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Germantown is an urbanized census-designated place (CDP) in Montgomery Countymarker, Marylandmarker in the United Statesmarker. It is the sixth most populous CDP in Marylandmarker with an estimated population of 85,000 as of 2005. If it were to incorporate along CDP boundaries, it would become the second largest incorporated city in Maryland. . It is located approximately 20 miles outside of Washington DC and part of the Washington Metropolitan Area

Germantown has the assigned ZIP Codes of 20874 and 20876 for delivery and 20875 for post office boxes. It is the only "Germantown, Maryland" recognized by the United States Postal Service, even though there are technically three others, one in Anne Arundel Countymarker, one in Baltimore County, and one in Worcester Countymarker.


In the 1830s and 1840s, the central business area was focused around the intersection of Liberty Mill Road and Clopper Road. Many of the business owners seemed to be German. Despite the fact that most of the local landowners and farmers were Englishmarker, travelers remembering the accents of the shop-owners called the area Germantown, and the name stuck.

On April 20, 1865, George Atzerodt, a co-conspirator in the Abraham Lincoln assassinationmarker was captured in Germantown. He was assigned by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, but lost his nerve and fled Washington, D.C.marker, on the night of the Lincoln assassination. He was captured at his cousin Hartman Richter's farm in Germantown. Atzerodt was hanged on July 7, 1865 along with Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, and David Herold in Washington, D.C.

In January 1958, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission was relocated from its location in downtown Washington D.C.marker to Germantown, which was considered far enough from Washington to withstand a nuclear attack on the nation's capital. The facility now operates as an administration complex for the U.S. Department of Energy and headquarters for its Office of Biological and Environmental Research.

Since about 1980, Germantown has experienced great growth, both in townhouses and single-family dwellings, and an urbanized town center has been built.


Germantown is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 10.8 square miles (28.0 km²), of which, 10.8 square miles (27.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.46%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 55,419 people, 20,893 households, and 14,123 families residing in the area. The population density was 5,144.0 people per square mile (1,986.8/km²). There were 21,568 housing units at an average density of 2,001.9/sq mi (773.2/km²). The racial makeup of the area was 62.20% White, 19.13% African American, 0.34% Native American, 9.84% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.22% from other races, and 4.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.21% of the population.

There were 20,893 households out of which 41.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the area, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 43.0% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 3.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the area was $71,226, and the median income for a family was $81,461 as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $46,039 versus $37,237 for females. The per capita income for the area was $26,709. 4.6% of the population and 3.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 5.9% are under the age of 18 and 9.9% are 65 or older. The largest families range from 8-12 people.



Germantown is bisected by Interstate 270 and has a stationmarker on the MARC train commuter service's Brunswick Line, which operates over CSX's Metropolitan Subdivision. The station building itself, at the corner of Liberty Mill Road and Mateny Hill Road, is a copy of the original 1891 structure designed by E. Francis Baldwin for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The current building was rebuilt after it was burned down by arson in 1978.

The Montgomery County public bus system Ride On, serves Germantown with approximately 20 bus routes, and operates a major transit hub in Germantown, known as the Germantown Transit Center. Also, a light rail system (the Corridor Cities Transitway) is under evaluation which would, when completed, connect the terminal of the Washington Metro Red Line at Shady Grove Stationmarker near Gaithersburg to Germantown and continue on northward to Clarksburgmarker.

Popular culture

  • Germantown is featured in several episodes of the television series, The X-Files.

Notable business and government headquarters



Telecommunications and technology


Persons of note


  1. Kauffman, M. (2004). American Brutus. pp. 282-284, Random House, ISBN 0-375-75974-3

External links

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