Welcome to Howard County, Maryland

Howard County Chamber of Commerce | Columbia, MD

A Diverse and Vibrant Community in the Heart of the Baltimore/Washington Corridor

With a stellar reputation as a place to live and work, this Central Maryland county between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore is thriving from its rural landscapes in the west to its suburban center in Columbia to the research and cybersecurity activity along the Route 95 technology corridor.

National publications and organizations have named Howard County a great place to live, praised it for having one of the top school systems in the nation and honored it for building the best library system in North America. The high quality of life, healthy population of large and small businesses, and easy access to two metropolitan areas have enabled Howard County to prosper through challenging economic times and position itself for continued growth.

Howard County offers an impressive mix of carefully preserved history and exciting new development. Its county seat, Ellicott City, is a 240-year-old mill town with many historical, shopping and tourist attractions. Its 47-year-old population center, Columbia, has served as an international model of a planned community and is now preparing for a new phase of vitality with a major redevelopment plan.

More than 300 farms are part of an agriculture industry that is finding success in landscape, horticulture, agritourism and equine enterprises. Government contractors are moving in to take advantage of close proximity to National Security Agency operations and U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade. Cutting-edge research is accomplished every day at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, and entrepreneurs are thriving among one of the most educated workforces in the nation.

Suburban convenience abounds while urban amenities are only a short drive away. Howard County enjoys easy access to major highways, BWI Airport and the Port of Baltimore. At the same time, residents and visitors can take advantage of a wide range of options for dining, shopping, recreation and entertainment right in the county. An ideal location, an engaged and diverse population, and a vibrant community spirit contribute to the county's appeal and attract many businesses to call it home.

Read more in the Chamber's Guide to Howard County and Business Directory.

Facts about Howard County

Total Population (2014) 309,284
Median Household Income  $109,865
Percent of population age 25+
with a bachelor’s degree or higher
Median home value (2006–2010) $428,100

Source: US Census Bureau