Most rural counties in Maryland

Written by:
May 2, 2022
Delta1989 // Wikimedia Commons

Most rural counties in Maryland

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Maryland using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2019 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn't an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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

#24. Baltimore County

- Rural area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Urban area: 100.0% (81 square miles)
- Total land area: 81 square miles
--- #24 largest county in state, #3,093 nationwide

- Population density: 10,229.6 people / square mile (828,018 residents)
--- #24 lowest density county in state, #3,130 nationwide

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MamaGeek // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Prince George's County

- Rural area: 38.8% (187 square miles)
- Urban area: 61.2% (296 square miles)
- Total land area: 483 square miles
--- #6 largest county in state, #2,148 nationwide

- Population density: 1,882.5 people / square mile (908,670 residents)
--- #22 lowest density county in state, #3,070 nationwide

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#22. Anne Arundel County

- Rural area: 42.7% (177 square miles)
- Urban area: 57.3% (238 square miles)
- Total land area: 415 square miles
--- #13 largest county in state, #2,436 nationwide

- Population density: 1,376.9 people / square mile (571,275 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #3,033 nationwide

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TownCreative // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Montgomery County

- Rural area: 44.9% (221 square miles)
- Urban area: 55.1% (271 square miles)
- Total land area: 491 square miles
--- #5 largest county in state, #2,119 nationwide

- Population density: 2,124.2 people / square mile (1.0 million residents)
--- #23 lowest density county in state, #3,080 nationwide

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Zrmachuga // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Howard County

- Rural area: 49.3% (124 square miles)
- Urban area: 50.7% (127 square miles)
- Total land area: 251 square miles
--- #22 largest county in state, #2,909 nationwide

- Population density: 1,271.7 people / square mile (318,855 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #3,024 nationwide

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

#19. Baltimore County

- Rural area: 56.1% (335 square miles)
- Urban area: 43.9% (263 square miles)
- Total land area: 598 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #1,629 nationwide

- Population density: 1,383.9 people / square mile (828,018 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #3,034 nationwide

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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Harford County

- Rural area: 73.4% (321 square miles)
- Urban area: 26.6% (116 square miles)
- Total land area: 437 square miles
--- #11 largest county in state, #2,317 nationwide

- Population density: 577.0 people / square mile (252,222 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #2,915 nationwide

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Preservation Maryland // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Calvert County

- Rural area: 75.3% (161 square miles)
- Urban area: 24.7% (53 square miles)
- Total land area: 213 square miles
--- #23 largest county in state, #2,977 nationwide

- Population density: 429.3 people / square mile (91,511 residents)
--- #17 lowest density county in state, #2,845 nationwide

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Farragutful // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Carroll County

- Rural area: 83.6% (374 square miles)
- Urban area: 16.4% (73 square miles)
- Total land area: 448 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #2,279 nationwide

- Population density: 374.7 people / square mile (167,699 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #2,800 nationwide

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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Frederick County

- Rural area: 84.6% (559 square miles)
- Urban area: 15.4% (101 square miles)
- Total land area: 660 square miles
--- #1 largest county in state, #1,421 nationwide

- Population density: 380.8 people / square mile (251,422 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #2,807 nationwide

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Cecil County

- Rural area: 84.6% (293 square miles)
- Urban area: 15.4% (53 square miles)
- Total land area: 346 square miles
--- #17 largest county in state, #2,687 nationwide

- Population density: 296.2 people / square mile (102,552 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #2,730 nationwide

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#13. St. Mary's County

- Rural area: 85.8% (306 square miles)
- Urban area: 14.2% (51 square miles)
- Total land area: 357 square miles
--- #16 largest county in state, #2,664 nationwide

- Population density: 314.4 people / square mile (112,290 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #2,751 nationwide

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Charles County

- Rural area: 86.3% (395 square miles)
- Urban area: 13.8% (63 square miles)
- Total land area: 458 square miles
--- #9 largest county in state, #2,244 nationwide

- Population density: 348.3 people / square mile (159,428 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #2,777 nationwide

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Eric Fischer // Wikicommons

#11. Wicomico County

- Rural area: 86.8% (325 square miles)
- Urban area: 13.2% (49 square miles)
- Total land area: 374 square miles
--- #14 largest county in state, #2,620 nationwide

- Population density: 273.8 people / square mile (102,539 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #2,704 nationwide

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Vpuliva // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Washington County

- Rural area: 87.1% (399 square miles)
- Urban area: 12.9% (59 square miles)
- Total land area: 458 square miles
--- #8 largest county in state, #2,243 nationwide

- Population density: 327.9 people / square mile (150,109 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #2,759 nationwide

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Acroterion // Wikicommons

#9. Allegany County

- Rural area: 92.0% (390 square miles)
- Urban area: 8.0% (34 square miles)
- Total land area: 424 square miles
--- #12 largest county in state, #2,387 nationwide

- Population density: 168.4 people / square mile (71,445 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #2,535 nationwide

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Linda Roy Walls // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Worcester County

- Rural area: 95.3% (446 square miles)
- Urban area: 4.7% (22 square miles)
- Total land area: 468 square miles
--- #7 largest county in state, #2,200 nationwide

- Population density: 110.5 people / square mile (51,765 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #2,326 nationwide

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

#7. Queen Anne's County

- Rural area: 95.4% (355 square miles)
- Urban area: 4.7% (17 square miles)
- Total land area: 372 square miles
--- #15 largest county in state, #2,627 nationwide

- Population density: 133.5 people / square mile (49,632 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #2,411 nationwide

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Shopkins91 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Talbot County

- Rural area: 96.4% (259 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.6% (10 square miles)
- Total land area: 269 square miles
--- #21 largest county in state, #2,865 nationwide

- Population density: 138.4 people / square mile (37,167 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #2,433 nationwide

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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Caroline County

- Rural area: 98.0% (313 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.0% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 319 square miles
--- #19 largest county in state, #2,764 nationwide

- Population density: 103.5 people / square mile (33,049 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #2,280 nationwide

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jerryinocmd // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Somerset County

- Rural area: 98.0% (313 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.0% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 320 square miles
--- #18 largest county in state, #2,761 nationwide

- Population density: 80.5 people / square mile (25,729 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #2,098 nationwide

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Eli Pousson // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Dorchester County

- Rural area: 98.4% (532 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.6% (9 square miles)
- Total land area: 541 square miles
--- #4 largest county in state, #1,932 nationwide

- Population density: 59.4 people / square mile (32,138 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #1,838 nationwide

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Delta1989 // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Kent County

- Rural area: 99.1% (274 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.9% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 277 square miles
--- #20 largest county in state, #2,853 nationwide

- Population density: 70.5 people / square mile (19,536 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #1,988 nationwide

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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Garrett County

- Rural area: 99.3% (643 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 647 square miles
--- #2 largest county in state, #1,463 nationwide

- Population density: 45.2 people / square mile (29,235 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #1,584 nationwide

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