Howard County's businesses and jobs

Howard County's businesses and jobs
Howard County Economic Development Authority CEO Larry Twele in the Columbia Gateway district. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Location, quality of life and a pro-business environment are three of the reasons almost 10,000 companies call Howard County home, creating close to 156,000 jobs. According to the Howard County Economic Development Authority, this county is home to about 70 million square feet of office, industrial and flex space.

In Howard County, among the wealthiest jurisdictions in the nation with a median household income of $113,800, approximately one-third of the residents commute to Washington, about 20 miles south, while another third commute to Baltimore, just 10 miles northeast. Many local companies recruit workers from both metropolitan areas, which, combined, form the fourth-largest business market in the United States.


Common industries in the county include professional business and scientific services, information technology, advanced manufacturing and health care services, according to the economic development authority.

The Port of Baltimore is 20 minutes from the county seat, and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is even closer.



Population: 317,233

Jobs: 170,096

Private businesses: 9,948

Major employers*

  • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory: 5,545 employees
  • Howard County General Hospital: 1,410 employees
  • Verizon: 1,700 employees
  • Howard Community College: 1,400 employees
  • Lorien Health Systems: 1,190 employees
  • Columbia Association: 1,180 employees
  • Coastal Sunbelt Produce: 1,050 employees

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Maryland Department of Commerce

*Excludes post offices, state and local governments, national retail and national food service; includes higher education.