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Caroline County, Maryland

Caroline County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of 2000, the population is 29,772. It was named for Lady Caroline Eden, daughter of Charles Calvert, Fifth Lord Baltimore, sister of Frederick Calvert, Sixth Lord Baltimore, and wife of Mayrland's last colonial governor, Robert Eden (1741-1784). Its county seat is Denton.

Table of contents


Caroline County was created in 1773 from parts of Dorchester and Queen Anne's Counties.

Famous Residents:

Charles Dickinson, who was killed in a duel in 1808 by future president Andrew Jackson.

Infamous slave kidnapper Patty Cannon operated out of the county, owning a house in Reliance. Runaway slaves Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass also lived in the county for part of their lives.

Sophie Kerr, early 20th Century author and benefactor of the largest undergraduate literary prize in the nation — at Washington College in Chestertown, MD.

The citizens of the town of Hickman were once recognized by the tv show Hee Haw.

Rocker George Thorogood played Caroline County bars while in college at the University of Delaware before hitting the big time.

Former Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend confirmed during a 2002 trip to the county during her campaign for governor that Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of 35th president John F. Kennedy, was so named because of his fondness for the county during his own campaign swing through the Eastern Shore in 1960.

The two dogs owned by former president Bill Clinton, Buddy and Seamus, were born in Caroline County.

Law and government

Caroline County was granted home rule in 1984 under state code in an initiative led by County Commissioner Charles T. Dean, Sr.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 844 km² (326 mi²). 829 km² (320 mi²) of it is land and 15 km² (6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.82% water.

Caroline County currently ranks seventh nationally in terms of land protected under the Ag Preservation Program.

It is the only Eastern Shore county not to touch either the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Ocean.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 29,772 people, 11,097 households, and 8,156 families residing in the county. The population density is 36/km² (93/mi²). There are 12,028 housing units at an average density of 15/km² (38/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 81.69% White, 14.77% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 2.65% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 11,097 households out of which 34.80% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.30% are married couples living together, 13.60% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% are non-families. 21.50% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.40% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.64 and the average family size is 3.03.

In the county the population is spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $38,832, and the median income for a family is $44,825. Males have a median income of $31,119 versus $21,915 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,275. 11.70% of the population and 9.00% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 14.50% of those under the age of 18 and 12.30% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line. It is regularly ranked among the poorest of all 23 Maryland counties.

Cities and towns

This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:

  1. Denton (incorporated 1802)
  2. Federalsburg (incorporated 1823)
  3. Goldsboro (incorporated 1906)
  4. Greensboro (incorporated 1826)
  5. Henderson (incorporated 1949)
  6. Hillsboro (incorporated 1853)
  7. Marydel (incorporated 1929)
  8. Preston (incorporated 1892)
  9. Ridgely (incorporated 1896)
  10. Templeville (incorporated 1865) (This town is partly in Caroline County and partly in Queen Anne's County.)

All ten of these are classified as towns under Maryland law.

The United States Census Bureau recognizes no Census-Designated Places in Caroline County, which is unusual for Maryland counties, which usually have many unincorporated population centers.

Other unincorporated places not listed as Census-Designated Places but known in the area include:

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