Bethesda, Maryland

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Bethesda, Maryland

Introduction to Bethesda, Maryland

Bethesda is an unincorporated municipality located in the southern part of Montgomery County, Maryland. Situated just outside of Washington, D.C., Bethesda is a wealthy and well-educated area, many of whose residents commute to Washington for work. The community derived its name from one of its long-standing landmarks, the Bethesda Presbyterian Church. Other notable landmarks in Bethesda include the National Naval Medical Center (also known as Bethesda Naval Hospital), one of the nation’s largest and most renowned military medical centers; the headquarters of Lockheed Martin Corporation, largest provider of information technology services to the U.S. Government; the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division; and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Arts and Entertainment in Bethesda

Venues for the performing arts in Bethesda include Imagination Stage, a family arts center that fosters youth participation in professional theatre and arts education experiences. Round House Theatre, one of the area's largest and most acclaimed professional theatre companies, produces hundreds of performances each season at its 400-seat Bethesda facility. Bethesda also boasts a number of parks and outdoor recreational sites. Among these is the Capital Crescent Trail, a shared-use (walking, jogging, biking, and roller blading) trail stretching from Georgetown to Silver Spring, which passes directly through the center of Bethesda.

Bethesda hosts a number of events and festivals throughout the year. Some of these include: the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, a May weekend event featuring arts and crafts, live entertainment and food; the Bethesda Literary Festival, a 3-day event held in April; Imagination Bethesda, a June children's street festival; the Summer Concert Series, which takes place on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday evenings during May, June and July; October's Taste of Bethesda, a food and music festival featuring four stages of entertainment and samplings from 50 restaurants; and December's Winter Wonderland, featuring concerts, a live ice sculpting presentation, and a visit from Santa.

There are attractions galore in Washington, D.C., only minutes away. Included are the following:

  • The White House
  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The Washington Monument
  • National Air & Space Museum
  • United States Capitol
  • Ford's Theatre
  • JFK Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • Library Of Congress
  • The National Zoo
  • The Washington Opera
  • Fraser Gallery

Washington has plenty of pro sports teams too. Franchises which call Washington home include the Redskins of the National Football League, Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals, basketball's Wizards (NBA) and Mystics (WNBA), the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, and Major League Soccer's DC United.

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High Points

Bethesda strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Maryland):

Category Trophy
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Bethesda Well-Paid Single Women
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Bethesda College Educated Adults
Median Family Income
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Bethesda Median Family Income
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Bethesda Well-Paid Single Men
People in Middle Class or Better
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Bethesda People in Middle Class or Better
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 5% trophy Bethesda Public Transportation Use
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 7% Bethesda Walking and Biking to Work
Low Rate of Poverty
(vs. Peers)
Top 10% Bethesda Low Rate of Poverty

Comparative Profile of Bethesda, Maryland

Comparing Bethesda to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Maryland (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Men 10 10
Well-Paid Single Women 10 10
Age of the Population 10 9
Female Share of the Population 10 7
Senior Citizens 9 8
Racial Diversity 5 8
Children Under 5 Years Old 2 2
Male Share of the Population 1 4


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 6 8
Average Household Size 2 2


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Median Family Income 10 10
College Educated Adults 10 10
People in Middle Class or Better 10 10
People Above Poverty 10 9

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 10 10
Public Transportation Use 10 9
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Short Commute Times 3 6


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 9 9
People Living Alone 8 8
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 7 7
Housing Recently Built 3 5
Affordability of Property Taxes 1 1
Affordability of Rents 1 2

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Bethesda Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 7 miles NW of Washington, District of Columbia
County Montgomery
Standard Zip Codes 20814, 20815, 20816, 20817
P.O. Box Zip Codes 20813, 20824, 20825, 20827
Company Zip Codes 20810, 20811, 20889, 20892, 20894
Phone Area Codes 301
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.98
Longitude -77.1

Bethesda Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 3.4 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 44 F
Apr Temp 42 to 69 F
Jul Temp 66 to 89 F
Oct Temp 45 to 70 F
Annual Precip 45.1 inches
Distance 8.1 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 42 F
Apr Temp 44 to 66 F
Jul Temp 69 to 89 F
Oct Temp 47 to 69 F
Annual Precip 44.2 inches
Distance 8.4 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 43 F
Apr Temp 42 to 66 F
Jul Temp 67 to 89 F
Oct Temp 44 to 69 F
Annual Precip 43.7 inches
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Bethesda Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 55,277 100%
Male 25,820 46.7%
Female 29,457 53.3%
Under 18 12,112 21.9%
18+ 43,165 78.1%
65+ 9,524 17.2%
Median Age 41.4
Average Family Size 2.92
White 47,460 85.9%
African-American 1,476 2.7%
Asian 4,376 7.9%
American Indian & Alaskan 92 0.2%
Other 680 1.2%
Mixed Race 1,167 2.1%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 3,000 5.4%

Bethesda Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 20.8%
Irish 10.8%
English 10.4%
German 8.9%
Russian 5.4%
US/American 5.1%
Italian 5%
Polish 3.4%
French (except Basque) 2.4%
Eastern European 2.3%
Scottish 2.2%
European 2.2%
Scotch-Irish 1.6%
Greek 1.5%
Iranian 1.2%
British 1.1%
Norwegian 1%
Swedish 1%
Hungarian 1%
Dutch 1%
Austrian 0.9%
Ukrainian 0.7%
Lebanese 0.6%
African 0.5%
Welsh 0.5%
Swiss 0.5%
French Canadian 0.5%
Brazilian 0.5%
Lithuanian 0.4%
Romanian 0.4%
Israeli 0.4%
Czech 0.4%
Danish 0.4%
Northern European 0.3%
Armenian 0.3%
Portuguese 0.3%
Yugoslavian 0.3%
Scandinavian 0.2%
Jamaican 0.2%
Egyptian 0.2%
Turkish 0.2%
Belgian 0.2%
Slovak 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Ethiopian 0.2%
Canadian 0.2%
Croatian 0.2%
Nigerian 0.2%
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Bethesda, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Westlake (20817, 20827)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Bethesda 55,277 $130,160
Chevy Chase 2,726 $167,790
Garrett Park 917 $126,662
Glen Echo 242 $134,741
Kensington 1,873 $96,394
Silver Spring 76,540 $60,631
Somerset 1,124 $149,057

Bethesda Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(301) 896-3100
Emergency Service: Yes

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Bethesda High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,878 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.5

Serves 1,876 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.6

Serves 1,608 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.1

Bethesda Colleges

(List of Maryland Colleges)

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Advanced Controls

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Limit Results to One State?

City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Capitola, California 84.1   36.7% 14.2% 34.6% 30 $59,473 4.9% 16.2% 10,033 7% 98.4 8% 7
2. Grand Blanc, Michigan 80   34.9% 14.3% 40.8% 27 $82,456 6.7% 10.8% 8,242 5.5% 82.4 0.7% 8.5
3. Jacksonville Beach, Florida 79.2   34.6% 13% 29.9% 25 $58,388 5% 9.1% 20,990 7.2% 65.7 3.4% 7.6
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