-designated Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical Area, based on the 2000 Census.]]
The Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area is a consolidated metropolitan area consisting of the overlapping labor market region of the cities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. The region includes Central Maryland, Northern Virginia, and two counties in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. It is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Officially, the area is designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical Area (CSA). The CSA is composed primarily of two major metropolitan areas, the Baltimore-Towson Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Washington Metropolitan Area. In addition, three other smaller urban areas not contiguous to the main urban area but having strong commuting ties with the main area are also included in the metropolitan area. These are the Winchester, VA-WV MSA, the Lexington Park, MD Micropolitan area and the Culpeper, VA Micropolitan area. Some counties and cities are not officially designated by the OMB as members of this metropolitan area, but still consider themselves members anyway. This is mostly due to their proximity to the area, the size of their commuter population, and by the influence of local broadcasting stations. The population of the entire Baltimore-Washington Metroplex as of 2007 is 8,241,912.
The most populous city is Baltimore, with a population of 637,455. The most populous county is Fairfax County, with a population exceeding 1 million.
Components of the metropolitan area
The counties and independent cities and their groupings that comprise the metropolitan area are listed below with 2004 Census Bureau estimates of their populations.
- Washington Metropolitan Area (5,286,227)
- Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MD Metropolitan Division (1,287,005)
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (4,131,158)
- Washington, D.C.
- Calvert County, Maryland
- Charles County, Maryland
- Prince George's County, Maryland
- Arlington County, Virginia
- Clarke County, Virginia
- Fairfax County, Virginia
- Fauquier County, Virginia
- Loudoun County, Virginia
- Prince William County, Virginia
- Spotsylvania County, Virginia
- Stafford County, Virginia
- Warren County, Virginia
- Alexandria, Virginia
- Fairfax, Virginia
- Falls Church, Virginia
- Fredericksburg, Virginia
- Manassas, Virginia
- Manassas Park, Virginia
- Jefferson County, West Virginia
- Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA (2,658,405)
- Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA (261,198)
- Winchester, VA-WV MSA (118,932)
- Lexington Park, MD Micropolitan Area (98,854)
- Culpeper, VA Micropolitan Area (44,622)
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Founded in 1957, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) is a regional organization of 21 Washington-area local governments, as well as area members of the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. MWCOG provides a forum for discussion and the development of regional responses to issues regarding the environment, transportation, public safety, homeland security, affordable housing, community planning, and economic development.
The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, a component of MWCOG, is the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the metropolitan Washington area.
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
The Baltimore Metropolitan Councilis the equivalent organization for the Baltimore portion of the combined Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The BMC, which was created in 1992 as the successor to the Regional Planning Council and Baltimore Regional Council of Governments, consists of the Baltimore region’s elected executives, representing Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board is the federally recognized Metropolitan Planning Organization for transportation planning in the Baltimore region.
List of principal cities
See List of cities in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area for a full list.
Not limited to its proximity to the National Institutes of Health, Maryland's Washington suburbs are a major center for biotechnology. Prominent local biotechnology companies include MedImmune, United Therapeutics, The Institute for Genomic Research, Human Genome Sciences and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Many defense contractors are based in the region to be close to the Pentagon in Arlington. Local defense contractors include Lockheed Martin, the largest, as well as General Dynamics, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Orbital Sciences Corporation.
Notable company headquarters in the region
(Numbers denote Fortune 500 company ranking.)
Rail transit systems