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St. Mary's County key economic driver continues to be the region's largest employer, NAS Patuxent River. In 2011, the base's workforce was more than 22, 200. The average base salary approaches $90,000. More than two-thirds of the Navy’s workforce resides in St. Mary’s County. Because of solid, high-tech job growth, the County’s average weekly wage has grown to be the 2nd highest in Maryland.

In the past decade, St. Mary’s labor force grew 18.9%. Maryland Department of Planning is projecting that St. Mary’s County’s labor force will grow to 119,340 by 2030.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau population for St. Mary’s County is 105,151. St. Mary’s County’s population has grown 22 percent over the past decade, the highest growth rate in the state between 2000 and 2010.

Also in the past decade, St. Mary’s County’s median household income grew 28.2% to $88,444 in 2010. St. Mary’s County has the 14th highest median household income in the United States, and the 4th highest in Maryland. In addition, St. Mary’s County continues to have one of the youngest populations in the state with a median age of 36, and one of the highest percentages of veterans (12%).

Despite a weak national economy, the county’s unemployment rate continues to remain lower than the state and national averages for the past several years largely due to the vital defense aviation programs arriving at the Navy base. In 2011 the county’s unemployment rate was 5.9%, the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the state of Maryland. The average national unemployment rate was 8.9% in 2011.

Growth in housing, shopping, restaurants, hotels, recreation, arts, and entertainment attracts new residents and supports the County’s many historical sites. Live, work, play, or simply visit St. Mary’s County and be inspired by the rich history, undeniable progress, and enduring quality of life.

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