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
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)
Temperatures—Average Monthly High and Low (degrees Fahrenheit)
In Baltimore, living costs are somewhat above the national average, but substantially less than those in urban areas in the northeast and west.
|City and State|
Cost of Living
Middlesex-Monmouth, New Jersey
San Diego, California
Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Virginia
Los Angeles-Long Beach, California
Nassau County (Long Island), New York
San Jose, California
San Francisco, California
New York (Manhattan), New York
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:
Source: Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, December 2006.
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.
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.
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.
- 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