Carroll County municipalities Mount Airy, Hampstead and Taneytown recently were named to Maryland's Most Successful Cities' Top 10.
The list, which considered municipalities' poverty level, median household income, and unemployment rate, was published on the career resource website Zippia and was based on a 2010-2014 American Community Survey. According to Zippia spokesman Nick Johnson, of San Francisco, California, the list was a way for the startup company "to get our name out there."
"It's more of a conversation starter. We just downloaded the information and sorted it," Johnson said. "It's a good way for people to look at the different places to live in Maryland in a different way. I think this type of thing can be moderately helpful for people."
After the company collected the data for 41 Maryland municipalities with more than 5,000 people, they ranked them from 1 to 41 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the most successful. No other Maryland county had as many as three municipalities among the top 10.
Mount Airy ranked second on the list, behind only Poolesville in Montgomery County. The 2010-2014 American Community Survey reflected that Mount Airy's population was 9,333, its median income was $105,729, its poverty level was at 2.1 percent, and its unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.
According to Vintage's 2015 population estimates, there were 9,380 Mount Airy residents. The median household income and poverty level was unchanged.
Mount Airy's economic and community development manager Melissa Thorn said the town was "excited to be listed at No. 2 on this list."
"Mount Airy is a great place to live, work and visit," Thorn said. "We have known this area to be a success story not only through statistics, but through our beautiful community members. We have a strong sense of community, despite being part Carroll and part Frederick County. Mount Airy attracts people from a variety of areas, which has much to do with our small-town charm, convenient location to expressways and good schools.
Hampstead ranked fourth on the list. According to the 2010-2014 American Community Survey, Hampstead's population was 6,342, its median Income was $81,300, its poverty level was 4.5 percent, and its unemployment rate was 2.8 percent.
According to Vintage's 2015 population estimate, Hampstead had 6,359 residents with its median household income unchanged. According to the American Community Survey 5-Year estimate, Hampstead's poverty level increased to 4.5 percent.
Hampstead's Mayor Christopher M. Nevin said the ranking was "a pleasant surprise."
"This latest ranking among the Most Successful goes hand in hand with recent recognitions as one of the Safest Towns and Best Towns to Raise Children," Nevin said. "What set us apart in the latest ranking was the Unemployment Rate of 2.8 percent, which shows that we are industrious with a strong work ethic. That statistic was one of the factors in us attracting the spice and seasoning manufacturer, Fuchs North America, which will further improve local employment opportunities. Our future is bright because of the family centric focus of our town and the people who make it a great place to live, work and play."
Taneytown ranked 10th on the list. The 2010-2014 American Community Survey listed Taneytown's population as 6,738, its median income as $74,740, its poverty level as 9.8 percent, and its unemployment rate as 5 percent.
According to Vintage's 2015 population estimate, Taneytown had 6,746 residents with its median income unchanged. According to the American Community Survey 5-Year estimate, Taneytown's poverty level increased to 11.3 percent.
Taneytown's economic development director Nancy McCormick seemed pleased with the ranking.
"We have a great networking system and have a number of new residents who like Taneytown and its rural atmosphere," McCormick said. "These new homeowners come from various areas, some are raising children and want that quality of life and "hometown feel" that Taneytown provides. We are a small town with a big heart."
Carroll County's Department of Economic Development director Jack Lyburn did not seem surprised by the rankings.
"We know Carroll County is successful by the vibrancy of our business communities and towns and number of relocation inquiries that we receive," Lyburn said. "Carroll is the safest county in Maryland which adds to an unsurpassed quality of life that we enjoy. When you combine business and employment opportunities with a family-friendly environment, you have the recipe for success."