The Baltimore-Towson metropolitan area has a strong economy and substantial opportunities for business and professional growth. The Baltimore area is home to several Fortune 1000 company headquarters. The largest company headquartered in Baltimore is Constellation Energy. The most famous are the financial services companies Legg Mason (now part of Citigroup Smith Barney) and T. Rowe Price.
The Baltimore area is a major center for medicine and biosciences, and home to two world-renowned teaching hospitals: Johns Hopkins Hospital and University Hospital at the University of Maryland. Baltimore receives the third largest amount of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of any U.S. city (behind Boston and New York). It is also a major center of research on the human genome project.
The Baltimore area has a well educated work force. According to the United States Census Bureau, almost 17% of the population has a college degree or higher. In 2005, Central Connecticut State University ranked Baltimore in the top 25 most literate cities in the United States. A 2005 Forbes survey ranked Baltimore 29th out of the 150 largest metropolitan areas in educational attainment.
Inc. Magazine has listed Baltimore in the top 100 on its list of "Best Cities for Doing Business" in the United States in the "medium cities" category for the last three years (2004-2006). The Baltimore area was also ranked 55 on Forbes magazine's 2005 list of "Best Places For Business and Careers" (out of the 150 largest metropolitan areas). In the same survey, Forbes also ranked Baltimore fifty-fifth for job growth. The Baltimore-Towson metropolitan area also achieved a "5-Star Business Opportunity Metro" ranking from Expansion Management’s 2005 Mayor’s Challenge ranking of the "Top Business Opportunity Metros." Ranking criteria used in the survey include business climate, transportation and logistics infrastructure, quality of life, public education, and other areas important for corporate site selection.
Major industries in the Baltimore area include health care and life sciences, hospitality and entertainment, international finance and banking, and maritime commerce. A major influence on the Baltimore area economy is the Port of Baltimore. It is ranked fourteenth in the United States in terms of tonnage, and seventh in terms of cargo value. The Port of Baltimore is well regarded as one of the United States' top container terminals. It is also one of the best protected deep water seaports in the world.
For business travelers, the Baltimore area is served by no fewer than three major airports, including:
- Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
- Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Notable companies with headquarters or major operations in the Baltimore metropolitan area include:
- BD Diagnostic Systems
- CareFirst BlueCross & BlueShield
- Constellation Energy
- Greater Baltimore Medical Center
- Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc.
- Legg Mason
- McCormick & Company, Inc.
- Mittal Steel
- St. Joseph Medical Center
- T. Rowe Price
Major business organizations and associations in the Baltimore Metropolitan area include:
- The Baltimore Area Convention & Visitor's Association
- The Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce)
- The Baltimore Development Corporation
- The Emerging Technology Center
- The Greater Baltimore Technology Council