CALVERT County, MD
Calvert County is located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,737. Its county seat is Prince Frederick. The county's name is derived from the family name of the Barons of Baltimore, the proprietors of the English Colony of Maryland.
Calvert County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. It occupies the Calvert Peninsula, which is bordered on the east by Chesapeake Bay and on the west by the Patuxent River.
Calvert County is part of the Southern Maryland region. The county has one of the highest median household incomes in the United States.
First colonized as part of Charles County (much larger than the present-day Charles County) circa 1650, it was renamed Patuxent County in 1654 by an Order in Council. In 1658, the county was renamed Calvert County. It is one of the older counties in Maryland, after St. Mary's, Kent County and Anne Arundel counties.
Once made up primarily of farms and tobacco fields, the county has become a fast-growing exurban neighbor of Washington. Many home prices have nearly quadrupled in the past decade, with many four-bedroom homes in the northern half of the county averaging over $1,000,000. The popular weekend resort towns of Solomons, Chesapeake Beach, and North Beach are notable.
According to the local "Trail of Souls" project, at its height prior to the Civil War, there were over 10,000 enslaved people.
The county has numerous properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
Politics and government
Calvert County is governed by a group of five county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in the State of Maryland.
In Presidential elections Calvert County has historically and at present leaned strongly towards the Republican Party. It was won by that party in every election from 1884 to 1936 – with the sequence broken in 1940 due to local support for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s efforts at helping Britain in World War II – and in modern times no Democratic presidential nominee has won Calvert County since Jimmy Carter did so in 1976.
Even before that, the county had a strongly anti-Democratic streak. In the contests between the Hamiltonian Federalist and Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican parties of the First Party System, it backed the Federalists four out of seven times, only going for the Democratic-Republicans in their greatest landslides of 1804 and 1816 as well as the 1820 election in which President James Monroe ran effectively unopposed.
In the 1824 election which began the second party system, it voted for John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson, who would go on to help found the Democratic Party before the 1828 election. Up until the Civil War, Calvert County voted only for the candidates of the Whig Party, the Democrat's primary opposition. After that party's dissolution in the early 1850s, it supported the Nativist Know-Nothing party in 1856 and the largely Whiggish Constitutional Union party in 1860.
In the Civil War election of 1864, Calvert swung sharply along with the rest of southern Maryland to give over 90% of the vote to Democratic challenger George McClellan, and again to the Democratic standard bearer Horatio Seymour four years later. The brief Democratic era was likely due to strong confederate sympathy in Southern Maryland.
Since then, the upper-class nature of Calvert county has kept it aligned with the Republican party's pro-business stance. It briefly supported Democrats in the dealigned 1960s and 70s, after which it became a Republican stronghold in the 1980s. In modern elections, it leans Republican but Democrats have made serious inroads. President Joe Biden came only 5% from winning the county in 2020, the closest any Democrat has come since Jimmy Carter carried it in 1976. This is part of a larger trend of upper class suburban voters fleeing the Trump-era Republican Party.
It is part of the 5th Congressional District, along with much of Southern Maryland. The current representative is Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (38%) is water. It is the smallest county in Maryland by land area and third-smallest by total area. The county also includes five islands: Solomons Island, Broomes Island, Buzzard Island, Hog Island, and Ma Leg Island.
Calvert County lies in the humid subtropical climate zone (Cfa) in the Köppen climate classification, with hot, humid summers and mild to chilly winters with plentiful precipitation year-round. In the Trewartha climate classification the county is classified as oceanic (Do) except in the extreme south which is Cf. Its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay has a moderating effect on temperatures compared with locales further inland. Average monthly temperatures in Prince Frederick range from 35.9 °F in January to 77.9 °F in July. [https://prism.oregonstate.edu/explorer/]
As of the census of 2000, there were 74,563 people, 25,447 households, and 20,154 families residing in the county. The population density was 346 people per square mile (134/km2). There were 27,576 housing units at an average density of 128 per square mile (49/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 83.93% White, 13.11% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 1.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.5% were of Irish, 15.0% German, 12.0% English, 11.5% United States or American and 7.1% Italian ancestry.
There were 25,447 households, out of which 41.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.80% were non-families. 16.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 29.60% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 31.70% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 8.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $65,945, and the median income for a family was $71,545 (these figures had risen to $88,989 and $100,229 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $48,664 versus $32,265 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,410. About 3.10% of families and 4.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.10% of those under age 18 and 5.70% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 88,737 people, 30,873 households, and 23,732 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 33,780 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the county was 81.4% white, 13.4% black or African American, 1.4% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.7% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 19.6% were German, 17.6% were Irish, 13.9% were English, 8.4% were Italian, and 7.4% were American.
Of the 30,873 households, 40.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.6% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 23.1% were non-families, and 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.23. The median age was 40.1 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $90,838 and the median income for a family was $102,638. Males had a median income of $66,909 versus $49,337 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,323. About 2.8% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
According to the 2010 Census the racial and ethnic make-up of the Calvert County Population was 79.65% Non-Hispanic whites, 13.44% blacks, 0.37% Native Americans, 1.42% Asians, 0.05% Pacific Islanders, 0.12% Non-Hispanics reporting some other race, 2.40% Non-Hispanics reporting multiple races and 2.75% Hispanic.
Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant is located on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay at Lusby, as is the Cove Point LNG Terminal.
The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is located in Solomons.
A branch of the United States Naval Research Laboratory is located at Chesapeake Beach.
The Patuxent River Naval Air Station is located immediately to the south of Calvert County, in St. Mary's County.
According to the County's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the county are:
Calvert County is served by Calvert County Public Schools. The county's education system consists of 13 elementary schools, six middle schools, four high schools, vocational education center, and a variety of other facilities.
The main artery serving Calvert County is Maryland Route 4 (which begins in Washington, D.C. as Pennsylvania Avenue before crossing into Prince George's County, Maryland and Anne Arundel County, Maryland). Route 4 in Calvert County begins at the very northern tip of the county at Lyons Creek, approximately 3 miles north of Dunkirk. At Sunderland, Route 4 meets Maryland Route 2 (traveling south as a two-lane road from Annapolis) and the two roads merge as Maryland Route 2-4. Route 2-4 continues south through Prince Frederick, St. Leonard and Lusby. At Solomons, Routes 2 and 4 split again, with Route 2 heading towards downtown Solomons and Route 4 crossing the Patuxent River at the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge into St. Mary's County.
Route 2-4 is designated Solomons Island Road throughout much of the county, with the section south of Prince Frederick being recently renamed Louis Goldstein Highway in memory of Louis L. Goldstein, the former comptroller of Maryland and Calvert County resident.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Route 2-4 underwent an extensive expansion project, with the formerly two-lane road becoming a four-lane dual highway. Certain portions of the highway were re-aligned, with the former roadway becoming Maryland Route 765. The final portion of the dualized Route 2-4 between St. Leonard and Solomons was completed in 1988. In 2009, a portion of Route 2-4 in Prince Frederick was expanded to three lanes, along with sidewalks added.
Other major roadways in Calvert County include:
The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:
Dunkirk, Huntingtown, Lusby, Owings, Prince Frederick, St. Leonard and Solomons have all been designated by Calvert County government as being "town centers". The "town center" designation means while these communities may not have incorporated central governments, they do have specified boundaries surrounding the central business and residential areas for zoning purposes. The reason behind the "town center" designation is to cluster new development within established areas with existing infrastructure, thus discouraging urban sprawl. The implementation of the "town center" concept in Calvert County over the past two decades has for the most part been successful in preserving rural and agricultural areas outside the designated "town centers", and stands as a key example of the smart growth planning strategy.
In popular culture
Calvert County has been the setting for several movies and television programs. The opening scene of the 1993 Clint Eastwood movie In the Line of Fire was filmed at Flag Harbor Marina in St. Leonard. More recently, the Calvert County Sheriff's Department has been featured on several reality television programs, including Speeders on the truTV network, MTV's Busted, and was featured weekly on A&E's Live PD.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Calvert County, MD, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.