Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic / Southern state located on the East Coast of the United States. According to the most recent information provided by the 2005 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, the State of Maryland is the second wealthiest state in the United States, with a median household income of $61,592.
Maryland is classified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a South-Atlantic state. It is also commonly referred to as a Mid Atlantic state. It was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, and is nicknamed the Old Line State and the Free State. Its history as a border state has led it to exhibit characteristics of both the Northern and Southern regions of the United States. As a general rule, the rural areas of Maryland are more Southern in culture while densely populated Central Maryland exhibits more Northern characteristics.
Maryland is a life sciences hub with over 350 biotechnology firms, making it third-largest such cluster in the nation. Institutions and agencies located throughout Maryland include University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).