Everything You Need to Know Before Moving to Prince George's County
You probably know Washington DC as the national capital and an international city with residents and visitors from all over the United States and the world. What you may not know is that a majority of its residents and workers live in a handful of counties surrounding the city - top among them Prince George's County in Maryland.
Prince George's County, or plainly PG County, is in south-central Maryland. The county was officially founded in April 1696 and was named after Prince George's of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne of England. It borders Washington DC and Potomac River to the west and Patuxent River to the east and northeast.
The county is best known for being home to the Gaylord National Resort, MGM National Harbor, and the NASA Space Flight Center. If you are planning to relocate here, there is much more to the county than what non-residents know it for. Read on to discover all you need to know before finalizing your moving plans.
Prince George's County covers an area of 499 square miles, of which 483 is land cover. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population estimate of Prince George's County as of July 2019 was 909,327, with a median age of 37.8 years. This works out to a population density of about 1883 people per square mile. The county's population has been on a steady increase since the 2010 census, when it had 804,029 residents. Here is the racial breakdown of the populace.
- African American - 64.4%
- Hispanic - 19.5%
- White - 12.3%
- Asian - 4.4%
- American Indian - 1.2%
- Native Hawaiian - 0.2%
- Mixed races - 2.7%
The median household income in Prince George's County between 2015 and 2019 was $84,920, which was significantly higher than the national median household income of $62,843 in the same period. The county's per capita income was also higher at $37,191 than the national average of $34,103. Only 8.7% of the county population lived in poverty in mid-2019 compared to the national average of 11.4%.
Cost of Living
Overall, it is cheaper to live in Prince George's County than in the surrounding cities. For instance, the prices of commodities and rent are much lower in the county than in DC or Baltimore, its closest popular cities. However, due to its proximity to the national capital, the costs of living are noticeably higher than the national average.
The median home value in the county in 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau, was $302,800. The median national home value in the same period was just $217,500.
According to the Housing Indicator Tool, the average gross rent in Prince George's County in 2019 was $1,469, which was higher than the national average of $1,097. Are you planning on renting when you move? If so, expect to pay about $1,539 for a studio, $1,567 for a one-bedroom, $1,785 for a two-bedroom, and $2,260 for a three-bedroom apartment based on estimates on BestPlaces.net.
Employment and Job Market
Prince George's County has one of the largest and most advanced technology and aerospace sectors in the United States. Also, thanks to its proximity to the national capital and the economic vibrancy of Maryland state and Baltimore City, there are always job opportunities in almost every industry outside the county. Unfortunately, the rate of unemployment in the county as of August 2021 was 7.9%, according to YCharts, a figure significantly higher than the national average of 5.2 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the United States Census Bureau, about 86.7% of people aged 25 and older in PG County held a bachelor's degree while 33.1% graduated high school.
Here is the list of the top employers in the county according to the Maryland Government Department of Commerce are:
- University System of Maryland (Higher education)
- Joint Base Andrews (Military installation)
- US Internal Revenue Service (Federal government)
- US Census Bureau (Federal government)
- United Parcel Service (UPS) (Mail & package delivery services)
- NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center (Space research)
- Giant Food (Retail grocer)
- Prince George's Community College (Higher education)
- Verizon (Telecommunications)
- Dimensions Healthcare System (Medical services)
- Marriott International/Gaylord Resort and Convention Center (Hotels & food services)
Public Transportation and Commuting
The most popular way to get around in Prince George's County is via TheBus, a fixed-route bus system operated by the Prince George's County Department of Public Works and Transportation. TheBus is a county-wide mass transportation service that charges a flat fare rate of between $1 and $2 for all destinations along its 25 routes. The service is also rolling out a MetroAccess paratransit system designed to be passenger-friendly to the disabled.
The Maryland Rail Commuter line (MARC) is another popular mass transit system that connects the county to Baltimore and DC. It has nine locations in the county and charges one-way fares of between $5 and $17 depending on the distance traveled. Other rail services connecting PG County to the outside world are Norfolk Southern Railway, Amtrak Metroliner, and CSX Transportation.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) also offers bus and rail services with 15 stations within the county. If you would rather travel on water, the Port of Baltimore serves the county with a 50-foot channel and seven public terminals.
Prince George's County has three airports that are accessible by bus, shuttle van, and train. They are:
- The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- Washington Dulles International Airport
- Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
Despite all the transportation infrastructure development, traffic is still a problem in Prince George's County. This is largely because a majority of the population prefer to get around by private cars. On average, a one-way commute in the county takes 36.9 minutes, much longer than the national average of 26.4 minutes, according to BestPlaces.net.
Culture, Food, and Nightlife
The culture of Prince George's County varies significantly by location. The county can be culturally split into five regions: North, Central, South, Rural, and Inner Beltway. While these regions are not formally defined, the major aspects of their cultures - including how they refer to themselves, home styles, neighborhoods, and general vibe.
When you visit the county, be sure to stop by all the locations to enjoy their unique cultures and taste different foods. Here are some of the top restaurant recommendations to add to your list of places to check out:
- Chez Dior - Senegalese restaurant located in Hyattsville on Baltimore Ave.
- Franklins Restaurant and Brewery - Eat, drink, and hang out at the popular restaurant on Baltimore Ave.
- Taqueria La Placita - Located on Edmonston Rd., this restaurant is the go-to place for the best tacos in the county.
- Shagga - Ethiopian restaurant located on Baltimore Avenue. Check it out for authentic chicken and lamb dishes or a vegetarian menu.
- Jerry's Seafood - Located in Bowie, Jerry's is a landmark restaurant serving a variety of legendary seafood.
- Kloby's Smokehouse - Visit this joint on Montpelier Rd. Laurel, for a mouth-watering barbecue.
- Ginger Restaurant- Restaurant inside the MGM National Harbor. They serve authentic Asian cuisine including Panang, Thai, and Vietnamese food.
- Busboys and Poets - A new American eatery and cafe popular for good food and open space for hanging out, poem recitations, and cultural events.
Attractions and Outdoor Activities
Prince George's County experiences a humid subtropical climate that is greatly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. The county receives an average of 44 inches of rain and 14 inches of snow annually.
On average, there are 203 sunny days while some level of precipitation is recorded about 110 days per year, according to BestPlaces.net. At the peak of winter in January, the temperatures in the county drop to as low as 28°F but can rise to as high as 65°F in the summer heat of July.
If you plan on visiting Prince George's County, the most pleasant months are May, June, and September. Here are the top attractions in the county to add to your bucket list:
- The National Harbor - this is an incredible 300-acre waterfront just a few minutes from Washington DC.
- Six Flags America - A theme park featuring hundreds of exciting games, rides, shows, and other attractions. Entry is free.
- MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino - Known as 'The Grand', this is a magnificent world-class destination at the heart of Prince George's County.
- Gaylord National Resort - The resort is the cornerstone of the county's national harbor complex.
- The University of Maryland - Visit the College Park when you are in town to see the center of Maryland's research and education center.
- Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center - This is a must-visit vibrant community of artists and students and their audiences.
- Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels with a massive collection of pleasure boats and artworks on display.
- Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center - Showcases the remarkable life of Harriet Tubman along a scenic underground byway.
- US Naval Academy in Annapolis
- The Awakening Sculpture
Here are some of the top outdoor activities you can do in Prince George's County:
- Take a walk at the Ocean City Boardwalk. Get a chance to enjoy amusement rides with the family and watch the sunset over the Bay.
- Visit Assateague Island and see the famous wild ponies of Assateague.
- Take a ferry to Smith Island and try the famous Smith Island cake.
- Relax and watch the boats drift by at the serene Fort McHenry.
- Go hiking, canoeing, or mountain cycling at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park
- Stroll the paved trails of Walker Mill Regional Park
- Take a boat tour at the National Harbor Pier
- Go for a picnic at the Mount Rainier Nature and Recreation Center
- Visit the Merkle State Wildlife Sanctuary in Upper Marlboro
- Enjoy a nature walk at the Clearwater Nature Center
Neighborhoods of Prince George's County
The quality of life and cost of living in Prince George's County is by large determined by where you choose to live. Here are some of the top neighborhoods anyone considering relocating to the county should consider:
This is the seat of the county. It is one of the most popular and populated towns in the county.
This neighborhood is popular for being very diverse and serene. It is located between Charles County and Eagle Harbor.
One of the most prosperous and well-planned neighborhoods in the county. This is an ideal neighborhood for anyone looking for a laid-back suburban living near major roads and amenities.
Baden is another popular suburban neighborhood. It is in the southeastern region of the county.
Home to the National Capital Park and Mary Surratt House Museum. There are lots of open spaces and playgrounds in this neighborhood.
Croom has developed into a quiet residential area after conversion from tobacco farms. It borders Patuxent River Park and the Jug Bay Natural Area.
This is the newest and southernmost neighborhood in the county. It is a fast-growing neighborhood popular for new shopping malls and entertainment spots.
This neighborhood is next to the US Highway 301. It is named after Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England.
This is a large suburban area on the banks of the Potomac River. It has many residential neighborhoods, including Accokeek Acres, White Hall, Acco Park, Auburn, Ayres, White Hall Terrace, and White Hall Forest.
Schools and Education
The Prince George's County Public Schools System (PGCPS) is in charge of public education in the county. The school system is the second-largest in Maryland, with over 136,500 students enrolled and over 22,000 employees as of 2021. The system serves diverse student populations from the rural, suburban, and urban communities of the county.
If you have school-going children in your family and would want to consider enrolling them in a public school in Prince George's County, you should take the time to understand how PGCPS works and what services they offer. For instance, the board provides and coordinates transportation of school children and is in charge of coordinating the relationship between schools and the community.
The PGCPS oversees all education levels and educational institutions in the county, including elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and magnet schools. Visit the PGCPS website to view a list of schools and their locations.
Pros: Top Reasons to Move to Prince George's County
- Proximity to DC offers excellent opportunities for work and career advancement
- Many shopping centers and malls offer great shopping experiences
- Many attractions and open spaces make the county a great place to live
Cons: Why You May Reconsider Moving to Prince George's County
- Taxes are comparatively higher than the neighboring counties.
- The schools in Prince George's County are not the best in the state.
Ready for your move to Prince George’s County?
Prince George's County is a fascinating place to relocate to. However, like anywhere else in the country, it suffers common misconceptions - largely regarding diversity, crime, and quality of life. The county has a rich history and vibrant cultures into which anyone can fit.
The challenging part of moving to Prince George's County would be choosing which part of the county to move to. To make the right choice, you should take the time to visit the different potential places and determine which ones best suit your lifestyle. When you make up your mind, contact College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving to get professional assistance with the logistics and heavy lifting of the move