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Introduction to Baltimore County

Link to the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce.
Comcast provided the financial support for the project.


Climate | Cost of Living | Quality of Life | Recreation and 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
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

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 known 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)

The average precipitation chart for Baltimore County.

Month

Rain

Snow

January

3.48

5

February

3.07

5

March

4.12

1

April

3.06

1

May

4.18

n/a

June

3.28

n/a

July

3.96

n/a

August

4.05

n/a

September

4.06

n/a

October

3.19

n/a

November

3.45

n/a

December

3.69

1

Temperatures—Average Monthly High and Low (degrees Fahrenheit)

The average temperature chart for Baltimore County.

Month

High

Low

January

44

29

February

47

31

March

57

39

April

68

48

May

77

58

June

86

68

July

91

73

August

88

71

September

81

64

October

70

52

November

59

42

December

49

33

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. 

National Comparison

City and State

Cost of Living

Baltimore, Maryland

121.5

Middlesex-Monmouth, New Jersey

122.9

Seattle, Washington

123.3

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

123.9

Boulder, Colorado

125.3

Boston, Massachusetts

130.9

San Diego, California

133.5

Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Virginia

138.6

Los Angeles-Long Beach, California

141.6

Nassau County (Long Island), New York

144.2

San Jose, California

155

San Francisco, California

162.9

New York (Manhattan), New York

217.2

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

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, 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

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

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.

 Quality of Life—Art and Leisure

Living in Baltimore County means a comfortable blend of historic neighborhoods, suburban communities and rural landscapes. 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.

Downtown and Inner Harbor

Baltimore's lively Inner Harbor resounds with cheers for the Baltimore Orioles and National Football League Ravens. 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.

Outdoor Activities

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. Bring your bikes to the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, a railroad converted to biking and hiking trail running from rural Baltimore County into Pennsylvania. 

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.

Music, Art and Theatre

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. 

Races

Preakness thoroughbreds race at Pimlico, and are bred and trained in Baltimore County's numerous horse farms. Tailgate gourmet-style with the international racing community at challenging point-to-point races, including the Maryland Hunt Cup.

Further Afield

  • Washington D.C. attractions are less than 50 miles from Baltimore.
  • Ocean City beaches are a 2.5 hour drive from Baltimore.
  • Philadelphia is a 90-minute train ride from Baltimore.
  • New York City is a two-hour train ride from Baltimore.
 

Revised August 12, 2016        

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