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Howard County

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Howard County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. It is considered part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. In 2010, its population was 287,085. Its county seat is Ellicott City. The center of population of Maryland is located on the county line between Howard County and Anne Arundel County, in the unincorporated town of Jessup.


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Due to the proximity of Howard County's population centers to Baltimore, the county has traditionally been considered a part of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Recent development in the south of the county has led to some realignment towards the Washington, D.C. media and employment markets. The county is also home to Columbia, a major planned community of 100,000 founded by developer James Rouse in 1967. Howard County is frequently cited for its affluence, quality of life, and excellent schools. For 2011, it was ranked the third wealthiest county by median household income in the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of the most affluent communities in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, such as Clarksville, Dayton, Glenelg, Glenwood and West Friendship, are located along the Route 32 corridor in Howard County. The main population center of Columbia/Ellicott City was named 2nd among Money magazine's 2010 survey of "America's Best Places to Live." Howard County's schools frequently rank first in Maryland as measured by standardized test scores and graduation rates.

Howard County is located in central Maryland and is known for its quality of life and excellent public schools. A popular location to live for people who work in both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Howard County has several major commuter routes leading to each city.

Some areas of Howard County still offer a rural lifestyle, the basis on which the county developed. The county is home to the Columbia/Ellicott City area which was ranked the fourth best place to live in the United States by Money magazine. Howard County also offers a lively art scene, including performances at Merriweather Post Pavillion, Rep Stage, Toby's Dinner Theater. and the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Its proximity to Baltimore and Washington D.C. allows residents to easily commute to take advantage of the art scenes in both cities.

There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Howard County. Columbia has three lakes with walking paths, Lake Elkhorn, Lake Kittamaqundi, and Wilde Lake. Howard County Recreation and Parks maintains several parks around the county as well as organizing activities for residents of all ages. For more information on the Howard County of Maryland or the housing market in Howard County please contact The Mark & Reta Sponsky Team.


Howard County Education & Public Library

The Howard County Public School System manages 71 schools and serves approximately 49,000 students. The graduation rate from this school district is an above-average 92%, and the county's schools are ranked among the best in the state. Student test scores consistently top the list for all Maryland school districts. Public school construction has kept pace with the county’s growth in recent years in an effort to safeguard against crowded classrooms.[citation needed] Howard High School is currently the largest school in the county with over 1,600 students.

Since 2005, Howard County Library has consistently been ranked among the top 5 libraries in its size category by HAPLR (Hennen's American Public Library Ratings). (Under the library's sponsorship, a campaign called "Choose Civility" started in Howard County in 2006. According to its website, "Choose Civility is an ongoing community-wide initiative, led by Howard County Library, to position Howard County as a model of civility. The project intends to enhance respect, empathy, consideration and tolerance in Howard County." The campaign's distinctive green bumper stickers are often seen in Howard County and neighboring areas.)


Howard County Transportation

Airports - Howard County does not have any public or commercial airport facilities. There are two privately owned airstrips, Glenair in Glenwood, Maryland, and Haysfield Airport in Ellicott City, Maryland. Commercial air service is provided at the nearby BWI Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.

Public Transportation - Bus routes that operate in Howard County are managed by multiple services, including Howard Transit, Connect a Ride, The Maryland Transit Administration, Commuter Solutions of Howard County, and Neighbor Ride.

Roads - Howard County contains two primary Interstate highways: Interstate 70 which runs east-west across the northern half of the county and Interstate 95 which enters the county in Elkridge and runs north-south to North Laurel, then crossing into Prince Georges County. Other major routes include U.S. Route 29, which runs from its northern terminus at MD 99 in Ellicott City into Montgomery County, Maryland Route 100 which provides quick access to BWI Airport from Ellicott City and Columbia, and Maryland Route 32 links the northwest suburbs of West Friendship, Glenelg, and Clarksville with Columbia and Fort Meade.


Howard County History

In 1800, the mean center of U.S. population as calculated by the US Census Bureau was found in what is now Howard County. The name of the county honors Colonel John Eager Howard, an officer in the "Maryland Line" of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, commander notably at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1781 among others. He became the fifth Governor of Maryland whose home was the mansion "Belevedere". The mansion was located at the intersection of East Chase and North Calvert Streets, north of Baltimore Town, an area also called "Howard's Woods" where the Washington Monument was later erected and the tomey neighborhood Mount Vernon, Baltimore was developed in the 1820s. The area of western Anne Arundel County was designated the Howard District when Anne Arundel County was divided in 1839. The Howard District had the same status as a county except that it was not separately represented in the Maryland General Assembly. In 1841 The county built its first courthouse in Ellicott City. In 1851, the district became erected officially as Howard County. The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.


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