Maryland is a U.S. state in the Mid Atlantic region, which borders Virginia and West Virginia to the south and west, Pennsylvania to the north, and Delaware to the East. Annapolis serves as Maryland’s capital, while Baltimore is the largest city. The Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area is the largest metro area in Maryland.
In 2006, Maryland had an estimated population of 5,615,727. The majority of the population resides in the central region of the state in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. With one of the largest proportions of racial minorities in the country, Maryland only trails the four minority-majority states. Fifty-six percent of Maryland’s population identifies as Protestant, while 23% is Roman Catholic. Catholicism is the largest single denomination. Maryland features the first Catholic university, Georgetown University, and the first cathedral built in the United States.
Maryland’s gross state product was $257 billion in 2006. Currently, Maryland residents are the wealthiest in the country, with a median household income of $68,080. The state also has the lowest poverty rate at 7.8%. Per-capita personal income was $43,500 in 2006, 5th in the nation.
Maryland’s economy depends on the tertiary service sector. One major service activity is transportation, which centers around the Port of Baltimore, ranked 10th in the U.S. by tonnage in 2002. Maryland’s government interaction involves technical and administrative tasks for the government. Johns Hopkins University and its medical research facilities are the largest single employer in the Baltimore area. Maryland also boasts a large food-production division, especially seafood. Fertile agricultural land is put to use as well. Manufacturing also takes place in Maryland, including electronics and computer equipment.