Moving to Maryland

Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state that’s defined by its abundant waterways and coastlines on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic. Its largest city, Baltimore, has a long history as a major seaport. Fort McHenry, birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, sits at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, home to the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center. Blue crabs are Maryland’s culinary specialty. The cost of living in Maryland is higher than in many other parts of the country, but salaries are often higher as well, with the state having the highest median household income in the U.S.  The households of Maryland are currently the wealthiest in the country, with a median household income of $72,483. This puts it ahead of New Jersey and Connecticut, which are second and third respectively. Maryland has the most per capita millionaires and the lowest unemployment rate, at 5.5%, in the country.

The weather in Maryland is mid-Atlantic mild. Spring and fall are the most pleasant seasons, unless you suffer from plant-related allergies, in which case the profusion of flowering trees in the spring will be accompanied by sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose. Summer can include stretches of hazy, hot and humid weather, and it lingers through September, when mild temperatures persist but the humidity starts to drop. Fall is usually mild to cool, and winters are generally tolerable. It’s common to see a handful of snowfalls at this time of year, so if you are moving to Maryland from the north, don’t get rid of your winter gear. Sometimes long stretches of cold temperatures sink in, but spring usually arrives by the end of March.

Moving to Maryland gives you many options for public transportation. If you are moving to Maryland and work in or near Washington, D.C., you’ll want to get to know the metro system, which is how many people get to and from work. If you will be working in D.C., consider buying a house that is relatively accessible to a metro station. Biking is extremely popular as well, and some Maryland residents ride their bikes to a metro stop for a car-free commute. Commuting between Maryland and Washington, D.C. can take a large chunk out of your day if you don’t take into consideration location ahead of your move. Consider a neighborhood near a metro line that is also near enough to your workplace. The Red Line makes a U-shape south into D.C. and north into Maryland and passes through the popular towns of Bethesda, White Flint, Grosvenor, Twinbrook, Rockville, Shady Grove, Silver Spring, and Takoma Park. The Green Line metro cuts diagonally towards the north and east of D.C. and has stops in Prince George’s Plaza, College Park, and Greenbelt.

Maryland has a broad range of private primary and secondary schools. Many of these are affiliated with various religious sects, including parochial schools of the Catholic Church, Quaker schools, Seventh-day Adventist schools, and Jewish schools. In 2003, Maryland law was changed to allow for the creation of publicly funded charter schools, although the charter schools must be approved by their local Board of Education and are not exempt from state laws on education, including collective bargaining laws. The public schools in Montgomery County and Howard County consistently rank among the best in the country, and most high schools offer some sort of advanced placement classes and international baccalaureate programs that can be used to earn college credit.  The state has led the entire country in the percentage of students passing Advanced Placement examinations.

There are currently 55 colleges and universities, defined as accredited, degree-granting, post-secondary institutions, in the state of Maryland – including several historic and renowned private colleges and universities, the most prominent of which is Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876 with a grant from Baltimore entrepreneur Johns Hopkins. The state’s public universities are part of the University System of Maryland, with the exception of United States Naval Academy, St. Mary’s College and Morgan State University, which are public, but are not part of the university system. The characteristics of each institution vary –  from small, intimate, liberal arts colleges such as Washington College and McDaniel College to large, public, research universities such as the University of Maryland, College Park. The oldest school in the state is St. John’s College, formerly King William School, founded in 1696, and the third oldest college or university in the United States. The newest school is University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, founded in 2008.

Maryland has much to offer. With opportunities for government jobs, jobs with government contractors, and jobs servicing the government and its contractors, the Washington, D.C. area consistently boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. As a “buffer state” in the Civil War, Maryland is replete with history and culture, especially as it is one of the original Thirteen Colonies. Maryland is considered to be the birthplace of religious freedom in America.