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About Around Town Damascus

A small town, nestled between the three biggest cities in the state, Damascus’ history is as rich as its present. It is a farm town to some, a suburb to others and home to thousands. Living in Damascus for close to 30 years, Betsy Freeman has seen it grow and... Read more

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Damascus By The Numbers

Damascus, Maryland Welcome Sign

Damascus, Maryland Welcome Sign

We live in Damascus. At least many of you reading this blog live in or near Damascus. We shop, attend school, work, drive through and get our Jimmie Cone fix in Damascus. But how well do you know the little town that sits at the top of Montgomery County? Over the decades, when the name Damascus was mentioned, you might have heard…

  • Damascus? That cow-town?
  • Isn’t that where we get our pumpkins in October?
  • Where’s Damascus again?

In 2010, the U.S. Government said that there were officially 15,257 people living in Damascus, Maryland. Unofficial stats say that as of 2012, Damascus was over 16,000 in population. Since the last census in 2000, Damascus added a third of its population or 5, 111 more citizens. Damascus might be a cow-town, a small town, but let’s see what that really means these days.

We are 1.5% of Montgomery County’s total population. Small town? Maybe, but our neighbor, Mt. Airy, logged in at only 9,288, Clarksburg at 13,766 and Laytonsville at only 353! Olney, on the other hand, was over double our size at 33,844 and Germantown was a whopping 86,395! Small town, in some ways, but middle-sized town is more like it!

About 66% of Damascus’ population was born outside of Maryland. Thirty-four percent of Damascus residents were born in Maryland and if you talk to folks who currently live here, you often hear stories of growing up in Silver Spring, Rockville and Wheaton before moving to Damascus as adults.

Damascus women outpace men with tallies of 7,785 to 7,472, matching the ratio of women to men in the US.

Politically, 38% are registered as Democrat and 37% as Republican. Twenty-five percent of our population prefer other ways in which to qualify their political status. And while 46% are married, 54% are single or in other, non-married states. This could be why The Music Café started having Singles’ Night events!

What does Damascus, that old cow-town, do for a living? Take a look at a sample.

Professional, scientific and technical services – 13%

Public administration – 11.5%

Education – 11%

Construction – 8%

Health care – 8%

Finance and Insurance – 4.5%

While we love our agricultural heritage, only .7% of us (that’s seven tenths of one percent!) work in the field of Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. The Damascus Fair, an annual September event, highlights the most beautiful harvest from our backyard gardens, but most of us are just hobby farmers. And smart hobby farmers we are! Sixty-five percent of Damascus residents over the age of 25 have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

In the end, small-town, cow-town Damascus is probably better described as middle-sized, educated, cosmopolitan, suburban, expanding Damascus with a penchant for showing off our excellent green thumbs while still thinking we’re a little town that Maryland forgot.

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Betsy Freeman

About Betsy Freeman

Betsy Freeman knows Damascus, Maryland and has seen it grow and change and yet stay the same in many ways. Creator and monitor of an active town online group, Betsy keeps in touch daily with the thoughts, issues, concerns and the great big, little town presence of Damascus.


7 Responses to “Damascus By The Numbers”

  1. Avatar
    On August 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm responded with... #

    I moved to Damascus from PA 10 years ago this month. I remember telling people at work that I decided to live here and I got one of two replies: Really Damascus?!? It snows up there or Isn’t that a cow-town? I’m glad I chose here, its a middle sized town with a small town feel. (Hey maybe that should be our town slogan!)

    • Betsy Freeman
      On August 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm responded with... #

      I love the slogan, Ken!! And love hearing your story, too! Thanks!

  2. Avatar
    On August 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm responded with... #

    Gaithersburg only has so many reported residents because the line includes a bunch of Damascus folks like us. 🙂

    • Betsy Freeman
      On August 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm responded with... #

      Touché, Karen. We love you more than they do anyway!

  3. Avatar
    On April 27, 2015 at 8:54 am responded with... #

    My husband and I both grew up in small towns and preferred rural settings. When my job in Germantown became permanent, we moved up to Maryland from East Tennessee and spent over six months looking for a house. Damascus had the perfect combination of proximity to big city services with a country/neighborhood feel. We love seeing rabbits and chipmunks and deer in our yard (except when they eat my tulips!) and the Spring and Fall colors. Also love the MacGruder branch trails! Damascus feels like home.

  4. Avatar
    On August 10, 2015 at 2:05 pm responded with... #

    My husband and I got lost on our way from Gaithersburg to Olney 40 years ago, and ended up here in Damascus. We bought the very same house that we were on our way to see in Olney, and we’re still in it. When we moved here, Damascus really was a cow town! Sweepstakes was just a dirt track in those days and there were more cows than people. Our 2 children grew up here, and it was a wonderful place for them. Football is still king on Friday nights, businesses have come and gone, houses have been moved down the street, we still more or less know everybody’s mom and them, and we know what’s going on in this water tower town (do you know this Scotty McCreery song?) We have loved Damascus for the past 40 years!

  5. Avatar
    On August 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm responded with... #

    I lived in that great little town from 1968 to1994.only one shopping cntr.two gas was a vol fighter with some great men.still go through my old town n seen many changes. Sure wish she would of stayed small.mid the big sunset roller rink.gone.ball ponds.gone.n so on.P’s.keep Damascus alive.

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