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Charles County is a county in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Marylandmarker.

As of 2000, the population was 120,546. Its county seat is La Platamarker. This county was named for Charles Calvert (1637-1715), third Baron Baltimore.

Charles County is a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area.


Charles County was created in 1658 by an Order in Council. There was an earlier Charles County from 1650 to 1653, sometimes referred to in historic documents as Old Charles County.

In April 1865, John Wilkes Booth made his escape through Charles County after shooting President Abraham Lincoln. He was on his way to Virginiamarker.

On 28 April 2002, a tornado cut through the County and destroyed much of downtown La Platamarker.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.

Law and government

Charles County is governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in Maryland. There are five commissioners. , they are:
  • Edith Jerry Patterson
  • Wayne Cooper
  • Gary V. Hodge
  • Samuel N. Graves, Jr
  • Reuben B. Collins, II


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 643 square miles (1,666 km²), of which, 461 square miles (1,194 km²) of it is land and 182 square miles (472 km²) of it (28.33%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


One United States Numbered Highway runs through the county U.S. Route 301, some other notable highways are:

Hunters Brooke Arson

On December 4, 2004 an arson took place in the development of Hunters Brooke. This is located a few miles southeast of Indian Headmarker.It is the worst residential fire in the state.[9036]


The county is experiencing a dramatic growth in African American population, which began in 1990. Census figures below are from 2000:

As of the census of 2000, there were 120,546 people, 41,668 households, and 32,292 families residing in the county. The population density was 262 people per square mile (101/km²). There were 43,903 housing units at an average density of 95 per square mile (37/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.51% White, 26.06% Black or African American, 0.75% Native American, 1.82% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 2.08% from two or more races. 2.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 11.6% were of German, 10.8% Irish, 10.2% English, 9.3% Americanmarker and 5.3% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 41,668 households out of which 41.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.00% were married couples living together, 14.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.50% were non-families. 17.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.70% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 33.20% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 7.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $62,199, and the median income for a family was $67,602 (these figures had risen to $80,573 and $89,358 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $43,371 versus $34,231 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,285. About 3.70% of families and 5.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.70% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:

  1. Indian Headmarker (incorporated 1920)
  2. La Platamarker (incorporated 1888)
  3. Port Tobacco Villagemarker (incorporated 1888) (Note that, despite its name, Port Tobacco Village is a 'town, not a village.)

All three are classified as towns under Maryland law. About half the County population lives around the large unincorporated community of Waldorf, Marylandmarker.

Unincorporated areas are also considered as towns by many people and listed in many collections of towns, but they lack local government. Various organizations, such as the United States Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and local chambers of commerce, define the communities they wish to recognize differently, and since they are not incorporated, their boundaries have no official status outside the organizations in question. The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:

  1. Bennsvillemarker
  2. Bryans Roadmarker
  3. Hughesvillemarker
  4. Potomac Heightsmarker
  5. Saint Charlesmarker
  6. Waldorfmarker

Other unincorporated places not listed as Census-Designated Places but known in the area include:

  1. Bel Altonmarker
  2. Benedictmarker
  3. Bryantownmarker
  4. Cobb Islandmarker
  5. Dentsvillemarker
  6. Faulknermarker
  7. Ironsidesmarker
  8. Issuemarker
  9. Malcolmmarker
  10. Marbury
  11. Morgantownmarker
  12. Mount Victoriamarker
  13. Nanjemoymarker
  14. Newburgmarker
  15. Pisgahmarker
  16. Pomfretmarker
  17. Popes Creekmarker
  18. Pomonkeymarker
  19. Ripleymarker
  20. Risonmarker
  21. Rock Pointmarker
  22. Swan Pointmarker
  23. Welcomemarker
  24. White Plainsmarker


Colleges and universities

Public school system

Notable residents


Club League Venue Established Championships
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs ALPB, Baseball Regency Furniture Stadiummarker 2008 0


External links

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