Best counties to live in Maryland

Written by:
June 17, 2021
TownCreative // Wikimedia Commons

Best counties to live in Maryland

What makes a particular county the best? Oftentimes, it's a good mix of opportunities for fun outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Throw in some historical sites, good schools, job opportunities, and affordable housing, and the county will most likely have happy residents.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to live in Maryland using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks counties by a variety of factors including: public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.

Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities. Keep reading to see if your county made the list.

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Delta1989 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Kent County

- Population: 19,536
- Median home value: $249,900 (69% own)
- Median rent: $1,007 (31% rent)
- Median household income: $58,598
- Top public schools: Galena Elementary School (B), H.H. Garnett Elementary School (B), Kent County High School (B)
- Top private schools: Chestertown Christian Academy (B), Kent School (unavailable), Radcliffe Creek School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Chestertown (B+), Betterton (B), Galena (B)
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MamaGeek // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Prince George's County

- Population: 908,670
- Median home value: $302,800 (62% own)
- Median rent: $1,475 (38% rent)
- Median household income: $84,920
- Top public schools: Eleanor Roosevelt High School (A), The Academy of Health Sciences - Prince George’s Community College (A), Math & IT Academy Public Charter School (B+)
- Top private schools: Al-Huda School (A+), DeMatha Catholic High School (A), New Hope Academy (A)
- Top places to live: University Park (A), West Laurel (A), Fairwood (A)
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Vpuliva // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Washington County

- Population: 150,109
- Median home value: $210,300 (66% own)
- Median rent: $921 (34% rent)
- Median household income: $60,860
- Top public schools: Barbara Ingram School for the Arts (A), Fountaindale Elementary School (A), North Hagerstown High School (A)
- Top private schools: Saint James School (A+), St. Maria Goretti Catholic High School (A), Heritage Academy (B+)
- Top places to live: St. James (A), Robinwood (B+), Halfway (B+)
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Charles County

- Population: 159,428
- Median home value: $313,300 (77% own)
- Median rent: $1,682 (23% rent)
- Median household income: $100,003
- Top public schools: North Point High School (A), Dr. James Craik Elementary School (B+), La Plata High School (B+)
- Top private schools: Grace Christian Academy of Maryland (B+), Southern Maryland Christian Academy (B), St. Peter's School (A)
- Top places to live: La Plata (B), Waldorf (B), Hughesville (B)
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Eric Fischer // Wikicommons

#13. Wicomico County

- Population: 102,539
- Median home value: $175,700 (58% own)
- Median rent: $1,060 (42% rent)
- Median household income: $56,956
- Top public schools: North Salisbury Elementary School (B+), Northwestern Elementary School (B+), James M. Bennett High School (B+)
- Top private schools: The Salisbury School (A), Salisbury Christian School (B+), Faith Baptist School (B+)
- Top places to live: Fruitland (B+), Delmar (B), Hebron (B)
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#12. St. Mary's County

- Population: 112,290
- Median home value: $301,300 (71% own)
- Median rent: $1,398 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $89,845
- Top public schools: Chesapeake Charter School (A), White Marsh Elementary School (B+), Great Mills High School (B+)
- Top private schools: St. Mary's Ryken High School (A), Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy (B), The King's Christian Academy (B)
- Top places to live: California (A), Leonardtown (B+), Lexington Park (B+)
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D. // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Queen Anne's County

- Population: 49,632
- Median home value: $353,100 (81% own)
- Median rent: $1,503 (19% rent)
- Median household income: $97,034
- Top public schools: Kent Island High School (A), Matapeake Middle School (A), Centreville Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: The Gunston School (A), Lighthouse Christian Academy (unavailable), Wye River Upper School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Stevensville (A), Kingstown (B+), Grasonville (B+)
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Farragutful // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Carroll County

- Population: 167,699
- Median home value: $339,600 (82% own)
- Median rent: $1,132 (18% rent)
- Median household income: $96,769
- Top public schools: Century High School (A), Hampstead Elementary School (A), Liberty High School (A)
- Top private schools: Gerstell Academy (A), Carroll Christian Schools (B), Silver Oak Academy (C+)
- Top places to live: Eldersburg (A), Sykesville (A), Hampstead (A)
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Linda Roy Walls // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Worcester County

- Population: 51,765
- Median home value: $262,200 (75% own)
- Median rent: $1,035 (25% rent)
- Median household income: $63,499
- Top public schools: Ocean City Elementary School (A), Pocomoke Elementary School (A), Stephen Decatur Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Worcester Preparatory School (A+)
- Top places to live: Ocean City (A), Berlin (B+), West Ocean City (B+)
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Preservation Maryland // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Calvert County

- Population: 91,511
- Median home value: $358,800 (85% own)
- Median rent: $1,520 (15% rent)
- Median household income: $109,313
- Top public schools: Huntingtown High School (A), Mount Harmony Elementary School (A), Mutual Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: The Calverton School (A), Cardinal Hickey Academy (A), Our Lady Star of the Sea School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Dunkirk (A), Chesapeake Beach (A), Owings (A)
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Shopkins91 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Talbot County

- Population: 37,167
- Median home value: $336,800 (70% own)
- Median rent: $1,116 (30% rent)
- Median household income: $73,547
- Top public schools: Tilghman Elementary School (A), Chapel District Elementary School (B+), St. Michaels Elementary School (B+)
- Top private schools: Ss. Peter & Paul High School (A), Chesapeake Christian School (B), Ss. Peter & Paul Elementary School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Easton (B+), St. Michaels (B+), Trappe (B+)
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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Harford County

- Population: 252,222
- Median home value: $293,400 (79% own)
- Median rent: $1,257 (21% rent)
- Median household income: $89,147
- Top public schools: C. Milton Wright High School (A), Bel Air High School (A), Patterson Mill High School (A)
- Top private schools: The John Carroll School (A), New Covenant Christian School (B+), Harford Christian School (B)
- Top places to live: Fallston (A), Pleasant Hills (A), Bel Air (A)
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Charlie Stinchcomb // Flickr

#5. Anne Arundel County

- Population: 571,275
- Median home value: $361,200 (74% own)
- Median rent: $1,663 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $100,798
- Top public schools: Severna Park High School (A), South River High School (A), Broadneck High School (A)
- Top private schools: Key School (A+), Severn School (A+), Indian Creek School (A)
- Top places to live: Crofton (A+), Severna Park (A), Arnold (A)
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D. // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Baltimore County

- Population: 828,018
- Median home value: $261,500 (66% own)
- Median rent: $1,302 (34% rent)
- Median household income: $76,866
- Top public schools: Eastern Technical High School (A+), Hereford High School (A+), Dulaney High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Park School of Baltimore (A+), McDonogh School (A+), St. Timothy's School (A+)
- Top places to live: Lutherville (A+), Towson (A+), Mays Chapel (A+)
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Frederick County

- Population: 251,422
- Median home value: $331,600 (75% own)
- Median rent: $1,422 (25% rent)
- Median household income: $97,730
- Top public schools: Urbana High School (A+), Oakdale High School (A), Centerville Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Saint John's Catholic Prep (A), Friends Meeting School (A), New Life Christian School (B+)
- Top places to live: Urbana (A+), Spring Ridge (A+), Middletown (A)
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TownCreative // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Montgomery County

- Population: 1,043,530
- Median home value: $484,900 (65% own)
- Median rent: $1,768 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $108,820
- Top public schools: Poolesville High School (A+), Winston Churchill High School (A+), Richard Montgomery High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Holton-Arms School (A+), Georgetown Preparatory School (A+), Landon School (A+)
- Top places to live: North Potomac (A+), North Bethesda (A+), South Kensington (A+)
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Zrmachuga // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Howard County

- Population: 318,855
- Median home value: $455,700 (73% own)
- Median rent: $1,716 (27% rent)
- Median household income: $121,160
- Top public schools: Marriotts Ridge High School (A+), River Hill High School (A+), Centennial High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Glenelg Country School (A+), Chapelgate Christian Academy (A), Mount Airy Christian Academy (B+)
- Top places to live: Ellicott City (A+), Columbia (A+), Scaggsville (A+)

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