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There are 23 counties in Maryland that extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the mountains in the western portion of the state. The state can be divided into five geographical regions, including, the Capital Region, Central Maryland, the Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland and Western Maryland. One of the state's main attractions is the Chesapeake Bay which is 195 miles long in Maryland and 1,726 square miles in area. The Chesapeake varies in width from 3 to 20 miles with two outlets to the Atlantic Ocean. There are 47 operational state parks and 2.7 million acres of forest area.
Over 5.4 million people live in Maryland with 92% living inside a metropolitan area. The population is expected to rise to over 6 million by the year 2025.
In 2002 the per capita personal income was $36,298.
The state homeownership rate in 2003 was 71%. In 2003, over 86,000 homes were sold in Maryland through MRIS®.
In 2002, the top occupations were administrative support, professional specialty occupations, biotechnology, Internet technology and executive and managerial occupations. The top industries were retail trade, public administration, health services, and other professional services.
The Port of Baltimore serves over 60 ocean carriers making nearly 2,500 annual port visits. The chief exports are coal, corn, soybeans, lignite and coal coke, petroleum, fuel oils and asphalt. Major employers in the state include Bethlehem Steel, Computer Sciences Corp, General Motors, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, McCormick & Co, and Northrop Grumman.
Baltimore's Inner Harbor attracts millions of visitors a year. The Inner Harbor includes the Maryland Science Museum and the National Aquarium. Annapolis is the state's capital and also attracts many tourists. The Western Maryland mountains and the eastern shore's ocean resorts are popular vacation areas.