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Westminster, Maryland facts for kids

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Westminster, Maryland
Main Street in Westminster, Maryland
Main Street in Westminster, Maryland
Official seal of Westminster, Maryland
"Where history meets tomorrow"
Location in Maryland
Location in Maryland
Country United States
State Maryland
County Carroll
Founded 1764
Incorporated 1818
 • Total 6.65 sq mi (17.23 km2)
 • Land 6.64 sq mi (17.20 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
764 ft (233 m)
 • Total 20,126
 • Density 3,030.57/sq mi (1,170.19/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 410, 443, and 667
FIPS code 24-83100
GNIS feature ID 0595080

Westminster is a city in northern Maryland, United States. A suburb of Baltimore, it is the seat of Carroll County. The city's population was 18,590 at the 2010 census. Westminster is an outlying community within the Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA, which is part of a greater Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV CSA.


William Winchester (1711-1790) purchased approximately 167 acres of land called White's Level in 1754 which became known as the city of Winchester. The Maryland General Assembly later changed the name of his town from Winchester to Westminster because Winchester was also the name of the county seat of Frederick County, Virginia where it was at that time located.

On June 29, 1864, 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.

Since 1868, Westminster has held an annual Memorial Day parade, which is the longest continuously running Memorial Day parade in the country.

Just north of Westminster is the farm at which Whittaker Chambers hid the so-called "pumpkin papers."

A historic marker states that Westminster was the first place in the nation to offer Rural Free Delivery postal service.

Westminster is the birthplace of Sargent Shriver (1915–2011), the Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1972, and the first director of the Peace Corps.

On Friday, June 26, 2015 the City of Westminster lit the Westminster Fiber Network, the first community wide gigabit fiber to the premise network in the mid-Atlantic region. The City partnered with Ting Inc., a subsidiary of Tucows, to light the network and provide gigabit services.


Westminster is located at 39°34′36″N 77°0′0″W / 39.57667°N 77.00000°W / 39.57667; -77.00000 (39.576551, −77.000120).

Westminster is approximately 36.5 miles (58.7 km) driving distance northwest of Baltimore and 37.5 miles (60.4 km) driving distance southwest of York, Pennsylvania.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.64 square miles (17.20 km2), of which, 6.63 square miles (17.17 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.


Westminster lies in the humid subtropical climate zone, with hot and humid summers and cool winters with highly variable seasonal snowfall. Due to its elevation, distance from the Chesapeake Bay and urban heat island, temperatures in Westminster are often considerably lower than in Baltimore, especially at night.

Climate data for Westminster, Maryland (1981−2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 41.3
Average low °F (°C) 21.9
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.88
Snowfall inches (cm) 12.1
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.4 8.1 9.9 10.6 11.9 9.8 8.8 8.4 7.8 7.2 8.9 8.9 108.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 3.0 1.9 1.2 .1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .3 1.1 7.6
Source: NOAA

Tornado activity

Westminster's historical tornado activity is slightly above the Maryland state average and 38% greater than the overall U.S. average. On April 16, 2011, a tornado was confirmed to have touched down around 8:00 pm EST. On July 19, 1996, an F3 (which has wind speeds of 158–206 mph) tornado struck 5.5 miles away from the Westminster city center, injuring three people and causing $5 million in damages. On April 15, 1952, an F3 tornado hit 15.5 miles away from the city center, injuring four people and causing between $500,000 and $5,000,000 in damages.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 884
1870 2,310
1880 2,507 8.5%
1890 2,908 16.0%
1900 3,199 10.0%
1910 3,295 3.0%
1920 3,521 6.9%
1930 4,463 26.8%
1940 4,692 5.1%
1950 6,140 30.9%
1960 6,123 −0.3%
1970 7,207 17.7%
1980 8,808 22.2%
1990 13,068 48.4%
2000 16,731 28.0%
2010 18,590 11.1%
2020 20,126 8.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 18,590 people, 7,161 households, and 4,117 families living in the city. The population density was 2,803.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,082.6/km2). There were 7,684 housing units at an average density of 1,159.0 per square mile (447.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.0% White, 7.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 1.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.0% of the population. 40% of Latinos in Westminster were of Mexican descent, 16% were of Puerto Rican descent, and 3% were of Cuban descent. 60% of Westminster's Latino population identified as White, 4% identified as Afro-Latino, 6% identified as being of more than one race, and 29% identified as some other race. Non-Hispanics in Westminster were predominantly White; 88% of non-Hispanics were White and 7% were African-American.

There were 7,161 households, of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.5% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.12.

The median age in the city was 33.3 years. 22.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 15% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.6% were from 25 to 44; 21.9% were from 45 to 64; and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

Arts and culture

Hashawha Tower

The Hashawha Tower is a windmill in Westminster. It stands at the Hashawha Environmental Center.

Annual events

  • Carroll County Fair
  • Common Ground on the Hill
  • Maryland Wine Festival
  • Art in the Park

Popular culture

  • The film For Richer or Poorer was filmed in Westminster.
  • In 1997, Linda Fisher, aka The Muffin Lady, who made and sold muffins to people and stores in downtown Westminster in an effort to stay off welfare, was shut down by the Carroll County Health Department because she was not using a commercial kitchen. The Westminster Fire Department helped her by offering the use of their catering kitchen. This experience led to a story on Good Morning America and the publication of Fisher's cookbook, MUFFIN MAKEOVERS; Recipes and Reflections From Linda Fisher, Rebuilding Her Life One Batch at a Time.

Sister city


Top employers

According to the City of Westminster, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Carroll County Public Schools 3,757
2 McDaniel College 641
3 Carroll County 593
4 Carroll Lutheran Village 437
5 General Dynamics Robotics Systems 350
6 C.J. Miller 245
7 S.H. Tevis & Son 238
8 Truist Financial 174
9 PNC Financial Services 171
10 Landmark Community Newspapers 164

The five largest employers just outside Westminster in Carroll County are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Carroll Hospital Center 1,696
2 Random House 800
3 Carroll Community College 509
4 English American Tailoring 385
5 Knorr Brake 260


The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) system enrolls over 28,000 students, which makes it the ninth largest school system in the state of Maryland. In Carroll County there are seven comprehensive high schools as well as two career and technology centers and an alternative school, The Gateway School. Students in grades 9 through 12 attend one of seven Carroll County high schools. Carroll County has 23 elementary schools and 9 middle schools. In the city of Westminster, there are two high schools, two middle schools and three elementary schools.

Westminster is home to McDaniel College, a small liberal-arts college; to the Civil Air Patrol's National Honor Guard Academy; and to Dream Flight School, an institution providing flight lessons at the local airport.


2016-08-20 13 51 15 View north along Maryland State Route 97 and west along Maryland State Route 140 (Baltimore Boulevard) at Maryland State Route 27 (Manchester Road) in Westminster, Carroll County, Maryland
MD 140 and MD 97 run concurrently for part of their route through Westminster

The main method of travel to and from Westminster is by road and four primary highways serve the city. The most prominent of these is Maryland Route 140, which follows an east-southeast to west-northwest alignment across the area. To the southeast, MD 140 connects to Baltimore, while northwestward, it passes through Taneytown on its way to Emmitsburg. Maryland Route 97 is the next most important highway serving the city, providing the most direct route southward towards Washington, D.C. Two other primary highways, Maryland Route 27 and Maryland Route 31 provide connections to other towns in the area.

The Owings Mills station of the Baltimore Metro SubwayLink in nearby Owings Mills, Baltimore County, is a 20-minute drive by car from Westminster 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 Westminster 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.

Notable people

  • Whittaker Chambers, former Soviet spy who testified against Alger Hiss
  • Bill Oakley, television writer and producer best known for The Simpsons; born in Westminster and raised mainly in nearby Union Bridge
  • Robert S. Shriver Jr., American politician, born in Westminster November 9, 1915.
  • Clyfford Still, renowned American abstract expressionist painter; had a farm nearby
  • Theodore E. Woodward, Nobel Prize nominee, renowned researcher in the field of medicine

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Westminster (Maryland) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Influential Hispanic politicians
Maria Elvira Salazar
Veronica Escobar
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Lucille Roybal-Allard
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