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Frederick County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Maryland, bordering the southern border of Pennsylvania and the northeastern border of Virginia. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 233,385. It is a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area, and is often recognized as part of Western Maryland. The county is home to Catoctin Mountain Park (encompassing the presidential retreat Camp David) and to the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick. The county seat is Frederick, which was home to several celebrated historical figures like Francis Scott Key, Thomas Johnson (governor), Roger B. Taney, and Barbara Fritchie. The county (and the county seat) may have been named for Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore.
Frederick County was created in 1748 from parts of Prince George's County and Baltimore County. In 1776, Frederick County was divided into three parts. The westernmost portion became Washington County, named after George Washington, the southern most portion became Montgomery County, named after another Revolutionary War general, Richard Montgomery. The northern portion remained Frederick County. In 1837 a part of Frederick County was combined with a part of Baltimore County to form Carroll County which is east of current day Frederick County. The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
Frederick County straddles the boundary between the Piedmont Plateau Region and the Appalachian Mountains. The county's two prominent ridges, Catoctin Mountain and South Mountain, form an extension of the Blue Ridge. The Middletown Valley lies between them.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 667.34 square miles (1,728.4 km2), of which 662.88 square miles (1,716.9 km2) (or 99.33%) is land and 4.46 square miles (11.6 km2) (or 0.67%) is water. It is the largest county in Maryland in terms of area.
Attractions in the Frederick area include the Clustered Spires, a monument to Francis Scott Key, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Monocacy National Battlefield and South Mountain battlefields, and the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum.
The median income for a household in Frederick county is $60,276, and the median income for a family was $67,879. Males had a median income of $42,378 versus $30,564 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,404. About 2.90% of families and 4.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.90% of those under age 18 and 6.00% of those age 65 or over.
Fort Detrick is the largest employer in Frederick County. The largest employers aside from the government are the Frederick Memorial Healthcare System, Bechtel, SAIC and Wells Fargo. Frederick County has a strong agricultural component of its economy, and it is the largest producer of milk in Maryland.
As of the census of 2010, there were 233,385 people, 84,800 households, and 61,198 families residing in the county. The population density was 295 people per square mile (114/km²). There were 90,136 housing units at an average density of 110/square mile (43/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.5% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.8% Asian, 0.045% Pacific Islander, 2.9% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. 7.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. According to Census 2000 24.7% were of German, 12.9% American, 12.3% Irish and 10.1% English ancestry.
Frederick County contains the following incorporated municipalities:
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:
Other unincorporated areas include: