The area of Maryland was part of the original territory of the United States. It was chartered as a colony in 1632. The area described by this charter, however, conflicted with the charter for Virginia and, later, the charter for Pennsylvania. Virginia relinquished its claims in 1658, and the Pennsylvania boundary was resolved with the survey of the Mason and Dixon Line in the 1760s. Maryland ratified the U.S. Constitution on April 28, 1788; it was the seventh of the original 13 states to join the Union. Its area was reduced with the cession in 1788 and formation in 1791 of the District of Columbia, resulting in generally the same boundary as the present state.
Census data for Maryland are available beginning with the 1790 census. The population reported for 1790 includes the area subsequently in the District of Columbia.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
Interactive Map of Maryland Counties / Independent Cities | Static Overview Map of Maryland Counties / Independent Cities
There are 24 counties and equivalents in Maryland. The 23 counties are all functioning governmental units. Baltimore city is an independent city that functions governmentally at the place level but is also considered a county equivalent. Baltimore city and Baltimore County are two separate entities covering different area in Maryland and should not be confused with each other. Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Talbot and Wicomico counties are each governed by a county council. All other counties are each governed by a board of county commissioners.
There are 290 county subdivisions in Maryland known as minor civil divisions (MCDs). All of the MCDs are nonfunctioning nongovernmental subdivisions of a county, used for conducting elections or recording properties. The 289 MCDs in 23 counties in Maryland are election districts. Baltimore city is independent of any MCD and serves as a county subdivision.
Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))
Maryland has 518 places; 157 incorporated places and 361 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places consist of 29 cities, 123 towns, and 5 villages. Incorporated places are dependent within county subdivision with the exception of Baltimore city which is independent of any county and county subdivision. Cumberland city contains one whole election district and parts of six others. Hagerstown contains four whole election districts and part of six others. Annapolis city legally can exist in only one election district.
Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z
Maryland Civil Features
Maryland Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas
There are 4 Metropolitan and 2 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Maryland. MD Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas
Maryland ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
There are 468 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Maryland. View Maryland ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.
Maryland has 24 unified school districts. The school districts in Maryland are coextensive with counties and equivalent. View Maryland Public and Private Schools.
Maryland has 8 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each Maryland district. View Map of Maryland Congressional Districts.
State Legislative Districts
There are 47 state senate districts and 65 state legislative districts or subdistricts in Maryland. In addition, there are 17 undefined state legislative districts and 17 undefined state senate districts which are comprised of water area.
Other Information Of General Geographic Interest
Maryland’s boundary with Virginia and part of West Virginia follows the south shore of the Potomac River; the Mason-Dixon Line forms Maryland’s boundary with Pennsylvania and Delaware.