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Washington County
Burnside's Bridge in Washington County, site of heavy combat during the Battle of Antietam
Burnside's Bridge in Washington County, site of heavy combat during the Battle of Antietam
Flag of Washington County
Official seal of Washington County
Map of Maryland highlighting Washington 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 September 6, 1776
Named for George Washington
Seat Hagerstown
Largest city Hagerstown
 • Total 467 sq mi (1,210 km2)
 • Land 458 sq mi (1,190 km2)
 • Water 9.6 sq mi (25 km2)  2.0%
 • Total 147,430
 • Estimate 
 • Density 315.7/sq mi (121.89/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 6th

Washington County is located in the western part of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2020 census, the population was 154,705. Its county seat is Hagerstown. Washington County was the first county in the United States to be named for the Revolutionary War general (and later President) George Washington. Washington County is one of three Maryland counties recognized by the Appalachian Regional Commission as being part of Appalachia. The county borders southern Pennsylvania to the north, Northern Virginia to the south, and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to the south and west. Washington County is included in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area.


Seal of Washington County, Maryland (1950-1988)
The Washington County seal from 1950 to 1988.

The western portions of Maryland (including present Washington County) were incorporated into Prince George's County in 1696. This original county included six current counties. The first to be created was Frederick, separated from Prince George's County in 1748.

Washington County was formed on September 6, 1776, by the division of Frederick County. At the same time, a portion of Frederick County became part of the newly created Montgomery County along with portions from Prince George's County and Charles' County, and was named for General Richard Montgomery. Washington County as created included land later to become Allegany County (created in 1789) and Garrett County (included in Allegany County when it was created in 1789, but separated from Allegany County in 1872). Washington County thus originally included the entire western part of the state.

A number of properties in the county are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 467 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 9.6 square miles (25 km2) (2.0%) is water.

Washington County is located in the Appalachian Mountains, stretching from the Ridge-and-Valley Country in the west to South Mountain in the east, which is an extension of the Blue Ridge. Much of the county lies in the broad Hagerstown Valley between these two zones; the valley is part of the Great Appalachian Valley that continues southward into Virginia and West Virginia as the Shenandoah Valley and northward into Pennsylvania as the Cumberland Valley.

The county is bordered to the north by the Mason–Dixon line with Pennsylvania, to the south by the Potomac River and the states of Virginia and West Virginia, to the west by Sideling Hill Creek and Allegany County, Maryland, and to the east by Frederick County and South Mountain.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-68 (MD).svg Interstate 68
  • I-70 (MD).svg Interstate 70
  • I-81 (MD).svg Interstate 81
  • US 11.svg U.S. Route 11
  • US 40.svg U.S. Route 40
  • Alternate plate.svg
    US 40.svg U.S. Route 40 Alternate

  • US 40 Scenic
  • US 340.svg U.S. Route 340
  • US 522.svg U.S. Route 522
  • MD Route 34.svg Maryland Route 34
  • MD Route 56.svg Maryland Route 56
  • MD Route 57.svg Maryland Route 57
  • MD Route 58.svg Maryland Route 58
  • MD Route 60.svg Maryland Route 60
  • MD Route 62.svg Maryland Route 62
  • MD Route 63.svg Maryland Route 63
  • MD Route 64.svg Maryland Route 64
  • MD Route 65.svg Maryland Route 65
  • MD Route 66.svg Maryland Route 66
  • MD Route 67.svg Maryland Route 67
  • MD Route 68.svg Maryland Route 68
  • MD Route 77.svg Maryland Route 77
  • MD Route 144.svg Maryland Route 144
  • MD Route 180.svg Maryland Route 180
  • MD Route 418.svg Maryland Route 418
  • MD Route 491.svg Maryland Route 491
  • MD Route 494.svg Maryland Route 494
  • MD Route 550.svg Maryland Route 550
  • MD Route 615.svg Maryland Route 615
  • MD Route 632.svg Maryland Route 632


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 15,822
1800 18,650 17.9%
1810 18,730 0.4%
1820 23,075 23.2%
1830 25,268 9.5%
1840 28,850 14.2%
1850 30,848 6.9%
1860 31,417 1.8%
1870 34,712 10.5%
1880 38,561 11.1%
1890 39,782 3.2%
1900 45,133 13.5%
1910 49,617 9.9%
1920 59,694 20.3%
1930 65,882 10.4%
1940 68,838 4.5%
1950 78,886 14.6%
1960 91,219 15.6%
1970 103,829 13.8%
1980 113,086 8.9%
1990 121,393 7.3%
2000 131,923 8.7%
2010 147,430 11.8%
2019 (est.) 151,049 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010–2018

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 147,430 people, 55,687 households, and 37,506 families residing in the county. The population density was 322.1 inhabitants per square mile (124.4/km2). There were 60,814 housing units at an average density of 132.8 per square mile (51.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.1% white, 9.6% black or African American, 1.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 31.7% were German, 14.1% were Irish, 9.8% were English, 8.5% were American, and 5.1% were Italian.

Of the 55,687 households, 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.6% were non-families, and 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.01. The median age was 39.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $52,994 and the median income for a family was $65,811. Males had a median income of $47,622 versus $34,225 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,588. About 7.7% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Sideling Hill road cut for Interstate 68 in Maryland
Sideling Hill man-made mountain pass on I-68/U.S. 40 near Hancock

National parks

State parks

Museums, historic sites, and other points of interest

  • Bowman House, Boonsboro
  • Crystal Grottoes, the only show caves in Maryland.
  • Discovery Station, Hagerstown
  • Hager House, Hagerstown
  • Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, Hagerstown
  • Price-Miller House, Hagerstown
  • Sideling Hill, man-made mountain pass on Interstate 68/U.S. Route 40 roughly 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Hancock shows off 100 million years+ of rock formation with Information Center and walkways on the premises.
  • Springfield Farm, Williamsport
  • Stoney Creek Farm, Boonsboro
  • Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, Boonsboro


Downtown Boonsboro, Maryland
Hagerstown Downtown Potomac St
Hancock main street
Williamsport Maryland



Census-designated places

The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:

Unincorporated communities


In 2000, the median income for a household in the county was $40,617, and the median income for a family was $48,962. Males had a median income of $34,917 versus $24,524 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,062. About 7.00% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.30% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the following were the major employers in the county (excluding post offices, state government, and local governments, but including public institutions of higher education):

Employer Employees
(Nov. 2014)
Meritus Health 2,730
Citi 2,700
First Data 2,322
Volvo Group 1,350
The Bowman Group 718
FedEx Ground 648
Staples Inc. 597
Hagerstown Community College 594
Merkle Response Management Group 545
Arc of Washington County 500
Direct Mail Processors 500
Walmart/Sam's Club 500
Sierra Nevada Corp. 486
Giant Food Stores/
Martin's Food Markets
Weis Markets 400
Brook Lane Health Services 395
Lehigh Phoenix 360
A.C.&T 350
Susquehanna Bancshares 345
Dot Foods 312
JLG Industries 300
Home Depot 296
Lowe's 276
Thompson's Gas & Electric Service 275
United Parcel Service (UPS) 274
CertainTeed 250
Darden Restaurants 250
Sheetz 250
Tractor Supply 250
Homewood Retirement Centers 249
NMS Healthcare of Hagerstown 240
Horizon Goodwill Industries 229
C. William Hetzer 225
FedEx Freight 225


Washington County Public Schools administers public schools in the county. See Washington County Public Schools – School Directory for a detailed listing of elementary, middle, high, and other schools.

High schools

Colleges and universities

  • Antietam Bible College, Biblical Seminary, and Graduate School
  • Hagerstown Community College, two-year public community college
  • Kaplan College (formerly Hagerstown Business College)
  • Mount Saint Mary's University, Hagerstown Campus, offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
  • University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, branch of the University System of Maryland; offers various associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in connection with other state colleges and universities in Maryland.

Notable residents and natives

  • See People from Washington County.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Washington (Maryland) para niños

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