Demographic and Socioeconomic Data

Demographic and socioeconomic data provides insight into the character of Howard County and its diverse communities. By better understanding the people and places of Howard County and their unique characteristics we can better plan and provide services. Through our study of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other public and nonprofit organizations we gain valuable insight into what makes Howard County such a unique and special place. 

An overview of the county's demographic data can be accessed here: Howard County Demographic Overview - 2018

Census 2020

The next U.S. decennial census will take place in 2020. Unlike a survey that uses a sample from the population to then draw estimates from, the decennial census strives for a 100% count. Census 2020 will call on every head of household across the nation to answer a series of questions about their household and those who reside there. Every citizen of Howard County will have an opportunity to complete a physical or digital application to provide the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census 2020 will provide important demographic information at the national, state and local levels. Population sizes determine the number of representatives Maryland has in Congress and Howard County has in the state legislature. Certain forms of government assistance are determined by population density. Above all else, the census will help to show the true makeup of our county, state, and nation.  

With Census 2020 on the horizon, the county is undertaking several efforts in preparation. These efforts strive to ensure that our residents are accurately and fully represented and include:


Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)- A comprehensive review of all residential addresses in the county to make sure that all households are accounted for. The goal of LUCA is to ensure that all residents are able to receive their census application and provided with an opportunity for participation.
For more information on Census 2020, please visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s Census 2020 website .
Participant Statistical Area Program (PSAP)- This process is a review of the census geography boundaries within Howard County. These geographies include census blocks, clusters of blocks known as block groups, and clusters of block groups known as tracts. The geographies divide the county into smaller areas with similar population totals.
American Community Survey (ACS)

In addition to the decennial census, Howard County utilizes data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS provides updates between decennial censuses in the form of sample estimates. Unlike the 100 percent count goal of the decennial census, the ACS is a survey, meaning not every citizen is contacted for participation. From the citizens who do participate, estimates are made in order to best represent the population as a whole.

ACS data is released annually in the form of single-year estimates and multi-year averages that provide more accurate estimates.

Explore here for the latest Howard County Census data. Data are also provided at the smaller place and zip code level within Howard County as well by selecting the geography from the map. Key information from the ACS is also provided in the section below.


Population and Household Characteristics for Howard County


CensusReporterHOWA2 CensusReporterHOWA637297298083859546


Margin of error is at least 10 percent of the total value. Take care with this statistic.

This profile displays data from more than one ACS release. Charts not derived from ACS 2018 1-year data are noted with an *.

Citation: U.S. Census Bureau (2018). American Community Survey 1-year estimates. Retrieved from Census Reporter Profile page for Howard County, MD

Citation: U.S. Census Bureau (2018). American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Retrieved from Census Reporter Profile page for Howard County, MD 


Age Distribution

Median Age: Howard County- 38.8    Maryland- 38.7   United States- 38.2

Sex, Race and Ethnicity



Per Capita Income: $52,654     Median Household Income: $116,984



Persons below poverty line: Howard County- 5.1% Maryland- 9% United States- 13.1%


Transportation to Work

Mean travel time to work (minutes): Howard County- 31.9   Maryland- 33.3   United States- 27.1



Number of Households/ Persons per Household

Howard County- 116,903 / 2.7

Maryland- 2,215,935 / 2.7

United States- 121,520,180 / 2.6

Marital Status 


Women 15-50 who gave birth during past year: Howard County- 4.1% Maryland- 5% United States- 5.2%


Units & Occupancy

 Number of housing units: Howard County- 120,822   Maryland- 2,458,779  Untied States- 138,539,906

Value of Housing

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: Howard County- $476,600   Maryland- $324,800   Untied States- $229,700

Geographical Mobility

Moved since previous year: Howard County- 14.3%   Maryland- 14.1%   Untied States- 14.1%


Educational Attainment

High school grad or higher: Howard County- 96%   Maryland- 90.5%   United States- 88.3%

Bachelor's degree or higher: Howard County- 62.3%   Maryland- 40.8%   United States- 32.6%



Place of Birth

Foreign-born population: Howard County- 21.7%   Maryland- 15.2%   United States- 13.7%

Veteran Status

Population with veteran status: Howard County- 6.5%   Maryland- 7.8%   United States- 7.1%

Veterans in Howard County: Total- 15,685 Male- 14,165 Female- 1,520