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.


Total Population 62,102
Male Share of the Population 46.8%
Female Share of the Population 53.2%
Senior Citizens 17.9%
Employed Population 16+ 32,081
Age of the Population 43


% of people married 58.6%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 83%
Median Earnings25+ $86,610
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $29,091
Median Earnings With High School Degree $39,167


Median Family Income $200,053
% Above Poverty Level 97.3%
% Below Poverty Level 2.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 29 minutes
% Working from Home 9.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 8.9%
% Using Public Transportation 16.2%


People Living Alone 30.1%
Median Gross Rent $1,892
Median House Value $840,500


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 27.9%
US/American 0.5%
English 10.6%
Irish 12.4%

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

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

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 Population Median Family Income
Chevy Chase 2,927 $250
Garrett Park 998 $181,250
Glen Echo 286 $215,000
Kensington 1,990 $171,667
Silver Spring 77,460 $84,296
Somerset 1,215 $250

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

Bethesda Hospitals

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

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Bethesda High Schools

(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

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