Baltimore County Now
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz
Over the past several weeks, we’ve celebrated the amazing fact that half of our Baltimore County high schools were ranked among the nation’s best, and that 19 County neighborhoods were rated among the best in the region. This got me thinking about what an exceptional place Baltimore County really is.
It seems that every week, another headline appears touting the successes of the people, employees and businesses of Baltimore County — and it’s getting hard to keep track of them all. I did a little research to see what other interesting facts I could uncover that demonstrate why Baltimore County is such a great place to live, work and play. Even I was surprised at how much we Baltimore Countians have to brag about!
Our Schools Rule
- In 2013, 52% of Baltimore County’s traditional and magnet high schools were named to national “Best Schools” lists.
- Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) has the second-highest graduation rate among the nation’s 50 largest school districts.
- Six BCPS schools earned Maryland Blue Ribbon honors in December 2012, and Maryland’s education system ranked top in the nation for the fifth year in a row.
- Baltimore County is home to five out of the fifteen colleges and universities in the Baltimore metro region, including the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), which educates nearly 74,000 students each year and half of all Baltimore County residents attending college as undergraduates in Maryland.
- An impressive 35.2% of Baltimore County residents over the age of 25 hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Taming the Tax Burden
- In Baltimore County, there has been no property tax rate increase in 25 years and no income tax rate increase in 21 years!
- Baltimore County is one of only 39 counties out of more than 3,000 in the nation (or approx. 1%) with a Triple AAA Bond Rating, a tribute to our strong fiscal management.
- Baltimore-Towson ranked on The Atlantic’s 25 Best Places to Live for Recent Graduates list in 2012.
- CNN Money named Towson the eighth-best place in the nation for the rich & single.
- Baltimore-Towson was named the fourth-best place for baby boomers to pre-retire by Nerdwallet.com.
- West Towson was named “Best Neighborhood for Seniors” by AOL.
- With 817,455 residents, Baltimore County is more populous than its two nearest cities, Baltimore and Washington, DC, as well as the states of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota and Alaska. Baltimore County is also larger in land than 30 countries around the world.
- With a cost of living that falls well below other Northeastern metropolitan regions, Baltimore County has great urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods that are culturally diverse communities and offer something for everyone. Nineteen of our neighborhoods were named in Baltimore Magazine’s “Best Places to Live 2013” issue.
- Baltimore County is home to many historic neighborhoods, with 388 designated Baltimore County Landmarks and 17 County Historic Districts. Baltimore County also has 86 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including two National Historic Landmarks.
- Baltimore County won six 2012 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties for several technology and safety initiatives.
- There are five hospitals in the county and 38 across the region, including those belonging to the Johns Hopkins Health System, whose flagship hospital has been ranked as America’s best for the last 21 years.
- Baltimore County is experiencing historically low crime rates, with a 22% drop in violent crime based on the last five-year reporting period.
- Thirty percent of Baltimore County’s land is preserved as parkland and open space — lands that provide for recreation, green space, drinking water protection, family farms and local food production (EPS sources). The County is ranked sixth-best in the nation for its agricultural land preservation program (Farmland Preservation Report 2011).
Our Festive Nature
- Baltimore County boasts more than 200 miles of shoreline, with beaches and 70 marinas and yacht clubs.
- Between our 200 parks and recreation sites, and the four beautiful state parks in Baltimore County, you can find great hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking trails, lighted artificial turf sports fields, nature centers, dogs parks, disc golf courses, and much more.
- Dundalk’s Heritage Fair was recently named the second-best community celebration in the U.S.
- Baltimore County is home to three of the top ten shopping malls in the state.
- Catonsville is known as Music City, Maryland, thanks to its multitude of music stores, venues and educational facilities.
- Baltimore County is horse country, with more than 140 picturesque thoroughbred horse farms.
- The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offers summer performances at the Oregon Ridge Park outdoor amphitheater.
- More than a half million people flock to Timonium every year for the 11 best days of summer at the Maryland State Fair.
- Bengies Drive-In Theatre in Middle River is the biggest continuously operated movie theater screen in the USA.
- We have wine country! Enjoy Baltimore County’s portion of the Piedmont Wine Trail.