Howard County…Where Maryland Comes Together!

Conveniently located in the heart of central Maryland between Baltimore and Washington, Howard County offers the charm of a historic past mixed with the excitement of a cosmopolitan community. A successful melding of old and new, urban and rural, Howard County makes everyone feel at home. From the small town flavor of historic mill towns to the thriving model city of Columbia, the county’s diversity is truly impressive.

Location, Location, Location

Because of its superior location at the center of the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Howard County is the strategic location of choice for a diverse and thriving business base. Many large government contractors call Howard County their home, as well as numerous corporate and regional headquarters, a wide variety of technology firms, and wholesale distributors and manufacturers.

A Sought-After Place to Live, Work and Play

Howard County is one of the most affluent, advanced and educated communities in the United States. USA Today ranked the county as the second most technology advanced community in the country. Howard County was ranked 9th for “best quality of life” in 2004 by the American Business Journal, has the #1 library system in the country, and possesses the 4th highest median income nationwide. The list goes on….Ellicott City/Columbia was recently named second among the “Top 100 America’s Best Places to Live” by CNN and Money Magazine as announced live on the TODAY by Matt Lauer. Howard County has also been designated an “All America County” by the National Civic League for our civic pride and community excellence. It’s no wonder families, as well as businesses, are choosing to make Howard County the place they call “home”.

Howard County’s Awards

Best Place to Live for Pet Lovers

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Ranked in the top ten places to live for pet lovers by the U.S. News, Ellicott City offers almost 4 square miles of green space with relatively mild weather makes it easy to walk dogs outside.

Top Amphitheater in America

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Rolling Stone Magazine – 2013
Ranked #4 out of the top 10 Amphitheaters in America by Rolling Stone Magazine, Merriweather Post Pavilion is flexible enough to fit big or small concerts with ease.

Top Innovator

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Urban Libraries Council – 2013
Howard County Library System was honored in the award’s Learning category for HiTech, HCLS’ unique STEM digital media initiative for teens.

Library of the Year
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Gale and Library Journal - 2013
Out of 21,000 public and academic libraries, the Howard County Library System received this prestigious recognition.

A Leader in Technology

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The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo) – 2013

Among the top 10 counties in the nation to embrace technology, Howard County boasts a state of the art website, has saved money through the use of technology, and improved service to the community.

Spookiest Destination
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Tripadvisor – 2012

Ellicott City has survived hurricanes, devastating floods, fires and hooligans – making it an ideal setting for ominous, history-infused tales. So ideal that Trip Advisor has just named Ellicott City to its list of 10 spooky American getaways to celebrate Halloween.

Great Public Library Systems

Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings – 2011
Howard County was ranked 1st in the nation among great public libraries, based on an index of 15 factors including circulation, visits, staffing, materials, reference service, and funding levels.

America’s Best Places to Live

Money Magazine – 2010

Ellicott City/Columbia “has it all” and is “an economic powerhouse” therefore ranked 2nd in the nation by Money Magazine in their survey of “America’s Best Places to Live,” According to the Money Magazine: “Ellicott City, one of the nation’s oldest settlements snuggles up to one of the newest, Columbia make this duo a perennial contender on our Best Places list thanks to Historic Ellicott City’s mix of antique shops and teahouses and Columbia’s residential villages and high-powered tech companies.”

Best Place to Raise a Family

Forbes Magazine – 2008

Howard County was ranked 17th in the nation by Forbes Magazine in their survey of “Best Places to Raise a Family,” the only county in Maryland to receive this honor. According to the Forbes’ survey: “Howard County is one of the smartest counties in the country. Its average SAT score of 1,113 trails only Marin County, Calif., on our list, and Howard’s public library system holds the top spot in Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings.”

Best Educated (Adults over 25)

 

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey – 2007
Advanced Degree (27%) ranked 9th in nation
Bachelor’s Degree (56%) ranked 8th in the nation

Median Household Income

 

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey – 2007
Median Household Income – $101, 672(ranked 3rd in the nation)

America’s Wealthiest Suburbs

American City Business Journals – 2007
Howard County ranked 4th in a nine-part formula to determine the relative affluence of 291 suburban counties, seeking the places with the highest incomes, most expensive houses, lowest poverty levels, strongest educational backgrounds, and most extensive ownership of stocks, rental properties and vehicles.

Delivering High Performance Education at Low Cost

Forbes Magazine – 2007
The Howard County Public School System ranks seventh among school systems from across the nation that delivers high performance at low cost, according to the July 2007 issue of Forbes magazine. In an article on best and worst school districts for the buck, reporter Christina Settimi took a look at per-pupil spending in public schools and weighed it against student performance — college entrance exam scores, standardized exam participation rates and graduation rates.

Most Digital County Government

Center for Digital Government – 2007

Howard County Government ranked 3rd in the nation when it comes to counties using information technology in increasingly innovative ways and improving service to their citizens. The ranking is based on the 2007 Digital Counties Survey conducted by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo). Howard County was compared to other counties of similar size with populations in the 250,000 to 499,999 range.

Public Leadership in the Arts

Americans for the Arts – 2007
Howard County Government and County Executive Ken Ulman were awarded this honor for leadership and dedication to supporting the arts in the community and incorporating culture into the county’s economic development plan. The award was presented by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, in conjunction with the National Association of Counties (NACo).

Median Household Income

 

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey – 2007
Median Household Income - $101,672 (ranked 3rd in the nation)

Best Place to Live

 


Money Magazine – Ellicott City/Columbia – 2006

Ellicott City and Columbia together ranked 4th place in Money Magazine’s annual “Best Places to Live” survey. The magazine looked for small livable cities that had the best possible blend of good jobs, low crime, quality schools, plenty of open space, rational home prices and lots to do.

Technologically Advanced Community

USA Today – 2006

Howard County was ranked the 2nd most technologically advanced community in the United States.

 

Good Sports Community of the Year

Sports Illustrated- 2006

In partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, Sports Illustrated chose Howard County as one of only eight communities nationwide to receive this award based on it’s ability to promote values such as sportsmanship, fair play, skill development, helpful parent involvement and positive coaching methods.

Great Public Library Systems

Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings – 2005

Howard County was ranked 1st in the nation among great public libraries, based on an index of 15 factors including circulation, visits, staffing, materials, reference service, and funding levels.

100 Best Communities for Young People

America’s Promise Alliance – 2005
This annual competition which recognizes outstanding community-wide efforts that improve the well-being of youth. Winning communities are chosen because they found innovative ways to solve problems that will improve the lives of children and young people, and demonstrated a willingness to work together within their communities to make a difference.

Best Quality of Life

 

American City Business Journals – Top 20 Counties in the U.S. – 2004
Howard County was ranked 9th out of 3,141 counties and independent cities across the nation, based on 20 statistical categories that included job opportunities, racial diversity, low unemployment, median income, and education.

Best Educated (Adults over 25)

 

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey – 2005
Advanced Degree (28%) ranked 6th in nation
Bachelor’s Degree (58%) ranked 5th in the nation

Maryland “Sports Town”

Sports Illustrated – 2003
As part of Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary issue, Howard County was named Maryland’s “Sports Town,” based on a variety of criteria demonstrating the community’s involvement in facilitating and enhancing quality sports. Categories included youth development strategies, innovations for community development, and the commitment to parks and recreation resources.

All-America County Award

National Civic League – 2001

The oldest and most respected community recognition program in the nation, the All-America City Award recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results, exemplifying the true American spirit at work.