Living & Relocating

Designated as an “All-America County” by the National Civic League, Howard County is one of the nation’s most outstanding places to live, work and play! Howard County has a balanced blend of pastoral farms, historic towns, suburban communities and urban lifestyle. Diversity surrounds you, from Columbia’s world-class shopping mall to Historic Ellicott City’s Main Street, filled with antiques, boutiques and cozy restaurants. With all of this and so much more, it’s no wonder that Howard County’s Columbia/Ellicott City area were named first in “America’s Best Places to Live” by MONEY magazine.


  • Columbia named Maryland’s “Best Cities to Raise a Family in America” and “Best Cities to Live in America” by Niche 2024
  • Columbia named Maryland’s “Happiest Cities in America” by WalletHub 2024
  • Columbia ranked #2 Safest City in the US by Wallet Hub 2023
  • Columbia ranked #1 Best City for Women by Wallet Hub 2023
  • Columbia ranked #7 Best City for People with Disabilities by WalletHub 2023
  • Columbia ranked #2 as the Happiest Cities in America by WalletHub 2022
  • Columbia ranked #1 as the "Safest city in the U.S." according to WalletHub 2021
  •  Ellicott City ranked #10 in MONEY Magazine 2021-22 "Best Places to Live"
  • Columbia ranked #1 as the "Safest city in the U.S." according to WalletHub 2020
  • Columbia ranked #1 as the "Safest city in the U.S." according to WalletHub 2019
  • Belmont Manor and Historic Estate received the 2019 "Couples' Choice Award" for venues and from Wedding Wire 
  •  Ellicott City ranked #4 in MONEY Magazine 2018  "Best Places to Live"
  •  Ellicott City ranked #1 in Money Magazine 2018 "Best Places to live in Maryland"
  • “Best Educated” (adults over 25), according to the U.S. Census Bureau
  • “Seventh Best School System” in the country by Forbes
  • “First Among Great Public Library Systems” by American Libraries
  • “Second Most Technologically Advanced Community in the U.S.” by USA Today
  • “Ninth Best Quality of Life” by American City Business Journals.
  •  Merriweather Post Pavilion Ranked #4 out of the "Top 10 Amphitheaters in America" by Rolling Stone Magazine 

When it comes to leisure-time activities, there are six regional parks, 24 community parks, seven golf courses, five lakes and over 200 miles of walking, hiking and biking trails. It’s no wonder that Sports Illustrated chose Howard County as one of only eight communities nationwide to receive the “Good Sports Communities of the Year” award.

Howard County was also chosen as the ideal location for the first railroad terminus in the nation, the Historic National Road; Merriweather Post Pavilion, a premier outdoor amphitheater with headline entertainment; and Columbia, one of the largest planned communities in the country.

Centrally located in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor, Howard County is the strategic location of choice for a diverse and thriving business base. Several large business contractors call Howard County home, as do corporate and regional headquarters, a wide variety of technology-driven firms, and wholesale distributors and manufacturers. For a list of the area’s major employers, click here.

The county’s citizens are among the wealthiest in the nation, with a median household income of $101,672. As one of approximately 30 counties in the nation to have a triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies, Howard County’s economy is one of the strongest in Maryland. Howard County is the state leader in the creation of new jobs, with more than 35,000 new jobs added over the last decade. It has the highest concentration of professional, scientific and technical workers in the state.

You’ll want to call Howard County home, too, once you discover it’s truly “Where Maryland Comes Together!”