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Home > Agency Directory > Economic and Workforce Development > Baltimorecountybusiness.com > Quality of Life > Introduction to Business and Living in Baltimore County.

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Introduction to Baltimore County
Climate   Cost of Living   Quality of Life   
Recreation & Culture
    Local Media

Baltimore County is at the center of a compact East Coast market, surrounding the independent city of Baltimore.  Baltimore County is the largest jurisdiction in a metropolitan area with a population of more than 2.6 million.

With 612 square miles of land, Baltimore County has the third largest land area, the third largest population (787,384), and the second highest number of jobs (375,251) in Maryland.

A Quick Look

County Seat:Towson  Click for Baltimore Washington Area Map.
Government:County executive and seven-member county council elected for four year terms; charter form of government.  There are no incorporated cities in Baltimore County.
Elevation:Sea level to 966 feet, typically between 200 and 700 feet.
Land Area:612 square miles
Shoreline:175 miles

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Climate

Baltimore County lies in a region midway between the northern and southern climates.  Our climate is further influenced by the moderating influences of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west.  The frost free period lasts about 186 days, typically beginning in mid April and ending in late October. 

During the summer months our climate is under the influence of the largest semi-permanent high pressure system commonly know as the Bermuda High.  This system is responsible for circulating warm and humid air masses from the Deep South.  Our proximity to large bodies of water and the inflow of southerly winds contribute to the high relative humidity throughout the year.  The prevailing wind direction is from the west, with spring and winter months having the highest average wind speed.

Precipitation
Average Monthly Precipitation (inches)

Rain

Snow

Jan3.485
Feb3.075
March4.121
April3.061
May 4.18
June 3.28
July3.96
August4.05
Sept4.06
Oct3.19
Nov3.45
Dec3.691
  
Average Precipitation Chart for Baltimore County.

Temperatures
Average Monthly High and Low (degrees Fahrenheit)

High

Low

Jan4429
Feb4731
March5739
April6848
May 7758
June 8668
July9173
August8871
Sept8164
Oct7052
Nov5942
Dec4933
Average Temperature Chart for Baltimore County.


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Cost of Living

In Baltimore, living costs are somewhat above the national average, but substantially less than those in urban areas in the northeast and west. 

Cost of Living

National Comparison

Baltimore, MD 

121.5

Middlesex-Monmouth,NJ
122.9
Seattle,WA123.3

Philadelphia, PA 

123.9

Boulder,CO125.3

Boston, MA 

130.9

San Diego,CA133.5

Washington DC-Arlington-
Alexandria, DC-VA 

138.6

Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA 

141.6

Nassau County (Long Island),NY144.2
San Jose,CA155.0
San Francisco,CA162.9

New York (Manhattan), NY 

217.2

Note: Includes comparative data for approximately 320 urban areas.
Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index, 2009 Annual Average.

Cost of Living Comparison for Maryland Counties

The Maryland State Department of Business and Economic Development developed a Cost of Living Index for all of Maryland's counties in 2005.  The relative values have remained fairly constant over time. The U.S. average equal to 100.0, the indices for Maryland counties plus the city of Baltimore for 2005 are as follows:

County 

Index 

County 

Index

County

Index 

Allegany

81

Charles

114.8

Prince George's 

 118.9

Anne Arundel

 120.0

Dorchester

95.8

Queen Anne's 

 112.7

Baltimore City

 101.6

Frederick

114.2

St. Mary's

 107.7

Baltimore 

 107.7

Garrett

100.5

Somerset  

              85.3

Calvert

 116.9

Harford

107.3

Talbot 

 112.9

Caroline

 99.6

Howard

125.9

Washington 

 100.7

Carroll

 112.0

Kent 

101.2

Wicomico 

 96.3

Cecil

103.6

Montgomery

133.8

Worcester

108.6

Source: Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, December, 2006.

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 Quality of Life - Art and Leisure

Living in Baltimore County means a comfortable blend of historic neighborhoods, suburban communities and rural landscapes. Baltimore's lively Inner Harbor resounds with cheers for the Baltimore Orioles and NFL Ravens. Preakness thoroughbreds race at Pimlico, and are bred and trained in Baltimore County's numerous horse farms. With more than 175 miles of shoreline and over 60 marinas, Baltimore County is a destination for boaters and fishermen from throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  Boat, hike, fish or swim in over 10,000 acres of Baltimore County parkland,  

Tailgate gourmet-style with the international racing community at challenging point-to-point races, including the Maryland Hunt Cup. Taste and tour Baltimore County's vineyards or check out the blue ribbon winners at the annual  Maryland State Fair at Timonium Fairgrounds.

Oregon Ridge is filled with the sounds of music when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra comes to Oregon Ridge Park each summer. Popular music comes to large arenas and intimate venues such as the Recher Theatre in Towson. World-renowned art collections are minutes away at the Baltimore Museum, Walters Art Museum, and American Visionary Art Museum.  Baltimore’s many theaters, including the newly restored historic Hippodrome, offer a wide range of performing arts from local troupes to Broadway shows. 

For a charming adventure at home, discover antique rows in Cockeysville, Reisterstown, Monkton and the historic Milltown of Oella.  Make it a "vacation at home" with a B&B stay, in-town or in rural Baltimore County.  Bring your bikes to the Northern Central Railroad Trail, a railroad converted to biking and hiking trail running from rural Baltimore County into Pennsylvania.

Take  the  family  downtown to  the  National  Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery Children's Museum, or the new Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. Enjoy a night out at Power Plant Live! or have a great meal at one of our fabulous restaurants featuring Maryland seafood. 

Further afield:

  • Washington D.C. attractions are less than 50 miles from Baltimore.
  • Ocean City beaches are a 2 1/2 hour drive from Baltimore.
  • Philadelphia is a 90 minute train ride from Baltimore.
  • New York City is a 2 hour train ride from Baltimore.

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Revised May 31, 2011