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Dorchester County, Maryland facts for kids

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Coordinates: 38°25′N 76°05′W / 38.42°N 76.08°W / 38.42; -76.08

Dorchester County, Maryland
Seal of Dorchester County, Maryland
Map
Map of Maryland highlighting Dorchester County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the USA highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1669
Seat Cambridge
Largest City Cambridge
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

983 sq mi (2,546 km²)
541 sq mi (1,401 km²)
442 sq mi (1,145 km²), 45%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

32,384
33/sq mi (13/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.docogonet.com
Named for: Earl of Dorset

Dorchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,618. Its county seat is Cambridge. The county was formed in 1669 and named for the Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts (the founding family of the Maryland colony).

Dorchester County comprises the Cambridge, MD Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. It is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Dorchester County is the largest county on the Eastern Shore. It is bordered by the Choptank River to the north, Talbot County to the northwest, Caroline County to the northeast, Wicomico County to the southeast, Sussex County, Delaware, to the east, and the Chesapeake Bay to the west. Dorchester County uses the slogan, "The Heart of Chesapeake Country," due to its geographical location and the heart-like shape of the county on a map.

History

Many of the residents of Dorchester County make their living as farmers or working on the water. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries provide harvests of crabs, oysters, and many fish species to both commercial and recreational fisherman. Dorchester County, Maryland was the birthplace of Harriet Tubman, known widely for her work of guiding slaves to freedom.

Dorchester County has been hit by two deadly tornadoes. The first one occurred on June 23, 1944 in Cambridge, where 2 people were killed and 33 were injured. The other was on May 8, 1984 in Hurlock, where one death and 6 injuries were reported. Both storms caused between 500,000 and 5 million dollars in damage.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 983 square miles (2,550 km2), of which 541 square miles (1,400 km2) is land and 442 square miles (1,140 km2) (45%) is water. It is the largest county in Maryland by total area.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 15,875
1800 16,346 3.0%
1810 18,108 10.8%
1820 17,759 −1.9%
1830 18,686 5.2%
1840 18,843 0.8%
1850 18,877 0.2%
1860 20,461 8.4%
1870 19,458 −4.9%
1880 23,110 18.8%
1890 24,843 7.5%
1900 27,962 12.6%
1910 28,669 2.5%
1920 27,895 −2.7%
1930 26,813 −3.9%
1940 28,006 4.4%
1950 27,815 −0.7%
1960 29,666 6.7%
1970 29,405 −0.9%
1980 30,623 4.1%
1990 30,236 −1.3%
2000 30,674 1.4%
2010 32,618 6.3%
Est. 2015 32,384 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,674 people, 12,706 households, and 8,500 families residing in the county. The population density was 55 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 14,681 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 69.45% White, 28.39% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.1% were of American, 12.7% English, 9.8% German and 8.2% Irish ancestry.

There were 12,706 households out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.50% were married couples living together, 15.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.10% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 25.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,077, and the median income for a family was $41,917. Males had a median income of $29,014 versus $22,284 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,929. 13.80% of the population and 10.10% of families were below the poverty line. 18.10% of those under the age of 18 and 14.20% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

As of 2010 the racial makeup of the county was 66.16% Non-Hispanic whites, 27.70% blacks, 0.34% Native Americans, 0.92% Asians, 0.03% Pacific Islanders, 0.09% Non-Hispanics from some other race, 1.64% Non-Hispanics reporting two or more races and 3.64% Hispanic or Latino.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,618 people, 13,522 households, and 8,894 families residing in the county. The population density was 60.3 inhabitants per square mile (23.3/km2). There were 16,554 housing units at an average density of 30.6 per square mile (11.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 67.6% white, 27.7% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 17.0% were American, 13.9% were English, 11.4% were German, and 11.1% were Irish.

Of the 13,522 households, 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.2% were non-families, and 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 43.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,151 and the median income for a family was $56,662. Males had a median income of $40,814 versus $30,184 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,139. About 9.5% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.

Sister counties

Communities

City

Towns

Census-designated places

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