Introduction to Gaithersburg, Maryland

The Maryland city of Gaithersburg, county seat of Montgomery County, is located 50 miles west of Baltimore and 27 miles northwest of the nation's capital of Washington, D.C. Surrounding communities include Germantown, Potomac, and Rockville. Maryland. The city is serviced by Interstate I-270, as well as Maryland State Highways 117 and 355.

Incorporated in 1878, Gaithersburg was named after Benjamin Gaither, an early resident of the area who built a house in 1802 at the site of the city's famous Forest Oak tree; a landmark which lived to be about 300 years old before its demise at the hands of a severe storm in 1997. In 1899 the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory was built and along with five others like it around the world, was used to gather information for measuring the earth's polar motion and determining its size, shape, and physical properties. The year 1961 saw the move of the National Bureau of Standards (now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology) into Gaithersburg, creating a complex which maintains standards for scientific research and houses the standard meter and kilogram to which all others are compared for accuracy. Other science-related firms soon followed suit, giving the city the nickname of "Science Capital of the United States". Today a suburb of Washington, D.C., Gaithersburg's major economic activities of biotechnology, telecommunications, and software development are largely related to Federal Government contracts.

Things to do in Gaithersburg

Throughout the year, Gaithersburg sponsors many events. Every fall, the city comes alive with its annual Celebrate Gaithersburg Street Festival, an event which includes food, live music, amusements, arts and crafts, and more. Kids can enjoy games, interactive theatre, and demonstrations including a Health and Fitness Area featuring karate and tumbling demonstrations with speed and agility drills. Winter Lights, which takes place in December, is an extraordinary light display featuring more than 380 illuminated vignettes and 65 animated displays along a 3.5 mile drive through beautiful Seneca Creek State Park. In August, the city hosts the annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, the largest county fair in the State of Maryland. The week-long event includes lots of carnival rides, food, entertainment, and fun activities for all ages. The Shaker Forest Festival, a two-weekend event held in September, features exhibitors costumed in 18th Century garb, plenty of food, and a variety of family entertainment.

Located between the Washington, D.C, and Baltimore metropolitan areas, Gaithersburg affords its residents and visitors easy access to attractions in both locales. Just a few of the many sights in Washington, D.C. are the Smithsonian Institution, the National Air and Space Museum, the White House and Capitol buildings, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Capital Children's Museum. Maryland attractions include historic Fort McHenry, the Baltimore Maritime Museum, the Inner Harbor, and the Baltimore Aquarium, among many others.

Sports of both the professional and college varieties are prominent in the area. The Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. is home to three teams: hockey's Washington Capitals (NHL), and basketball's Washington Wizards (NBA) and Washington Mystics (WNBA). Also located in Washington are Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals and Major League Soccer's DC United, both tenants of the city's RFK Stadium. In nearby Landover, about 30 minutes away, the NFL's Washington Redskins play their football games. About an hour away is the city of Baltimore, home to the Baltimore Orioles (MLB baseball) and Baltimore Ravens (NFL football). The Orioles play in one of the most attractive ballparks in the majors (Oriole Park at Camden Yards) and the Ravens play at the adjacent M&T Bank Stadium. Also playing in Baltimore are the Blast (MISL soccer), Pearls (ABA basketball), and Bayhawks (MLL lacrosse), who will be relocating to Washington, D.C. in the 2007 season. Lacrosse fans will note that Baltimore is also home to the U.S. Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame, located on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. For college sports fans, there are numerous NCAA Division 1 colleges and universities in the area offering dozens of sporting events. Two of the most notable are the University of Maryland in College Park, home of the Terrapins, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., home of the Hoyas.


Total Population 64,945
Male Share of the Population 49.1%
Female Share of the Population 50.9%
Senior Citizens 11%
Employed Population 16+ 33,664
Age of the Population 35


% of people married 50.4%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 52.7%
Median Earnings25+ $48,883
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $21,340
Median Earnings With High School Degree $31,206


Median Family Income $92,463
% Above Poverty Level 90.8%
% Below Poverty Level 9.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 33 minutes
% Working from Home 4.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 2.3%
% Using Public Transportation 14.2%


People Living Alone 26%
Median Gross Rent $1,543
Median House Value $366,000


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 52%
US/American 0.4%
English 6.3%
Irish 6.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Gaithersburg Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 20 miles NW of Washington, District of Columbia
County Montgomery
Standard Zip Codes 20877, 20878, 20879, 20882, 20886
P.O. Box Zip Codes 20883, 20884, 20885, 20898
Company Zip Codes 20899
Phone Area Codes 301
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 39.143
Longitude -77.201

Gaithersburg Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 4.1 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 40 F
Apr Temp 42 to 64 F
Jul Temp 65 to 85 F
Oct Temp 44 to 66 F
Annual Precip 43 inches
Distance 15.2 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 17.5 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

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Suburb Maryland Fac (20898)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Brookeville 167 $118,750
Garrett Park 998 $181,250
Germantown 89,826 $95,531
Laytonsville 337 $138,750
Rockville 64,331 $120,180
Washington Grove 636 $119,643

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

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Gaithersburg High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 2,099 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17

Serves 1,984 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.6

Serves 1,874 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7

Gaithersburg Colleges

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Additional Details
Gaithersburg Colleges
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