Maryland is a state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. Historically it was part of the Chesapeake Bay Colony where planters cultivated tobacco as a cash crop dependent on slave labor. It is comparable in size to the European country of Belgium. According to the most recent information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, as of August 2007, Maryland is now the wealthiest state in the United States, with a median household income of US$65,144, ahead of New Jersey which had previously held that title.
It was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution and bears two nicknames, 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. Generally, the rural Western,
Southern and Eastern Shore regions of Maryland reflect a Southern
culture, while densely-populated Central Maryland — radiating outward from Baltimore City and the Washington Beltway — exhibit characteristics of the Northeast.