Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state’s largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Sixteen of Maryland’s twenty-three counties border on the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay estuary and its many tributaries, which combined total more than 4,000 miles of the shoreline. The population is approximately six million residents. As of 2015, Maryland had the highest median household income of any state, owing in large part to its close proximity to the nation’s capital and a highly diversified economy spanning manufacturing, services, and biotechnology.
In 2007, Forbes.com rated Maryland as the fifth “Greenest” state in the country behind three of the Pacific States and Vermont. Maryland ranks 40th in total energy consumption nationwide, and it managed less toxic waste per capita than all but six states in 2005. In April 2007 Maryland joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—a regional initiative formed by all of the Northeastern states, Washington D.C., and three Canadian provinces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Tourism is popular in Maryland, with tourists visiting the city of Baltimore, the beaches of the Eastern Shore, and the nature of western Maryland, as well as many passing through en route to Washington, D.C. Baltimore attractions include the Harborplace, the Baltimore Aquarium, Fort McHenry, as well as the Camden Yards baseball stadium. Ocean City on the Atlantic Coast has been a popular beach destination in summer, particularly since the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built in 1952 connecting the Eastern Shore to the more populated Maryland cities.
Education Week ranked Maryland #1 in its nationwide 2009–2013 Quality Counts reports. The College Board’s 9th Annual AP Report to the Nation also ranked Maryland first. Primary and secondary education in Maryland is overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education, which is headquartered in Baltimore. Maryland has a broad range of private primary and secondary schools. Three Maryland high schools (in Montgomery County) were ranked among the top 100 in the country by US News in 2009, based in large part on AP test scores. Maryland has 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.