near Manchester and Hampstead is a land border. Carroll County is bordered on the west by Frederick County, across the Monocacy River and Sam's Creek. Other major streams in the county include Big Pipe Creek, Little Pipe Creek, and Double Pipe Creek, Bear Branch, and the headwaters of the Gunpowder Falls. The Piney Run Reservoir is in the southern part of the county.

Three railroad lines cross Carroll County. The old Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Old Main Line crosses the southern part of the county from east to west, with former stations in Sykesville and Mount Airy. The original Western Maryland Railway (WM) main line track runs southeast to northwest through Carrollton, Westminster, New Windsor, and Union Bridge. The old Baltimore and Hanover Railroad (later acquired by WM) runs further to the east through Hampstead, Millers, and Lineboro. Two of these railroad lines are now operated by CSX Transportation; the former WM main line is now operated by Maryland Midland Railway.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-70 (MD).svg Interstate 70
  • US 40.svg U.S. Route 40
  • MD Route 26.svg State Route 26
  • MD Route 27.svg State Route 27
  • MD Route 32.svg State Route 32
  • MD Route 91.svg State Route 91
  • MD Route 97.svg State Route 97
  • MD Route 140.svg State Route 140
  • MD Route 194.svg State Route 194


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 17,242
1850 20,617 19.6%
1860 24,533 19.0%
1870 28,619 16.7%
1880 30,992 8.3%
1890 32,376 4.5%
1900 33,860 4.6%
1910 33,934 0.2%
1920 34,245 0.9%
1930 35,978 5.1%
1940 39,054 8.5%
1950 44,907 15.0%
1960 52,785 17.5%
1970 69,006 30.7%
1980 96,356 39.6%
1990 123,372 28.0%
2000 150,897 22.3%
2010 167,134 10.8%
2020 172,891 3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Carroll County, Maryland - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 152,428 146,701 91.20% 84.85%
Black or African American alone (NH) 5,229 6,361 3.13% 3.68%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 288 268 0.17% 0.16%
Asian alone (NH) 2,402 3,766 1.44% 2.18%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 47 36 0.03% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 150 601 0.09% 0.35%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 2,227 7,413 1.33% 4.29%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 4,363 7,745 2.61% 4.48%
Total 167,134 172,891 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 167,134 people, 59,786 households, and 45,163 families residing in the county. The population density was 373.4 inhabitants per square mile (144.2/km2). There were 62,406 housing units at an average density of 139.4 per square mile (53.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.9% white, 3.2% black or African American, 1.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 33.8% were German, 19.1% were Irish, 14.0% were English, 8.4% were American, 8.2% were Italian, 5.3% were Polish, 2.8% were French and 2.3% were Scottish.

Of the 59,786 households, 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.5% were non-families, and 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.15. The median age was 41.1 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $81,621 and the median income for a family was $95,825. Males had a median income of $62,322 versus $46,170 for females. The per capita income for the county was $33,938. About 4.0% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.


This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:



Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

In popular culture

  • The county was used for scenes in the Tim Allen movie For Richer or Poorer and the Richard Gere and Julia Roberts movie Runaway Bride.
  • Chris Rock stood in front of North Carroll Middle School during his speech in the movie Head of State.


JoS. A. Bank Clothiers has its headquarters in an unincorporated area in the county, near Hampstead.

Carroll County Public Schools is the largest employer in Carroll County.

The following is a list of principal employers in the county, as reported by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development from November 2014 data. This list excludes U.S. post offices and state and local governments, but includes public institutions of higher education.

Employer Employees
Carroll Hospital Center 1,997
McDaniel College 800
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers 778
Penguin Random House 753
EMA 700
Carroll Community College 686
Walmart 600
Weis Markets 499
Carroll Lutheran Village 425
English American Tailoring 425
Northrop Grumman 425
C.J. Miller 334
Arc of Carroll County 325
Home Depot 300
Knorr Brake 300
Flowserve 264
Tevis Energy 259
Safeway 250
Spectrum Support 249
PFG-Carroll County Foods 211
Food Lion 200
Kohl's 200
M.T. Laney 200
Lowe's 180
Target Corporation 175
Truist Financial 174
PNC Financial Services 171
Long View Nursing Home 166
Lehigh Cement 164
Lorien Mt. Airy 161
Golden Living Center 160
Dart Container 150
Pizza Hut 150
BJ's Wholesale Club 150
Carroll County Family Center Y 140
Stanley Black & Decker 140


The Carroll County Public Schools School system is the ninth largest school district in the state of Maryland.

McDaniel College, a small private liberal arts college, is located in Westminster.

Carroll Community College is a two-year community college serving the residents of Carroll County. It is located in Westminster, Maryland.


Major highways

2019-05-20 12 17 52 View west along Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 40 (Baltimore National Pike) at Exit 68 (Maryland State Route 27, Damascus, Mount Airy) in Mount Airy, Carroll County, Maryland
I-70/US 40 in Carroll County
  • I-70 / US 40
  • MD 26
  • MD 27
  • MD 30
  • MD 30 Bus.
  • MD 31
  • MD 32
  • MD 75
  • MD 77
  • MD 84
  • MD 86
  • MD 88
  • MD 91
  • MD 97
  • MD 140
  • MD 194
  • MD 407
  • MD 482
  • MD 496
  • MD 808
  • MD 832
  • MD 833
  • MD 852
  • MD 854


Carroll County operates its own bus public transit system, known as the Carroll Transit System. After 40 years of service, the Carroll Area Transit System (CATS bus) ended its transportation services in the county at the end of July, 2016. CATS was replaced by the Carroll Transit System, which is operated by Ride With Us. Carroll Transit Service offers five fixed-deviated routes that were previously operated by CATS, as well as demand-response, door-to-door service.

The Owings Mills station of the Baltimore Metro SubwayLink in nearby Owings Mills, Baltimore County, is a short drive by car from Carroll County and provides subway access to downtown Baltimore. Due to longstanding opposition to mass transit from local residents and politicians, there is no inter-county bus or rail transit linking Carroll County to nearby suburban communities of Baltimore County. Due to a resolution passed by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners, the Carroll Transit System is prohibited from offering bus services into or out of the county. The Baltimore Sun editorial board has condemned Carroll County's "transit phobia" and excoriated the mass transit resolution as "thinly veiled racist provocation." The Baltimore City Paper declared the resolution "racist" and suggested adding toll booths for cars entering Baltimore County from Carroll County.

Notable people

  • Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star-Spangled Banner", was born at his family plantation of Terra Rubra, in what is now northwestern Carroll County
  • Whittaker Chambers, former communist spy, testified against Alger Hiss
  • Isaac Roop, first elected (provisional) governor of the newly proposed Nevada Territory; born in Carroll County
  • Kyle Snyder, Olympic, World, NCAA wrestling champion
  • Band Half Japanese was founded in Uniontown, Maryland by Jad and David Fair.
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