Fastest-growing counties in Maryland

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July 1, 2022
MamaGeek // Wikimedia Commons

Fastest-growing counties in Maryland

Why do people move from one county or region to another? The usual suspects are jobs, family, significant others, and overall cost of living, but there are other elements at play. For those with children, moving within close proximity of a highly rated school district is a key contributing factor. For younger adults just starting out, living someplace with a vibrant social scene might be a top priority. And for those whose careers have wound down after a lifetime of work, finding retirement-friendly communities is the goal—communities deemed to be safe, offer accessibility to medical resources and leisure activities in equal measure, and be affordable for those on a limited income.

This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. People’s reasons for choosing to live where they do are as diverse as people themselves.

As far as why certain counties across the U.S. have experienced growth, relocation is not the sole, or even primary, reason why. While more than 1,800 counties saw population gains in 2021, approximately 73% of all U.S. counties saw what the U.S. Census Bureau characterizes as a natural decrease. This was a significant jump from 2020, when 55.5% of countries experienced such a decrease. According to the Bureau, natural decrease is the simple result of “when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given time period.” In 2021, the conflation of fewer births with an aging population that was also absorbing a higher-than-usual mortality rate due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to this “increased decrease.”

Nonetheless, as stated 1,800 counties nationwide have grown larger over the last year, and a sizable percentage of them are in Maryland. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in Maryland using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020, based on the U.S. Decennial Census.

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Famartin // Wikicommons

#24. Baltimore

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -35,253
--- #3,141 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -5.7%
--- #22 among counties in Maryland, #2,429 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 585,708
--- #5 largest county in Maryland, #116 largest county nationwide
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Acroterion // Wikicommons

#23. Allegany County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -6,981
--- #3,108 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -9.3%
--- #24 among counties in Maryland, #2,817 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 68,106
--- #16 largest county in Maryland, #784 largest county nationwide
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jerryinocmd // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Somerset County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,850
--- #2,804 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.0%
--- #23 among counties in Maryland, #2,615 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 24,620
--- #23 largest county in Maryland, #1,622 largest county nationwide
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Garrett County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,291
--- #2,641 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.3%
--- #20 among counties in Maryland, #2,209 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 28,806
--- #22 largest county in Maryland, #1,463 largest county nationwide
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Delta1989 // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Kent County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -999
--- #2,501 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.9%
--- #21 among counties in Maryland, #2,323 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 19,198
--- #24 largest county in Maryland, #1,860 largest county nationwide

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Shopkins91 // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Talbot County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -256
--- #1,850 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.7%
--- #19 among counties in Maryland, #1,591 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 37,526
--- #19 largest county in Maryland, #1,233 largest county nationwide
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Eli Pousson // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Dorchester County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -87
--- #1,611 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.3%
--- #18 among counties in Maryland, #1,535 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 32,531
--- #21 largest county in Maryland, #1,372 largest county nationwide
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Caroline County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +227
--- #1,311 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.7%
--- #17 among counties in Maryland, #1,381 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 33,293
--- #20 largest county in Maryland, #1,348 largest county nationwide
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Linda Roy Walls // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Worcester County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,006
--- #998 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.0%
--- #16 among counties in Maryland, #1,191 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 52,460
--- #17 largest county in Maryland, #959 largest county nationwide
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D. // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Queen Anne's County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,076
--- #807 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.3%
--- #13 among counties in Maryland, #890 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 49,874
--- #18 largest county in Maryland, #995 largest county nationwide

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Cecil County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,617
--- #747 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.6%
--- #15 among counties in Maryland, #1,106 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 103,725
--- #13 largest county in Maryland, #589 largest county nationwide
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Preservation Maryland // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Calvert County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,046
--- #624 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.6%
--- #12 among counties in Maryland, #871 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 92,783
--- #15 largest county in Maryland, #647 largest county nationwide
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Eric Fischer // Wikicommons

#12. Wicomico County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,855
--- #577 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.9%
--- #11 among counties in Maryland, #832 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 103,588
--- #14 largest county in Maryland, #590 largest county nationwide
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Farragutful // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Carroll County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +5,757
--- #542 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.4%
--- #14 among counties in Maryland, #997 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 172,891
--- #9 largest county in Maryland, #383 largest county nationwide
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Vpuliva // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Washington County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +7,275
--- #506 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.9%
--- #10 among counties in Maryland, #829 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 154,705
--- #11 largest county in Maryland, #438 largest county nationwide

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#9. St. Mary's County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +8,626
--- #460 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.2%
--- #7 among counties in Maryland, #550 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 113,777
--- #12 largest county in Maryland, #544 largest county nationwide
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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Harford County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +16,098
--- #334 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.6%
--- #8 among counties in Maryland, #659 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 260,924
--- #8 largest county in Maryland, #270 largest county nationwide
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Charles County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +20,066
--- #291 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +13.7%
--- #3 among counties in Maryland, #261 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 166,617
--- #10 largest county in Maryland, #403 largest county nationwide
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Frederick County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +38,332
--- #171 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +16.4%
--- #1 among counties in Maryland, #183 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 271,717
--- #7 largest county in Maryland, #256 largest county nationwide
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Zrmachuga // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Howard County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +45,232
--- #143 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +15.8%
--- #2 among counties in Maryland, #204 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 332,317
--- #6 largest county in Maryland, #215 largest county nationwide

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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D. // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Baltimore County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +49,506
--- #131 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.1%
--- #9 among counties in Maryland, #690 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 854,535
--- #3 largest county in Maryland, #74 largest county nationwide
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Charlie Stinchcomb // Flickr

#3. Anne Arundel County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +50,605
--- #130 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +9.4%
--- #5 among counties in Maryland, #455 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 588,261
--- #4 largest county in Maryland, #115 largest county nationwide
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TownCreative // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Montgomery County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +90,284
--- #55 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +9.3%
--- #6 among counties in Maryland, #462 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,062,061
--- #1 largest county in Maryland, #44 largest county nationwide
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MamaGeek // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Prince George's County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +103,781
--- #49 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +12.0%
--- #4 among counties in Maryland, #325 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 967,201
--- #2 largest county in Maryland, #52 largest county nationwide

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